A Thankful Heart

God’s Word tells us to have a thankful heart…be thankful “ No matter what happens, always be thankful”. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 Always be joyful. Keep on praying. No matter what happens, always be thankful, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus. The holidays are a time of gathering…a time of getting together with families and friends. Let’s not forget to be thankful to God for all we have and the many blessings in store for those that love Him…serving the Lord…obedient in ALL their ways.In November we celebrate the holiday (thanksgiving) in remembrance of the pilgrims…their freedom, their suffering thru a harsh winter in spite of their problems they established the first thanksgiving.

A thankful heart is one who is thankful for the essentials of life as stated in

  • 1 Timothy 6:8-9 So if we have enough food and clothing, let us be content. But people who long to be rich fall into temptation and are trapped by many foolish and harmful desires that plunge them into ruin and destruction.

True thanksgiving produces thankful living…Are you thankful…

1. for salvation…tell others of Christ
2. for provision…share it with others
3. for kindness…pass them on
4. for Christian fellowship…extend fellowship

5. for Prayers…pray for others Being truly thankful means sharing with one another.

A prophet that was thankful in the hard times…

  • Habakkuk 3:17-19 Even though the fig trees have no blossoms, and there are no grapes on the vine; even though the olive crop fails, and the fields lie empty and barren; even though the flocks die in the fields, and the cattle barns are empty, yet I will rejoice in the LORD! I will be joyful in the God of my salvation. The Sovereign LORD is my strength! He will make me as surefooted as a deer (or speed of a deer) and bring me safely over the mountains.

God does not change…

  • Malachi 3:6 “I am the LORD, and I do not change. That is why you descendants of Jacob are not already completely destroyed.
  • Hebrews 13: Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever…so be thankful.

Life in itself is full of uncertainty…be thankful we are not limited to these few years of tears on earth… salvation provides eternal life and we should be thankful every day:

  • John 3:16“For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.
  • John 5:2 “I assure you, those who listen to my message and believe in God who sent me have eternal life. They will never be condemned for their sins, but they have already passed from death into life.
  • 1 John 5:11-13 And this is what God has testified: He has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. So whoever has God’s Son has life; whoever does not have his Son does not have life. I write this to you who believe in the Son of God, so that you may know you have eternal life.

There is hope…the best is yet to come…heaven!

  • 1 Peter 1:3-6 All honor to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, for it is by his boundless mercy that God has given us the privilege of being born again. Now we live with wonderful expectation because Jesus Christ rose again from the dead. For God has reserved a priceless inheritance for his children. It is kept in heaven for you, pure and undefiled, beyond the reach of change and decay. And God, in his mighty power, will protect you until you receive this salvation, because you are trusting him. It will be revealed on the last day for all to see. So be truly glad! There is wonderful joy ahead, even though it is necessary for you to endure many trials for a while.

The Lord is my strength… He will make me to walk on high places – Higher ground:

  • Psalm 27:1 The LORD is my light and my salvation—so why should I be afraid? The LORD protects me from danger—so why should I tremble?
  • Isaiah 40:31 But those who wait on the LORD will find new strength. They will fly high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint.
  • Philippians 4:13 For I can do everything with the help of Christ who gives me the strength I need.

Psalm of Thanksgiving

Psalm 103:1-5 Praise the LORD, I tell myself;with my whole heart, I will praise his holy name. Praise the LORD, I tell myself, and never forget the good things he does for me. He forgives all my sins and heals all my diseases. He ransoms me from death and surrounds me with love and tender mercies. He fills my life with good things. My youth is renewed like the eagle’s!

Thanksgiving comes from the heart…an attitude of gratitude!

Thanksgiving has curative power…

  • Psalm 92:1 It is good to give thanks to the LORD, to sing praises to the Most High.
  • Philippians 4:6-13 Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. If you do this, you will experience God’s peace, which is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. And now, dear brothers and sisters, let me say one more thing as I close this letter. Fix your thoughts on what is true and honorable and right. Think about things that are pure and lovely and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. Keep putting into practice all you learned from me and heard from me and saw me doing, and the God of peace will be with you. How grateful I am, and how I praise the Lord that you are concerned about me again. I know you have always been concerned for me, but for a while you didn’t have the chance to help me. Not that I was ever in need, for I have learned how to get along happily whether I have much or little. I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. For I can do everything with the help of Christ who gives me the strength I need.
  • Luke 18:13-14 “But the tax collector stood at a distance and dared not even lift his eyes to heaven as he prayed. Instead, he beat his chest in sorrow, saying, ‘O God, be merciful to me, for I am a sinner.’ I tell you, this sinner, not the Pharisee, returned home justified before God. For the proud will be humbled, but the humble will be honored.”

The Pharisee was unchanged when he returned home: Luke 18:14 “I tell you, this sinner, not the Pharisee, returned home justified before God. For the proud will be humbled, but the humble will be honored.”

  • 1. True thanksgiving changes us
  • 2. He went to a good place: the temple
  • 3. He went for a good purpose: to pray
  • 4. He went home unchanged 5. Millions leave churches unchanged 6. Don’t let this happen

The other person in this parable: the publican…

  • faced his sin and sought forgiveness
  • nothing superficial about his response
  • “God be merciful me a sinner”
  • went home forgiven: justified

HOW ABOUT YOU? Do You Have a Thankful Heart?

Love in Christ Jesus,
Paul Lundmark

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