Message Scripture: Psalm 7:17 (NIV)
I will give thanks to the Lord because of his righteousness; I will sing the praises of the name of the Lord Most High. — Psalm 7:17 (NIV)
Good Evening Everyone! Here we go with the second of seven messages in our 7 Days of Thanksgiving Series. I’m not going to spend a lot of time on this introduction. I will, however, ask you to believe with me for ears to hear and hearts that will be receptive and responsive to what the Lord is about to speak to us through this message…and that He’ll may my fingers as that as a pen of a ready writer…writing only of the oracles of God, and that He’ll allow me to write with boldness, clarity, and the supernatural power that comes only from the Holy Ghost.
Let’s get into today’s message.
Not All Thanks Are Easy Ones:
There aren’t many people who would think to be thankful for God’s righteousness and justice…but that’s exactly what David does in Psalm 7:17. Some times, the Lord’s righteousness will cause Him to have to scold us…think for a moment how many times He had to scold Peter. I’m sure that Peter wasn’t really thankful that the Lord was scolding him at the time, but I also believe (like David) Peter found moments that he was.
Lord knows I’ve had my share of moments where the Lord’s righteousness allowed me to be scolded and face some punishment, and even though I wasn’t thankful for those times when I went through them…I am thankful for them now.
Not all of the things we should thank God for are easy. For example, you see a beautiful sunset, easy. Who doesn’t enjoy a good sunset? Every night it’s a different work of art. But being on the receiving end of God’s justice? Well, that’s another thing entirely.
Let’s face it. God is still a just God that demands that we are some times going to be scolded, and even punished in the here and now because we do things against His will or against the law of the government. How many of you know that most of the laws have a biblical connection? This isn’t a political statement it’s saying that the laws that this nation were founded upon came from the Bible, and while the government today is working methodically to undo those things…that doesn’t change the fact that God’s laws aren’t just America’s laws…but the Bible says that they are written in our hearts. That’s in Romans 2:15 (NIV) just in case you were wondering, and so we are all without excuse.
The thing I am thankful for is that I’ll be able to miss out on the full impact of God’s justice because I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. So, I’m not going to have to find out what the full weight of God’s eternal justice is going to be. If nothing else this Thanksgiving for those of who that are whosoevers (like me) that have called upon the name of the Lord to be saved…being thankful that you won’t have to face the punishment for rejecting Jesus till your last breath is a good answer if you can’t think of anything else…be thankful that your eternal home is secure because you’re in Christ.
Being thankful for God’s justice is dangerous. It’s easy to thankful for it when we see someone who has wronged us receive the justice they so well deserve. But we also have to be thankful that God brings his justice to bear on us when we deserve it. Which is a lot harder to do.
As I mentioned I’ve tasted some of the Lord’s justice, and while I wasn’t thankful for much of it while I was going through it I am thankful for it now because even in the midst of the justice God still showed me grace and mercy. I am thankful that as Proverbs 3:12 says the Lord loves me enough to correct and chasten me. You can’t do the things I did and not expect to face some kind of punishment, and for the Lord to allow me to be punished. It’s helped to fashion me into the person I am today.
One of the greatest things that came of the time I spent in my home town’s legal system is the fact that while I was there it was the beginning of my time at Holy Ghost University. Let’s face it you can either waste your time playing cards, and concocting plans to do a better job next time…or you can pick up the Word of God and soak in everything God wants to teach you.
I’m not thankful for what I did…I’m thankful that God took all of that, and showed me what He could do in my life through the lens of Romans 8:28. He literally made that verse come alive in my life, and the more He took what I’d been to in order to show me how He can use if for good…the more I began to be thankful that even though much of that time was ugly God found a way to make these dry bones live…and get in the battle to win souls for the Kingdom.
It is harder to thank God for the times He takes you over His knee, but if you’ll allow it to be a learning experience (and I didn’t always do that) He can take it and use it all for good. I didn’t say that everything would BE good, and neither did God. He said He can turn it to be used FOR good.
That’s why I understand the exact point this message is trying to make in that some times not all “Thank You, Lords” are easy ones.
Oh Lord, I’m glad I didn’t see this message first. I might not have gotten into this series, but You always lead me right where I need to be. Lord, some times it’s not easy to thank You and be grateful especially when we’re being scolded and punished. Nevertheless, You scolded Peter time and time again, and we know that You chasten us because You love us. So, thank You for the discipline and for the times when You had to chastise me. I admit I wasn’t thankful at the time, but as I wrote this message I was able to understand that it was all necessary to get me to where I am…and to be who I am today. Thank You for Your justice, but thank You most of all for Your grace and mercy in the midst of it. Much glory, much praise, and much honor goes to You, My God and My Lord. In Christ’s name I pray. Amen.
There’s not much to add in closing this message. It’s not always easy to talk about what God had to allow me to go through because I chose that path rather than choosing to completely follow Him. It wasn’t easy, and it certainly wasn’t easy to be thankful and count it all joy over all that I had pretty much put myself through. When I say I understand what it’s like to be in the pig-pen like the prodigal son…I really do understand that.
I am thankful that God brought me through and out of that life, and used it to help me to become the man penning these messages today. I am a long, long way from getting to where I want to be, but I can most definitely thank God that I’m not where or who I used to be.
Have a blessed night and come back tomorrow for message number 3 in the 7 Days of Thanksgiving Series.
Blessings & Grace to you;
Bryan Kizer – Pastor
Christlike Ministries NWA