“O give thanks unto the Lord, for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever.” – Psalm 107:1 (KJV)
Well, glory to God! It’s time to get back to doing what I’m called and anointed to do, and what better way to start again then by penning message one of our Thanksgiving Countdown series for 2015. It’s been a month of Sunday’s since I last penned a message, and as many of you know that was a God-ordained break. However, I believe the Lord has allowed me the grace to get into this Thanksgiving series, and we’ll see what else He allows us to get into between now and the final break of the year between Christmas and New Year’s.
For now, let’s believe, as always that the Lord will make my fingers as that as a pen of a ready writer. Writing only of the oracles of God with boldness, clarity, and unction that only comes from the supernatural ability of the Holy Ghost. Let’s also believe together that God will prepare ears that will hear and heart that will be receptive and respond to what He is about to speak to us through this message. In Jesus name. Amen and Amen!
Never Ending Thanks:
I’m probably going to tell stories about how there were many, many services that I attended that were preached by my father in the faith…Pastor Stephen Robbins of No Greater Love Family Church (which is no longer around). He began many of His sermons by having us repeat these words: “For the Lord He is good and His mercy endures forever.”, and let me tell you that those were some of the most amazing services I’ve ever been in.
He had this supernatural ability to really speak of the oracles of God as he rarely preached from notes, and often as we were reciting these words the Lord would download a two-hour message into Pastor Stephen’s heart. I loved being in those services because for me it was more like being in a Bible School then it was a Sunday Sermon. I learned so much from Pastor Stephen, and much of what I teach today is based on the foundation that came from being underneath his teaching for half a decade or so.
So, I got to thinking about this as I was getting set to type this message, and as I was thinking about a title for this message the thought came to me that His mercy is never ending…and the Bible makes it clear that our thanks and praise and worship of God is to be never-ending also. Therefore, we come to this message simply titled “Never Ending Thanks” because reality is…we shouldn’t be needing to have a Thanksgiving Countdown series to prepare our hearts for what we’re going to say when it’s our turn at the dinner table to give something we’re thankful for…but here we are doing just that.
The truth is, friends, our hearts should already be filled to overflowing with thanksgiving, worship, and praise to God. Listen. If God never did another thing for me other than save me from spending eternity in hell by sending Jesus to pay the penalty for my sin…that is enough right there for me to have a thankful heart for the rest of my time here on earth. Anyone else have that reality hit them…or is it just me!?!
There’s more than enough things that God has done in me, with me, and through me to keep my heart full of thanksgiving and praise. The transparent truth, however, is just like with Adam and Eve…some times the serpent comes and gets us focused on that one tree we can’t eat from…doesn’t he!?!
Come on, don’t be all super-spiritual with me. I know I’m not the only one that sees a vehicle that’s nicer than the one I’m driving, and for a moment you get focused on how awesome it would be if you were behind the wheel of one of those. For me, my dream vehicle is a Ford F-650, and before you laugh there are these things known as “Super Trucks” that are these massive pickups that have straight truck cabs. You see how much detail I can give you…the reason I can do that is because to me…it’s that tree in the middle of the garden.
Come on, if the tree in the middle of the garden wasn’t the most beautiful tree in the entire garden…there wouldn’t be much temptation to eat from it, would there!?! Maybe for you it’s a house or maybe you want to live on the beach instead of the middle of snowstorm alley or maybe you would rather have a better looking spouse (I know it’s a Thanksgiving message, but I’m gonna meddle a little bit anyways), and now that I’ve gotten your attention…let me drop some serious truth on you. Are ya ready!?!
Paul said that he learned to be content with where ever he was because where ever he was Jesus was enough. He wrote those words in prison, and I know y’all know by now that when I talk about the prison Paul wrote from it’s not the kind of prisons that we have today. We all know that the living conditions in prisons in Paul’s day were a whole lot worse than the living conditions in prisons today. There’s something to be said for that, but that’s another message for another time, Amen!?! I mean if prison was a little more like it was when Paul was there…perhaps people wouldn’t want to go to prison so bad, and they would try to become better people so that they wouldn’t spend decades in a place that is often better conditions today then people who live in third world countries.
I mean, you do realize, that the poorest of the poor in the United States have it better than the poorest of the poor in places like Peru, India, South Africa, and the list goes on and on. Anyways, back to the message. Paul learned to be content and praise God for what he had. In Paul’s own words “whether he was abound (living in abundance) or abased (living with very little) he was content because he understood that Jesus was the source of everything he had…and he was thankful for all that God provided for him.
Are you thankful for what the Lord has provided for you? Are you grateful for the blessings you have or are you consumed with the things you want? Would you be able to be content if Jesus was all you had? What if God asked you to go to a third world country where there’s no running water, no electricity, and you had to live off the land…could you be content then? If you wouldn’t be content with little…or grateful for what God’s already given you…then why would He bless you with more?
The Bible says to whom much is given much is required. I don’t know about anyone else, but the more God blesses me with the more grateful I am. The more He gives me the more I understand I’m accountable for and the more I understand that I have to give Him praise and glory and honor for. There’s a phrase I like to say and that phrase is…
We need to learn to bloom where we are planted.
In other words, we need to be like Paul and be content no matter where we are, what we have, and as we give the glory to God (and give back to Him what He’s given us) then I believe He will bless us with more, Amen!?!
This Psalm calls us to give thanks to God because His love is with us forever! His love for us never ends, and our thankfulness to God should never end. In the United States, we have a day set aside to be thankful for our many blessings, and it is a very special day full of family and food! But as Christians, we know the true source of our blessings – God!
Our thankfulness to God should never end. How many of you like I asked just a moment ago know that we have plenty to be thankful for? I mean if God never did another thing, but Jesus…that’s enough to give praise and glory to God for the rest of our lives. I don’t know about anyone else’s life…but God has done so much more in, with, and through my life. So, there’s more than enough reasons for me to be thankful to God. There’s more than enough to have never-ending thanks to God…how about you!?!
So…as we count down and work our way towards thanksgiving…think about all God has done in, with, and through your life. I know that many of you, like me, have been blessed beyond your wildest dreams or what you could ask…think…or imagine. Let’s remember all that He has done, and as we go through these next few weeks…may your praise and worship turn into true joy and contentment.
Father God, forgive us for taking so much of our blessings from You for granted. It’s easy to get caught up in the desires of our hearts and the cares of the world. It’s easy to get distracted by the things we want, and forget about the blessings we already have. Teach us, Lord God, to be more like Paul. Help us, Father, to learn to be content with what we have and where we are. Help us to learn, Lord to bloom where we are planted…and be grateful for what we have and not covetous for what we don’t have. Thank You Lord God for all that You have blessed us with, for all You have done…all that You are doing…and all You have yet to do…in…with…and through our lives. We give You glory, honor, and praise…in Jesus name. Amen and Amen.
Final Word From Pastor B:
I know I say this a lot, but I’m going to say it again. I’m thankful for all of you. I’m thankful for you because there are times when I don’t feel like doing this, and there are times when I get down and discouraged and frustrated and I don’t feel like sitting down in front of this computer…and then God reminds me that there are people all over the world that need what He speaks through what I write. I’m thankful for those of you that take the time to interact with me because it encourages me, and it helps me often times to get out of the funk I can some times find myself in.
I don’t know about anyone else, but I have so much to be thankful for today. Not just the physical and material things, but so much more…and as we go through these next few weeks leading up to Thanksgiving let’s take some time to be reminded of the faithfulness and goodness of God in our lives. Amen!?!
So, here’s kind of a homework assignment for us: As we start this month of Thanksgiving, let’s praise the Lord for everything He has made.
Thank you, as always, for joining me. I hope that this series will be a fun way to countdown to Thanksgiving, and that it will help those of us who may be in a bit of a funk to get out of it and into an attitude of praise and thanks and joy. Amen!?!
Have a blessed day in the Lord!
Blessings & Grace;