Sunday, November 18, 2012

Thankful Hearts (Sermon Notes)

I wash my hands in innocence, and go about your altar, Lord, proclaiming aloud your praise and telling of all your wonderful deeds. Lord, I love the house where you live, the place where your glory dwells. (Ps 26.6-8)
Sermon Title: Thankful Hearts
Sermon Text: Psalm 26/Exodus 11-13

  • Thanksgiving is important to God, because it tells that you know the story
    • You know the background
    • You know the outcome
    • You know your role
    • You understand and expect the Lord to be faithful to His role

C.S. Lewis “Therefore praise is not merely expresses but completes the enjoyment; it is its appointed consummation…In commanding us to glorify Him, God is inviting us to enjoy Him”

In other words, gratitude is its own reward!

  • Thanksgiving usually means that you see what others have refused to look into yet.

  • Thankfulness is twofold.
    • It acknowledges the strength of your recent victory...
    • And it prepares you by elevated your heart & vision to places where God shows your more of what is to come.

  • Thankfulness, therefore, is a connector of the soul!
    • It is the cord between where you have been and where you going
    • These two places (been/going) are more connected than what you think

Story of the Exodus (Exodus 12)

  • Thankfulness is an attitude, which shapes...
    • How you think
    • What you expect
    • What your first item of business is when you see victory
    • It is your first item of business UNTIL you see victory
    • It is your first item of business AFTER you see victory
      • you treat victory determines IF you’ll see continued victory.
    • Celebrating victory thru thanksgiving was some important that God did the following things:
      • Told Israel to celebrate
      • Told Israel when to celebrate
      • Told Israel how to celebrate
    • Thanksgiving was never to empty handed. 
      • Israel celebrated that God had spared their firstborn while killing Egypt’s first born...
      • However, God’s idea of celebrating is the dedicate to Him what he saved/spared.

When Thanksgiving lacks a communicates 3 things to the Lord:

  • You trust your own strength (not the Lord’s)...and you’re no different that Pharaoh & Nebuchadnezzar who challenged God. You become God’s opponent. God ALWAYS wins.

  • You miss WHY the Lord spares us.
    • He spared Israel’s firstborn & then asked them to become dedicated to God.

  • You miss the clearest reminders of God’s faithfulness, love and abiding presence.

*Webster says that to be grateful is to have a sense of benefits received. It means to be thankful. It is derived from an old English word that means thought. Lately, I have been giving a lot of thought to this topic and I have realized the following things about gratitude:

  • It is hard to remain angry while being grateful, truly grateful.
  • It is hard to be selfish while being grateful, truly grateful.
  • It is hard to keep score on the times you’ve been wronged while being grateful, truly grateful.
  • And it is hard to be greedy and self-centered while being grateful, truly grateful.

Challenge/Next Steps:
  • Tweet/text/FB/journal relentless statements about what you’re grateful for this week
  • Ask others what they are grateful for
  • Decide how and where will you schedule opportunities praise?
  • Ask God to help you to grow in thanksgiving and

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