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January 14, 2021 7:00 am
Today on Fellowship in the Word pastor Bill Gebhardt challenges you to become a fully functioning follower of Jesus Christ. Christians are always asking me what's God's will for my life. What's God's will in my life was my vocation to be where the location generally move as I get married not much of the Bible about God's will is here. It is in everything give thanks not only know that for this is God's well is not a mystery here. God wills as he wants us to give thanks for joining us today on this additional Fellowship in the Word pastor Bill Gebhardt Fellowship in the Words the radio ministry of Fellowship Bible church located in Metairie, Louisiana that's going pastor Bill Gebhardt now is once again he shows up God's word or world so this Thursday. We celebrate national holiday called Thanksgiving initiated by the pilgrims in 1623 is been emphasized by presidents like George Washington and Abraham Lincoln. But thanking God for his blessings is as old as Judeo Christianity. The prevailing idea behind us, giving thanks to God is that he deserves, but not surprising being thankful is not only great for God, but it's good for you.
My wife gave me a book this last week written by TV personality Deborah normal the title of the book is thank you power making the science of gratitude work for you. I was very interested in the book because when I read the back jacket. Those who would endorse the book was interestingly strange bedfellows Max, the Cato, Donald Trump, Joan Rivers. The premise of the book is this that people who often and sincerely give thanks are people who most benefit from it. That science is even prove now that those who give thanks are better off in life than those who don't see sites in the book, a long-term study that was done by Dr. Robert Emmons, University of California, Davis and Emmons conduct the study between two groups, one where they cultivate the idea of Thanksgiving and giving thanks any other group leaving them alone pretty much the way they been Dr. Emmons. Is this.
I have studied a lot of topics in the nearly 25 years since I've been in graduate school, but there is no topic that's got more interest from the people in this and is exciting from the very beginning when I started this research. I was so excited I couldn't sleep the challenge he said is not to make it sound too corny or simplistic or superficial goes on to study participants did not know why they were doing these exercises any changes they observed were simply conditions. The participants noted that simply being different and so we had this one group and what they would do if they would Journal and what they were told is in her journal. They were to write what they were thankful for each and every day.
There were also told that when they met people and people did anything for them. They were to thank every time they met a service person to commit service when they were thanked they were sent notes of thanks to family members and friends and just do this on a regular basis at the end of a long extended period of time. He then evaluated both groups and concerning the group that gave thanks on a regular basis. These are his conclusions.
He says they felt better about their lives as a whole. They were more optimistic.
They were more energetic. They were more enthusiastic. There were more determined there were more interested. The more joyful they felt stronger about handling challenges they had fewer illnesses they got more sleep. They had more progress toward important personal goals. They were more likely to help someone else. They were perceived by others as more generous and helpful. They were less envious of those with more possession.
Their lives were less cluttered. They had clear thinking and more creativity and openness of ideas they had better resilience during tough times they had a higher immune response that a less likelihood of being plagued by stress and they also became closer in their family ties, normal rights, along with inner thighs and sixpack abs.
This is a fairly comprehensive list of what most of us wish we had in our lives. Prof. Evans also says is that I think gratitude is a very demanding quality. A rigorous quality. We need to work on is a discipline in exercise and it doesn't come easily to most people never came easy to me.
Also, when novel idea or is it cultivate giving thanks do it often. Solomon might've been right. There is nothing new under the sun. Open your Bibles first Thessalonians chapter 5 and Paul was concluding his epistle to the Thessalonians. Every member of Paul's point of view the church of Thessalonica was of all the church is the most to be admired that it was the smallest church of the planet and it comes near the end of this in beginning in verse 16, just a couple little phrases that he says he says rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus. Last week we looked at this idea of rejoicing always, I said the victorious Christians are those who find joy in all the great moments of her life and notice he says rejoice always, and then pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks in punctate in everything give thanks, how you do this, why do you do this, rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks. It seems to me that when he comes the conclusion is what our loving God is in control our loving God is in control. Therefore rejoice always, pray without ceasing everything give thanks. You know, it's hard to do that when I look at in everything give thanks. It's hard not to be cynical. You could almost see the average Christian having a difficult moment in her life and the wife looks at the Mego I know.
Thank you for the things we can become very cynical about gratitude, Paul says in Romans chapter 1 concerning unsaved people and fallen men that he says that they would not honor God. As God or would they give thanks to God. In second Timothy chapter 3, Paul said, we look at that last week when we said that realizes the last days difficult times will come. Men will be lovers of themselves will be lovers of money, will be lovers of pleasure. And in that list. He says they will also have gratitude will not be thankful you see man was created to be thankful.
That is what he is telling us he says in everything give thanks and is not only here in first Thessalonians chapter 5 Ephesians chapter 5, Paul said we need to be filled or controlled by the ministry.
The spirit of God in our life. We need this Holy Spirit to control us. He says and when we do we give thanks in all things, and for all things to God. That's what happens when the spirit of God controls remember in Philippians chapter 4 Paul said be anxious for nothing, but in everything with prayer and supplication let your requests be made known to God with thanksgiving. You see, we are to be of thankful people because we have a supplying God and what God wants of us more than he wants anything else in the very heart of worship.
Gratitude thankfulness. So he says in everything give thanks you might be saying I don't know if I can do that.
Let me help you. I found this wonderful dear St. who wrote down some of their thoughts concerning their gratitude to God for things that often we don't think about when we give thanks. He writes I am thankful for the taxes that I pay because it means I am employed. I am thankful for the clothes that fit to snub because it means that I have enough to eat. I am thankful for my shadow who watches me work because it means that I'm out in the sunshine. I am thankful for lawn needs mowing windows that need cleaning and gutters that need fixing, because it means I have a home.
I am thankful for the spot that I find at the far end of the parking lot because it means I'm capable walking. I am thankful for my huge heating bill because it means I am one.
I am thankful for all the complaining, I hear about our government because it means we have freedom of speech.
I am thankful for the lady behind me in church or sings off key because it means I can hear. I am thankful for the piles of laundry and ironing because it means my loved ones are nearby.
I am thankful Yolanda goes off every morning because it means I'm alive.
I am thankful for the weariness of aching muscles at the end of the day because it means I've been productive perspective. See what this comes down to is it's just a perspective to see her like that way you see and you see this idea that you are thankful being thankful is good for you. People are thankful are much better position than people were not there something else here in everything give thanks, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus. There are very few places in the word of God were something says it specifically God's will.
Christians are always asking me what's God's will for my wife. What's God's will in my life what's my vocation to be worth the location. Should we move as I get married not much in the Bible about that.
As far as God's will.
You want to God's will is here. It is in everything give thanks. Now I know that for this is God's well is not a mystery here. God wills us. He wants us to give thanks. Reason is that's what people were created for 10 Psalm 100 with me for a moment very short song, wonderful Psalm five versus five minutes. These are important to God there in a PLA intensive stem and the verb in Hebrew means is important. These commandments and I got a commitment you never think about being commanded to do is the first one shout joyfully to the Lord, all the earth shout joyfully to the Lord, all the earth shout when you shout this and apply. I think it means you want to be heard now. God knows our hearts and so does the right of the Psalms when asking something considering how many times you shout, how many of them are joyful see how your people shop we shout joyfully you see specific about this he said shout joyfully.
It's her like a Saturday night Tiger Stadium fourth-quarter winning touchdown.
What do 80,000 people do shout joyfully.
He says yeah and that's nice. That's not what I'm saying.
I'm saying shout joyfully to the Lord all that sound like that; replace or go with me to Revelation chapter 5 idea Revelation chapter 5 John the apostle was being led into a vision of the future he seen the throne of God is in a future heavenly state and notice what is said. Starting in verse 11. John writes and then I looked and I heard the voice of many angels around the throne and the living creatures and the elders and the number of them was myriads and myriads of thousands of thousands, we would say millions and millions, perhaps billions and billions what is going on, saying with a loud voice, how could not be left that many people with that kind of enthusiasm. The angelic world where the is the Lamb that was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessings and every created thing. Notice that, and every created thing which is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all things in them. I heard saying to him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honor and glory and dominion forever and ever.
And the four living creatures kept saying a man in the elders fell down and worship. That's what it means to shout joyfully all the earth. Imagine that scene kind of enthusiasm. Notice just the loudness is a God loves to hear that kind of sound because it reveals the heart of gratitude back to the song serve the Lord with gladness again is almost like God knows us. You see, again, we could take all the gratitude out of something like this serve the Lord. Well I have to.
It's my duty is gotta serve the Lord. She said don't do that don't serve me out of duty serve me out of gladness he sees serve the Lord out of gladness and notice I didn't say serve mankind. It didn't say serve the church. It said serve the Lord serve the Lord with gladness third. Come before him with joyful singing.
Are you catching a theme shout joyfully serving gladness.
Come before him with joyful singing. It sounds a little upbeat to me. It sounds enthusiastic. It sounds like he actually expects us to be happy to really be happy about what's going on doesn't stop there. He says in the next verse.
He tells us why. Know that the Lord himself is God save this way if you going to get all excited and all happy, all joyful about something when it just makes sense to be excited and happy and joyful, but God, I mean everything else pales in comparison. Everything else is temporal and vanishes. He says look if you're really going to succumb and sing and be joyful in shout about me notice in the Psalms and in the property says you know it makes sense because there is no other God I am the one the true God. There is no other one like me. Then he gives us more reasoning. Verse three he said it is he who was made us and not we ourselves.
It amazing how much energy mankind is spending to disprove that boy.
We just want to be sure that we tell everybody. God did not make us. We are a cosmic accident. We are Lenore and protoplasm and that's about it. The reason for doing that, by the ways we have an agenda were not accountable to anybody either will do what we want to do if there's any gratitude will thank ourselves. God says no, that's not the way it is. He then goes on and says something else. He said we are as people, the sheep of his pasture.
Notice the digression. The Lord is our God, transcendent their he is transcendent. He is the only God, the Lord is our Creator is omnipotent, the Lord is our shepherd. Personal is relational, the transcendent, omnipotent God, who is relational is is will you know them, excites me. That's why icing joyfully.
That's why surviving. That's why implore everybody shout to the Lord, all the earth. Now if something is building up in you at that stage something is about to be explode out of you because you feel so deeply in your soul, what would that be and that's what we find in the next verse enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise.
Give thanks to him, bless his name gratitude enter his gates with thanksgiving. You know what I think so often hear people say things that are shortsighted, especially comes to when they go to heaven because normally what we do is when I get to heaven. I got a few questions ask, but you don't know. I don't think that by the way the Bible says you will know if you're known, so I'm pretty sure you CS Lewis of course is my favorite. When he says when he entered the gates of heaven for single sales. Of course I believe that's very thoughtful begin what I look at the Psalm, and I sort of see it this way. I was all to be there but I kinda believe that when I entered can be like this. Thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank I'd like to thank everyone. I like thank God enter his gates with thanksgiving see him him so much gratitude in you should do because I know I don't deserve to go somebody else do the work. Thank you. Enter his gates with thanksgiving.
That's why we set aside this transcendent, omnipotent God that we know is personal and relational has done for us so we thank him. 1789, George Washington made his public proclamation. This is what he said by the president of the United States of America proclamation, whereas it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will and to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore his protection and favor, and whereas he says and this is really interesting both houses of Congress to do that, both houses of Congress have, by their joint committee requested me to recommend to the people of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many signal favors of Almighty God. This will be created for shout joyfully all the earth. Serve the Lord with gladness. Come before him with joyful singing, know that the Lord himself is God enter his gates with thanksgiving see the analogies where the sheep he is the shepherd we enter his courts.
He is the king we serve them. He is the master we've been created. He's the creator all that we can say is thank you she that's important giving thanks is good for God. And it's good for us. Give thanks is God's will for you is why you were created in God deserves it. Notice verse five for the Lord is good.
I love that word that Hebrew word means intrinsically good. Which means he doesn't have to do something good to be good. He's already good. That's why does things are good. The Lord is good his lovingkindness and you know that's my favorite word in the Old Testament has said his grace and mercy patient's forgiveness, love is all that one word. His lovingkindness is everlasting and his faithfulness to all generations. I thought of the people who heard that song for the first time 3000 years ago and he said you right. God is faithful to us. Many think of the people were believers.
The time of Christ 2000 years ago they said God is faithful to us. I think a man like St. Anselm a thousand years ago and he said God is faithful to us. Here we are in Metairie, Louisiana 3000 years later and reset God is faithful to us. His faithfulness is to all generations good for us. God's will for us is why we were created in God deserves it. He is good.
His grace is eternal, and his faithfulness is forever vulnerable ends her book by writing the following paragraph she answered by writing Psalm 118 one. Give thanks to the Lord for he is good for his lovingkindness is everlasting interesting. She said whenever I talk with God. He's listened and he is always answered. I may not heard the answer may not of liked when I got but it was there since I began trying to incorporate thank you power in my own life. It somehow seems of the conversations with God go easier. I am sure the difference is with me. Not him, whether in my spiritual journey or just in my struggles to get through yet another action-packed day. She says, with more to do the nurse time to do it.
Thank you. Power seems to help me.
It's the only board that smooths off my rough edges. It's the grease that makes the will spin more smoothly if the deep breath of crisp clean air that makes me think more clearly in the early morning.
It all starts for me each day with two words. Thank you. If you think that life has something more to offer you than it is now giving you take time to enjoy all of life's blessings and then say thank you if you long to experience greater joy each day.
A deeper piece during the quiet moments in a much closer fulfilling relationship with your loved ones, then you have right now.
I say to you say thank you if you want to enjoy all the joy and happiness. Not only that what you want title but also that which God wants you to have say thank you the power to have it all is right in those two little words for that I join you in saying thank nine point not just today and not just as everything for us. Thanksgiving in every thing Pastor broke your radio ministry fellowship Lord, if you ever missed one of our broadcast or maybe you just like the message one more time. Remember, you can Google a great website called in one place.com that's one place.com and you can listen the fellowship and the word online event website you will find on today's broadcast. So many of her previous audio programs as well have Fellowship in the Word. We are thankful for those who financially support our ministry and make this broadcast possible. We ask all of our listeners to prayerfully consider how you might help his radio ministry continuous broadcast on this radio station by supporting us monthly with just the one time gift support for ministry can be sent to Fellowship in the Word. 4600 Clearview Pkwy., Metairie 7006 if you would be interested in hearing today's message in its original format that is is a sermon that Castro delivered during a Sunday morning service at Fellowship Bible church visit our website SBC Nola.org that SBC and LA.O RG at our website you will find hundreds pastor Bill sermon you can browse through our sermon archives to find sermon series you're looking for or you can search by title. Once you find the message you're looking for an online, or if you prefer, you can download the sermon on listening and remembering all this absolutely free of charge. Once again our website is SBC Nola.org forecaster Bill Gebhardt and Jason, thank you for listening to fellowship in order