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November 26, 2021 7:00 am
Today on Fellowship in the Word pastor Bill Gebhart challenges you to become a fully functioning follower of Jesus Christ and by the way when the stakes of the greatest visiting intensive care, hospice. I don't know how people relate. I don't know see it could be a lot worse for joining us today on this additional fellowship in the world after Bonaparte Fellowship in the Words the radio ministry of Fellowship Bible church located in Metairie, Louisiana going to have to go get her now how God's word are Laurel my complaint is, by the way, if you can't come up with the right answer. Ask those who opposed the as people at work in neighborhood, your family, your spouse asked my chronic complainer because you might be in my reaping the consequences of my complaining attitude.
My life is not marked with joy is not marked with peace. I'm a slave to the circumstances of my life when they're great I'm great when they're not great I'm rotten maybe most important question in my willing to repent my willing to stop that.
You see the antidote to complaining is thankfulness. That's the antidote go to Luke 17 with me now Luke chapter 17 verse 11.
You know the story. It's pretty familiar. Luke writes this he says while Jesus was on the way to Jerusalem.
He was passing between Samaria and Galilee, and as he entered a village 10 leprous men who stood at a distance met him and they raised their voices crying Jesus master, have mercy on us when he saw them, he said go and show yourselves to the priest, which was required by the way by Levitical law and as they were going. They were all kinds now just imagine this is even more astounding or more profound than exits generation, these men were lepers doing have anything worse after you on this earth and that world ostracized by everybody putting your own colony going through a really difficult way in a long, slow death. They were all cleansed. How would you feel now. One of them. When he saw that he had been healed, turned back, glorifying God with a loud voice, and he fell on his face at Christ's feet, giving thanks to him and then Luke says this he was a Samaritan. I remember the Samaritans or the sort of half Jewish sorter heretical wing they did not did not like the Jews of Judah are Galilee and the Jews hated them.
And yet this Jewish rabbi prophet heals him and he goes to him and worships him and thanks him for what he's done. And Jesus answered and said, were there not 10 cleansed, but nine.
Where are they any says was no one fine. He says who returned to give glory to God except this foreigner and then he said, stand up and go. Your faith has made you well. This is kind of interesting on it on a couple different levels. One thing here there were 10 actions received and there were 10 attitudes chose only one gave thanks the other tended not to notice what he says is the blessing, he said, stand up and go. Your faith has made you well.
That can't be from leprosy because all 10 were cleansed.
The ungrateful ones were cleansed, but they didn't say thanks Jesus is your attitude your gratitude of gratitude your thankfulness made you well with the mean spiritually well you see there's nothing we should be more than thankful all of us are lepers. You see all of us of sin.
There are none righteous, no not one. None of us have a uplifting and positive future. The wages of sin is death. Christ cleanses the expectation is of course thankfulness, gratitude, by way, don't misunderstand. Secondly, thankfulness is far more than saying the right words. We can sing thank you, we can say thank you, but thankfulness is not the same thing is just what we say it may be, but thankfulness is born a heart is an attitude we have inside. It doesn't matter what the words are we say it's it's like the parent you know the parents at a function in a man walks up and gives little Johnny a cookie and Rosati's writer shoving his mother brings a stop. What is it you say to the nice man.
What is nice man painted in a president about his Johnny really grabbed have gratitude or not.
I don't know but I know this. It's not enough just to say thank you. Maybe an illustration would be bettered anything to what thanks as this is maybe the restaurant you go to restaurant and the hostess takes you to your table and you say thank you and them circumcising offers you a menu and use it. Thank thank you.
She says I have some coffee. Would you like some coffee you thank thank you. She brings out the appetizer.
She brings out the entrée. Thank you. She refilled her coffee.
Thank you. She brings out dessert thank you.
She brings her bill and you say thank you now ask anyone is ever served in a restaurant.
There is not a member a direct correlation between how many thank youse. You are in the tip you receive because a tip is thank you.
You see, it's more than words. The definition of gratitude to show that a kindness received is valued does involve our lips but has to generate from our hearts, there are levels of gratitude, sort of like stages, let's look at those for a moment, though the first level. This go to Hebrews 13 Hebrews chapter 13 is a writer of Hebrews is closing Don this letter, and he's given them everything in a nutshell at the end he wants to say a particular thing. He says in verse 15 he said through him or because of him Jesus Christ. Through him, let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God.
That is the fruit of lips that give thanks to his neck.
See, it's good to do that. It's good to say thank you to God it's good to sing. Thank you to God. In fact, if you'll notice what he talks about he uses the word continually. Thank you, thank you wake up in the morning.
Thank you for this new day wake up beside a spouse.
Thank you for my spouse meet the needs of your children.
Thank you for my children.
Thank you for my house. You see, thank you, thank continually, thank you, thank you and actually save the God, thank you. See that's a level of thanks.
He's assuming that our motive is sincere and sometimes it is and sometimes maybe it's not. But the point is we should say thank you to God, especially for Jesus Christ. And then there's a second level. First Thessalonians 5 first Thessalonians chapter 5 we alluded to it in some of the songs were sung. Verse 16 says rejoice always, pray without ceasing, and then Paul says this he says it in everything give thanks, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus in the midst of everything give thanks. In other words, no matter what it is you're going through. Try to have the perspective of what is that I can really be thankful for in this situation years ago I ran into a story from Budapest and a man goes to his rabbi, and he complains that his life is unbearable because there are nine people living in a single room and he said we can't go on like this. Life is just unbearable. What can I do rabbi said to him, but there is something you can do but you have to tell me right now that you will commit to them in the matter what it sounds like to you when I tell you what to do guys and I'll do it because were desperate so the rabbi told him take a goat from the outside stall and bring the goat into the room with you and keep them there for a week and then come back so a week later the man came back to the rabbi and he says rabbi we can't stand it that goat is filthy that goats thinks he's okay is another is the second stage and want to go home and take the gold out of the room and put them back in the stall so he does the next week. The man comes in radiant before the rabbi and exclaims life is beautiful. We enjoy every minute of it. Now there's no gold in the role. So I guess for a lot of times you see the rabbi had a lot of wisdom whenever you think about complaining instead of giving thanks please understand something. Whatever your situation is. It could be a lot worse. You see, it really could and by the way when the stakes of the greatest, it could be a lot worse. Visiting people in intensive care, hospice.
I don't know how people lay there without Christ.
I don't know. You see, it could be a lot worse. So fruit of our lips in everything and now sort of the graduate school Ephesians chapter 5 Ephesians chapter 5, Paul talking about the filling of the controlling of the spirit of God. In verse 18.
He said do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled or controlled by the spirit of God speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs and singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord always member the word always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the father first. Just give thanks again lips. Secondly, give thanks in everything in the midst of it. Now Paul says give thanks for all things while that sort of the minor burst of thankfulness. James McDonald in his book, Lord, change my attitude says this may be your reading this with the health crisis or a great sorrow that won't go away. Maybe you got a financial need.
You and I need he says they get to the place by faith.
Or we can say thank you God.
This is the thing that you're using in my life you've allowed it because you love me and I trust you. Thank you God. Even for this event says. And when we allow the Lord to bring us into that kind of thankfulness. We will experience a depth of joy that we never thought was possible. See, thanking God, not just in everything but thanking God for everything we need to remember we truly need to remember what God has done for us. Thankfulness is the decision we make. You make a decision. It's a choice. Turn with me to Psalm last passage of a look at is Psalm 107 a Thanksgiving Psalm I want to just see what the psalmist writes here just a couple verses out of the Psalm. The psalmist writes all give thanks to the Lord for he is good. His lovingkindness is everlasting. One of the favorite words of the psalmist, the great Hebrew word Hasid which means loyal love, mercy, grace, forgiveness, all wrapped into one Hasid. Thank you for your Hasid and then look at verse eight. Let them give thanks to the Lord for his lovingkindness and for the wonders he says, and for his wonders to the sons of men. Verse 15.
Let them give thanks the Lord for his lovingkindness and for his wonders to the sons of men.
Verse 21. Let them give thanks to the Lord for his lovingkindness and for his wonders that the Son of Man vest verse 31. Let them give thanks to the Lord for his lovingkindness and for his wonders of the sons of men see the psalmist is saying, look, you got to do this. It's a decision and by the way, it's a decision based in reality, you are the recipient of the grace, love mercy of God, the forgiveness of God. You see there's a reality that and look at the wonders that God has given us think of all the things that God has given us the uniqueness of our biological life. The uniqueness of our planet uniqueness the blessing that we have see there's a reality that thankfulness is a decision. It's a decision based in reality and it's a life-changing kind of decision is all fine and one word to me.
The first word of the song all you see that all was that mean as an emotional content to it. He saying all give thanks to the Lord.
Be thankful it's the passion of the message. Again, let me ask you three questions in my thankful person again if you don't know asked somebody else in my thankful person do I value acts of kindness from God and from others in my life to express that value in my seeing the blessings of thanksgiving in my life. See if your thankful person ever show up. It'll show up in your face is almost always a smiling face with thankful person them a sense of peace sense of joy, sense of contentment. It's there.
By the way, I have met many people like that, even in our own church and I know of people that I have visited in the hospital and you can't wipe the smile off your face and there. The patient it's astounding. Maybe the first word you hear instead of how terrible this surgery must've been his. Isn't God good and in some cases, the next thing you hear a sort of a surprise. How are you doing well. You're not visiting me. I'm visiting you.
I'm here to see how you're doing.
See how you do that they've chosen the attitude that God's with the same surgery they face the same rehab I just have a completely different perspective in my seeing the blessings of thankfulness in my life. What percentage of my thoughts are focused on good and positive praiseworthy things. So what Paul said let your mind dwell on these what you're at it. What you think about secondly how often did I do I go out of my way to thank God and to think others who have done things for me and minute in my choosing thankfulness over complaining, moment by moment in my life because, by the way, you have the choice every moment you could be parents.
When shut up. That was really long.
It was too hot. It was too hot. What are they doing is too cold.
Someone wasn't friendly to me.
You see, you could do it and I know some of you do. That's a choice you make over 250 years ago. I love this story. Ever since I heard it is an early Christian by Matthew Henry, a great biblical scholar who was robbed and this is what he wrote in his journal. Let me be thankful first because I was never robbed before. He says secondly because although they took my purse.
It did not take my life. Thirdly, he says let me be thankful. He says that although they took my all.
It wasn't much fourth because it was I who was robbed and he said it or not I who robbed another Laurent thankful you see, that's a thankful person.
Put yourself in that same spot for the words become out of your mouth. What are the thoughts in your head. What's the feeling in your heart. So this Thursday. The choice will become yours. Are you going to have a happy Thanksgiving or not happy complaining day. In fact, by the way that's your choice every day. The father, I am afraid that often we say thank you. We may meet it for a split second or even a couple minutes but he immediately after we do we find ourselves just like the Exodus generation going back to complaining father craning complaining is not only chronic among us, but it's contagious. When we arrived.
People complain we find ourselves complaining father. What I would pray is that we really understand how truly blessed we are that every good thing that we have in our life comes from your hand that you have placed this in our lives in this world that there is a maser of adversity that has passed through your sovereign loving heart that comes to each of us and that your grace is sufficient to get us through that we can do all things through him or strengthens us. Father, we should be known as people of gratitude because of the kindness that we have received in the value that we get father) that we challenge our heart complaining Christ passed 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 one place.com that's one place.com and you can listen the fellowship and the word online website you will find on with today's broadcast but also many of her previous audio programs as well have Fellowship in the Word we are thinking 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 monthly with just a one-time gift support for ministry can be sent to Fellowship in the Word. 4600 Clearview Pkwy., Metairie, LA 7006 if you would be interested in hearing today's message in its original format that is of the sermon, the pastor will deliver during a Sunday morning service at Fellowship Bible church visit our website FVC Nola.org that SBC and oh LA.Margie at our website you will find hundreds pastor Bill sermon you can browse through our sermon archives defined sermon series you're looking you can search by title. Once you find the method you're looking for an online, or if you prefer, you can download the sermon and listening and remembering all this absolutely free of charge. Once again our website is FVC Nola.org forecaster Bill Gebhardt and Jason Denhardt you for listening to fellowship in order