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November 25, 2021 3:00 am
When we thank God consistently faithfully constantly in every situation where manifesting a spirit control life.
Nothing more wonderful than a maintainer joyful grateful attitude so that people can see. God has truly transformed wrapped up in the difficulty.
But, as you will see on this Thanksgiving day addition of grace to you. Your earthly condition should never dictate how thankful you are so join John MacArthur as he continues his message titled, in everything give thanks and learn how to praise God in any circumstance, and John before we get started, let me wish you and Patricia and your family a joyous time together today and maybe just a quick question I've heard you say many times that Thanksgiving is your favorite holiday because it's so focused on the Lord so focused on the active Thanksgiving so talk about that. Yeah I just think it's uncluttered that it hasn't been co-opted by the world for some other reason. I think even in the secular world stops and to some degree or another says thanks for whatever things they can come up with that they're benefiting from, but from a Christian standpoint. Thanksgiving is just this simple, uncluttered day. Maybe it's because I was raised in a family where that's what we did on Thanksgiving. We thank the Lord and we raise our kids that way. We went around the room Thanksgiving after Thanksgiving after Thanksgiving.
What are you thankful for what you thankful for what you thankful for a week.
We've done that for decades sooner through most of my life is an opportunity for us to gather together the things that the Lord has done and give him gratitude from the bottom of our hearts, and again it seems to be a day when everybody stays put. I don't know if it is that way with you in our family.
They come early and they stay late.
It's just a full day and there's no distractions just the sheer joy of being together, and because the Lord has so graciously saved our children and is in the process of obviously bringing our grandchildren into his kingdom.
And now that we have three great grandsons though who are filling our lives with joy which we are here to see how their parents raise them in the love of the Lord so that that just increases our joy, but it's a family time.
It's an uncluttered time and it's always been our favorite holiday right and I don't say this often enough, but I know a lot of our listeners would join me in this, you're one of the things I'm thankful for. And thank you for your faithfulness for your teaching. You made a huge impact on lots of our lives will thank you Phil. You've done the same for me, and now friend as you gather with loved ones today. We're thankful you've taken time to listen to this broadcast. As you stay tuned, you're going to hear about the ultimate source of thankfulness and how you can experience joy in every circumstance. So here's John now with an appropriate message. Good for Thanksgiving day and every day in everything give thanks. This will turn again in your Bible to first Thessalonians chapter 5 verse 18 where are looking at just a couple of commands that are given to us in this very practical section in everything give thanks in everything give thanks, rejoice always in everything give thanks, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus. So were talking here about this constant attitude of gratitude and this constant expression of thanks. If we use it have received Jesus as Lord. We are to walk the way he walked.
Perhaps then we should turn to an illustration of the gratitude of Jesus himself. Jesus was grateful for what God gave to him grateful for God's blessing given to him. He accepted whatever it was that God gave him with a grateful heart.
He says in verse 26 of Matthew 11 yes father, for thus it was well pleasing in thy sight, all things have been handed over to me by my father and no one knows the son except the father, nor does anyone know the father except the son and anyone to whom the son wills to reveal him just reminding you that everything that Jesus had everything that came his way. Good and bad, even including the cross was from the father was well pleasing in the father site because of that Jesus embraced it all and actually did so with a measure of gratitude.
No matter how difficult, how painful it was when he prays to the father in John 17. The tone is a tone of of of sorrow and get a tone of trust he has accomplished his task gladly willing and even thankfully that is ready to go back to the father one verse kind of sums that attitude up.
John 1141 father. I think the without her. Just me and I knew that that her dismay always because of the people standing around.
I said it, that they may believe that thou didst send me. I think the that thou hardest me that always you hear me. That was at the grave of Lazarus.
As you remember, Jesus was thankful that the father always heard his prayers. Jesus was thankful whatever the father gave him to do, even if it was to die on the cross, he said, nevertheless not my will, but thine be done when he was in the upper room at the Last Supper, when he established the communion service. He took some bread, and after he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to them and said this is my body which is given for you.
Do this in remembrance of me.
And there he was thanking God for the bread which essentially was thanks to God for the privilege of suffering in the plan of God for sinners and so it is then going back to our text, and we don't need to spend a lot of time on this because it's so clear enough to simply point you in the direction of its intentions going back to our text in everything give thanks.
Paul then adds, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus. Now that likely refers back to all three of the commands, the one in verse 16 rejoice always the one in verse 17 pray without ceasing, which are comment on at the end and in everything give thanks, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.
God wants you, always joyful, always prayerful and always thankful this is the will of God for those who are in Christ.
Those who belong to the Lord.
This is a very clear directive unmistakable. What hinders a thankful heart.
Number one doubt about God doubt about God doubt about God's wisdom doubt about God's love doubt about God's word doubt about God's immutability or change listeners doubt about God's power you're not thankful, because you don't believe God can overrule the problems that you have to bring about his glory in your good. Wherever there is ingratitude in your life no matter what's going on. Wherever there is a failure to thank God for his purpose unfolding in the situation, whatever it might be. There is a serious sin taking place because to doubt God is in a sense to say that you can't trust what he says about himself and that borders on blasphemy. The second thing that hinders gratitude is selfishness. It's the inability to say. Nevertheless, your will be done.
It's not being able to say what Jesus said father if there is any way to get out of this. If there's any way that this cuff could pass for me.
I would like that. Nevertheless, your will be done. Selfishness, as I really don't care what your will is this is what I want. It's really a kind of a God complex. I want to be God and I want to call the shots I want to make the choice that will hinder your gratitude self-will. If it dominates you is more important to you than God's will, what you want is far more important what God wants. Even though you have no clue as to what is best.
You have no right to define for him.
What is best for you or what is best for him. I think another thing that hinders thankfulness is worldliness.
It's getting caught up in the pleasures and the people and the places in the possessions and the pursuits and the popularity and the prestige the define human life God in Christ.
Don't fill your vision.
It's not like David in Psalm 16 I set the Lord always before me.
Therefore my heart is glad in my glory rejoices. I mean he means by that his his voice as long as I set the Lord before me. I have constant joy and constant gratitude as long as I have my focus on him. As long as I set my affections on things above it long as I have, you know what the old theologians used to call the beatific vision as long as Christ is the object of everything. I'm going to be thankful but when I get my eyes on the world and I begin to measure out my life in terms of what in the world I get or don't get my gratitude disappears. Another thing I think it's obvious is a critical spirit critical spirit.
If you are negative person. If you're a bitter person.
If you have a sour, generally a sour attitude in life if it's unchecked, it will destroy a thankful heart little blind your vision will destroy your relationships. It will make you really an ugly person to be with and you'll become useless to people in useless to God. A critical attitude judge mental attitude condemning attitude corrodes spirituality to say nothing of destroying love and I don't care what you say or what you do if you have not love your what your nothing Europe banging gong in a clanging cymbal.
Critical attitude judge mental attitude steals gratitude another thing to that will rob you of gratitude is impatience, impatience, people give thanks because their perception is that God is not operating on their daytime or schedule they got it down for Thursday but Thursdays come and gone.
Come on God. I don't have time to be dallying here. Move they want everything on their schedule on their timetable. People do silly things like this in the Lord to show me by next Tuesday and if I don't need it.
If I don't get to know by Tuesday I'm going they want everything fixed in their timeframe and on the opposite of all these things are to be obvious what engenders a thankful heart is trust in God not doubt a servant attitude, unselfishness, absolute abdication of all your rights so that God's will is all that matters. A focus on Jesus Christ being consumed with him rather than the world a loving attitude, forgiving, gracious, kind tenderhearted this and gratitude wells up in a heart that is marked by great patients. I think they're just a couple of other practical things I could mention coldness, I coldness or sort of spiritual lethargy or spiritual indifference really does kill gratitude where your love for God grows cold like the first love in the church at Ephesus where there's a lack of zeal and serviceability.
People come to church and that's good you come you come you come you don't serve. If you don't give your life away you don't spend your life in the kingdom of God.
You fiddle around with your life in here and there and things are trivial in passing.
You don't have a passion for the service of Christ.
Lack of diligence in the study of Scripture, lack of passion and worship neglect of the Bible waste of time, leaving you really so caught up in the temporal, but you have no cognizance of what's going on in the spiritual realm.
One of the contributors to my own joy obviously is that I'm so engulfed and engaged in ministry that there is no end to the things that make me joyful that make me thankful and I suppose we could save another hindrance to gratitude is rebellion just outright rebellion. You just do not like your lot in life you just plain angry with God at the way things have gone all this is sin. All this is defying the spirits command even though things are bad. It is not outside the plan of God, not outside the discipline of God. The perfecting of your life through difficulty and trial and suffering. As we saw there were certain hindrances to joy in the pretty much the same to gratitude. Let's flip it around and we talked about motives for joy in rejoicing. One of the motives for gratitude.
Well really the same God's character God is Almighty's working everything to your good God is holy. He is perfect he never makes a mistake. There is no capability for God to error in what he thinks about something.
The way he assesses something that's why Psalm 34 Psalm 30 verse four says give thanks to his holy name. The so hopefully he can make a mistake you can't make a misjudgment he can't wrongly assess something he can't interpret things inaccurately. Absolute perfection exists in his holy nature. Every determination is accurate every assessment is accurate. Every decision, every choice, every move, every word so again, be glad in the Lord. Psalm 97 verse 12, you righteous ones and give thanks to his holy name were reminded to give thanks to the one whose name is holy, flawless judgment, and of course another motive to our gratitude is God's goodness and mercy is so merciful toward us and so gracious toward us and so good to us that we have every reason to believe that even in our pain and our suffering. He has good intentions. Listen to Psalm 106 verse one. Praise the Lord will give thanks to the Lord for he is good and his lovingkindness. That's his his mercy, his grace is ever lasting you can give thanks to the Lord because he's good and that means everything he does is for our good. Back to Romans 828 Psalm 107 verse one says the same thing.
Oh, give thanks to the Lord for he is good for his lovingkindness is ever lasting. He will be no other than the God who is good to his people again.
Psalm 136 repeats the same thing over and over about giving thanks to God.
We can certainly give thanks again.
Second Corinthians 915 for the unspeakable gift of Christ. So were thankful for God for his character. For Christ were thankful for all the good gifts that the Lord gives us listen to first Timothy 444. Everything created by God is good and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with gratitude, for it is sanctified by means of the word of God and prayer that is referring even to our food.
Everything comes down from good from a good God as a gift to his people. His mercies are new to us every morning great is his faithfulness, and of course the Bible goes on to be thankful for divine guidance to be thankful for victory over sin to be thankful for victory over death to be thankful is Philippians 4 says that my God shall supply all your needs according to his riches in Christ Jesus to be thankful for the power of the word of God first Thessalonians might read that to 13. For this reason, we also constantly thank God that when you received from us the word of God's message, you accepted it not as the word of men, but for what it really is the word of God. How thankful we should be for the teaching of the word of God. So it goes on and on and on and when we thank God consistently faithfully constantly in every situation where manifesting a spirit control life. God is glorified. We are blessed the church is built up and lost people are being reached. Nothing more wonderful than to maintain joyful grateful attitude so that the people can see that God has truly transformed our lives.
Well, that's just a summary go back to the text thrown in the middle of these verses. Just a comment about this.
Is this statement pray without ceasing, and it strikes me is so characteristic of the amazing balance that you find in the word of God rejoice always. Why because everything is under the control of God in everything give thanks. Why because everything is under God's control. Everything is worked out. It's all working together for good to them the love God and are called according to his purpose.
Because we have a sovereign God because we have a sovereign Lord because we have a sufficient Christ because we have a powerful resonant Holy Spirit because we have all things pertain to life and godliness. All spiritual blessings in heavenly's and on and on because we have received from him.
Justification and sanctification.
The promise of glorification because everything we need in this life is ours and all that he has promised us in the life to come, we will receive. We have an unassailable promise. We have an inheritance said that is laid up for us that is incorruptible. The fate of Nodaway that someday we will receive everything is planned everything is settled. We have nothing to worry about. Nothing to be anxious about in everything we give thanks and right in the middle of that he says that almost seems completely out of place, pray without ceasing an immediate responses for what made the assumption here is that the reason we rejoice all the time and give thanks all the time is because all the bases are covered.
What we prayed about here.
That's that marvelous balance were rejoicing all the time because God is in control of it all were giving thanks all the time because he's control of it all and yet we relentlessly unceasingly come before him to pour out the petitions that are driving in our hearts.
Why that to his command will how Duke for how do our prayers fit into God's plan. Amenities already sovereign and it's all how do they fit I can answer the question. I just know that God works his plan through the prayers of his people just finished going over this a little book on prayer kind of emphasizing the intimate personal aspects of prayer and poring back over these things in my mind looking for some kind of sort of resolution to that that I could fit perfectly in my little sort of analytical mind just exactly the slot that unceasing prayer fits into the sovereign plan of God and its elusive.
I can't find it. All I know is this the God is an absolute control of everything so that my joy is on hindered.
God is in control of everything so that my gratitude never ceases and at the same time prayer rises and pours out of my heart all the time and there's no schizophrenia, there because God effects his purposes through the prayers of his people.
The can't be saved without believing even though God is the one who saves sinners can't be saved unless they hear the truth. They can't hear the truth unless they have a preacher right so God as an eternal plan to save the redeemed humanity. But the plan works through the faithful preachers through the witness's why were told to go to all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. And James says the effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man effects much produces much.
I can't answer how God does anything.
I only know what he does what he tells us to do but just as God saves, but not apart from human instrument to give the message and God saved but not apart from a human repenting and believing. So God works is consummate plan but not apart from the intercession of his people. So, just as he has determined that his eternal set saving plan would be worked to its perfection through his beloved people taking the gospel to the ends of the earth, so his purpose also unfolds through the prayers. The intercession, the relentless petitions of his own beloved people. So I would suggest you that you pray without ceasing, that you respond to the promptings of the spirit of God and if you have some kind of theology that stops your prayer life. You get a bad theology. It's it's incomplete. We have reason for unceasing joy, unceasing gratitude and unceasing prayer. All three are God's will in Christ Jesus was. We have found that true spirituality is manifest joy manifest gratitude that sums up what it is to be filled with the spirit that sums up what it is to be dominated by divine truth. So make us people of joy make us people of gratitude not unsympathetic, not insensitive, not lacking compassion always laughing with those that laugh and weeping with those that weep.
Understanding the toil and the tears of human life, but down below. Underneath all of that people who know that because you are our sovereign God, all wise, all loving and all-powerful. There is constant joy and gratitude as a reasonable response to everything that goes on in our lives. That's our desire prayer is this is grace to you with John MacArthur. Thanks for being with us along with teaching here on radio John pastors Grace Community Church and serves as Chancellor of the Masters University in seminary in Southern California today special Thanksgiving broadcast was a look at how to give thanks in everything as Scripture says in everything give thanks and friend as you celebrate Thanksgiving today know how very thankful we are for you. Would love to hear how John's verse by verse. Teaching is benefiting you and your family when you have a moment let us know how your listening and learning that's more important to us than you know. Make sure to include this station's call letters when you send your letter to Grace to you. Box 4000 panorama city, CA 91412. You can also email us at firstname.lastname@example.org that email address one more time. email@example.com and don't forget thousands of free firstname.lastname@example.org, including our blog video from John's various television and conference and 3500 sermons all available free of charge in MP3 or transcript format and if you're not sure where to start checkout grace dream. It's a unique way to listen to John's teaching through the New Testament, it starts in Matthew and goes through revelation in a continuous loop and start all over again. It's a great way to immerse yourself in God's word. The sermon archive grace, dream, and much more. All available TTY.now for John MacArthur and all of us here at grace to you.
I'm Phil Johnson. Wishing you and your family a happy Thanksgiving and be here tomorrow when John shows you the specific reasons you have to be thankful not just today but every day. Don't miss the next half hour of unleashing God's truth was at a time on grace to you