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It is Good to Give Thanks to God - Part 3

In Touch / Charles Stanley
The Truth Network Radio
November 26, 2021 12:00 am

It is Good to Give Thanks to God - Part 3

In Touch / Charles Stanley

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November 26, 2021 12:00 am

Discover what giving thanks to God looked like in biblical times and what it should look like now.

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Welcome to the In Touch Podcast with Charles Stanley for Friday, November 26th. The Bible tells believers to give thanks in everything.

It's not a suggestion, it's a command. Today's program offers some ways to express gratitude to our Heavenly Father, no matter what. In the Old Testament, there was one tribe that was specifically given the responsibility of the upkeep of the tabernacle at first and then the temple. Also took care of the music and all the sacrifices and everything that went on when it came to worship.

And that was the tribe of Levi, the Levites we call them. And their responsibility was to give guidance in those times and notice, if you will, in the twenty-second chapter of Leviticus, speaking of them, when you sacrifice a sacrifice of thanksgiving to the Lord, you shall sacrifice it so that you may be accepted. So I just give you that verse to say that the offer of sacrifice for thanksgiving was very important. Now, they had other offerings and other sacrifices like, for example, for sin and for guilt and all the rest. But it's interesting that one of those sacrifices was with the sacrifice of thanksgiving.

And also in the, in First Chronicles, there's a chapter here also that tells us how they went about all that. And they just want you to see something interesting here because these people were responsible for all the sacrifices. And this is an indication of how important the thank offering was, the sacrifice. It says they are to stand every morning to thank and to praise the Lord and likewise at evening. So when these sacrifices were given, they were given morning and evening.

And it's also interesting in this ninety-second psalm, he says here, to declare your loving kindness in the morning and your faithfulness by night. So that throughout their time, from the time they were delivered out of Egyptian bondage, God began to work in their life. He gave them rules and regulations and certain sacrifices and ordinances and so forth. And right in the center of all of that was His whole idea of gratitude to God. Now, why would He do that?

Well, think about this. First of all, they were surrounded by heathens everywhere. They grew up.

They were there four hundred years. They grew up in the midst of all this. God was intent on them understanding who He was, the one true God. And secondly, that they would not find themselves mingling and intermarrying and committing idolatry among the other people. And so it was God's desire to get their attention focused on Him and to keep it focused on Him.

Well, how could He do that? Well, one of the ways He could do that was that one of their ordinances was that they were to meet or to assemble or whether it was private or whatever. But nationwide, these Levites were required, part of their responsibility, to offer a thank offering every morning and a thank offering every evening.

So what did that do? That kept their attention upon the one who was their Creator, the one who had delivered them from Egyptian bondage, and the one who was their provider and the one who was their guide, Almighty God, Jehovah. And so that went on for year after year after year. And you recall that here's what God said to them when He brought them out of Egyptian bondage and Moses spoke to them. And He said to them, this you are to remember all the years of your life.

And you have to hand it down to every generation, your children and your children's children and children's children down through the generations. They are never to forget God's deliverance across the Red Sea. Now, He could have delivered them some other way.

He could have manipulated them, whatever's necessary. But I think one of the primary reasons that He brought them to the Red Sea in a time when they were absolutely totally defeated, it looked like, and then He delivered them was because He needed to do something so dramatic they would never forget it. And to be the enemy of the greatest power on earth at that time and on their way to facing death. Here they were at the Red Sea and they could hear the rumbling of the chariots of Pharaoh and God delivered them. And He said, now you're to tell your children and your children's children down through the ages of God's deliverance. Well, the truth is that is exactly why God gave them many of these laws and regulations to keep reminding them He was the one true God.

The worst thing that could have happened to them was to intermarry and second only to living in idolatry. Because the Egyptians had so many gods and all of a sudden now there's just one God that's only always been just one. But now they're to learn the lesson that this one true God, Jehovah, is the one who delivered them.

They must never forget it. They were to continually thank God for that deliverance. So the reason I'm putting an emphasis on that is because I want you to remember when this message is over, that you and I also in the mornings and in the evenings, in the mornings we rise to face the day, in the evening when we go to bed and for a night's rest, we should give thanks to God that He created us, that we're alive, that we're somebody. And secondly, that He has delivered us from the power of sin.

He's delivered us from the bondage of sin in our life. And as a child of God, a true believer, we are to thank Him also for the fact of His provision for our life every single day. And we're to remember also that He, the one true God, guides us, provides for us, delivers us, created us.

We owe Him everything. And when a person is very ungrateful to God, when a person says, well, this is my life, I can do what I please, they're forgetting the fact that every single thing about them, every part of their human being was the creation of God. And that He created us to love Him, to obey Him, to serve Him, to worship Him, to adore Him. That He is Almighty God. And when you look in the Scriptures and see how many verses there are to this whole idea of praise and worship and singing, this is a vital part from God's perspective.

He wanted them to learn to recognize that He is the source of all that they have. Turn back, if you will, to the fiftieth Psalm and notice what he says here about people who do honor Him and do praise Him, recognize who He is. He says in the fiftieth chapter and the twenty-third verse, He who offers a sacrifice of thanksgiving honors me. That is, when you and I take the time to pray and to thank Him and to show our gratitude toward Him, He says it honors Him. So, this continuing all through the Psalms, especially God has so arranged the Word of God, that you and I are continually reminded to give thanks.

You also remember that oftentimes when we're going through difficulty and hardship, where do you turn? You turn to read the Psalms because they're comforting and encouraging to us. And so, we read the Psalms and over and over and over again, God wants us to be thankful people.

There are a lot of people who will say thank you to God and deep down inside, it's not real, true genius. You see, if I'm genuinely thanking Him, what I want to do is I want to please Him. I want to thank Him for what He's doing for me.

And so, I want to please Him. What brings Him the greatest pleasure? It's to see His children walking in obedience to Him because you know what?

Now He's getting ready to bless them again. He loves blessing and providing and guiding us and directing us in our life. He wants to see us live out His will and His purpose and His plan for our life. So, when we're walking obediently before Him, we are pleasing the heart of God.

We're making the heart of God rejoicing. He says, if you love me, you will obey me. So, if I obey Him, it's because I love Him. And if I love Him and obey Him, then what happens?

I can rejoice and thank Him and that thanksgiving has come from a heart of genuine sincerity. God, I am very, very grateful for what You've done. If I really mean that, I'm going to live a godly, righteous life. And so, I think about oftentimes how we live out our lives and, and I think about how we worship Him and how we praise Him.

There are lots of different ways. But when it boils down to the bottom line, if I live an obedient life, it's because I'm grateful for what He's done. And if I don't live an obedient life, I am not grateful. You say, well, but I believe you can be grateful and still. Well, let me put it this way. It doesn't mean you're going to have a perfect life.

Nobody's going to. It's not talking about perfection because we all say things, do things we should not do, which is a sin at times. So, what we have to ask is this. Suppose I sin and I ask God to forgive me and He cleanse me. Now, and I thank Him. Well, the first thing you ought to do after you've confessed that sin is to thank Him for His forgiveness, right? You thank Him for His forgiveness. What does that lead me to think about? Jesus' death at the cross.

He paid my sin debt in full. And so, it doesn't mean we're going to be a perfect person, but it means that our heart is bent toward obeying Him. That's in the desire of our heart. That's the motivation of our heart.

We get up in the morning. We choose to obey Him and not to obey Him. If my heart is fully and truly grateful, I will obey Him. So, that's one of the ways. Now, another way is that we, is public worship, for example. And I want you to think about something. We come to church and we sing, most people do, and we praise the Lord.

So, let me ask you a question. Why do you go to church? Most people go to church in order to receive something that will help them live a godly life or help them through some crisis or some situation, sickness, death, sorrow, whatever. They go for a reason. And most people who go to church go to church to receive something.

But remember this. God's primary purpose for bringing us together, and He says, forsake not the assembling of yourselves together. His primary reason is that we do what? That we worship Him. That we adore Him. That we love Him. That we give Him thanks. We come week after week, not just to receive, but to praise Him. We've come to worship God.

Now, think about this. When we come to church and the Lord speaks the truth of God's Word through His servant, whoever he is, then what's happening? God is giving you something. When you come and you sing and praise Him, you're giving something back to God.

Right? If you come to church late, after all the singing's over, and you get in time here, just in time to hear the preaching, here's what's happened. You came to get, but you didn't come to give anything. What's happening is you, God's ready to give you something, but He wants you first of all, listen, to give Him. Listen, when you come and you begin to sing and praise the Lord, that opens your heart to hear the truth of the gospel. It prepares you for it. It would be much more difficult physically and emotionally and spiritually if I just walked in on Sunday morning, no music, no orchestra, nothing.

Just walked in and start speaking. Now, I have to do that lots of times in different places, but there's something much more energizing and much more reviving when there's music and there's praise and people's hearts are open. You're talking about God and thank You, dear God, that when I'm weak, I'm going to be strong.

When I'm poor, I'm going to be rich. All the things that we sing in these choruses that we sing. Public worship is very important to the child of God. That's why the nation of Israel, they'd have these huge festivals and in those festivals, of course, there was sacrifices of thanksgiving and different seasons of the year. They had different sacrifices in their praise and worship. These were happy times. They were joyous times.

They were holy times, but they were also happy, joyous times that when so many of the people got together to worship and praise God. The same thing is true today, that God wants us to assemble ourselves together to praise Him. There's this something about hearing the voices of someone that says, Well, the reason I don't sing is because I don't know how to sing. Well, remember this, God give you your voice?

Yes. You say, Well, I can't sing like other people. Are you singing for them? No, you're singing for God. So, it doesn't make any difference how you sound. When you are singing to God and you're praising Him, maybe you can't read a note.

Don't worry about it, most folks can't. It's not reading notes, you're praising God. What I want you to see is this, if you don't come until all that's over, you came to receive, but you didn't come to give. There's something about praising Him and worshipping Him and adoring Him together. And you know, sometimes when we have what we want, when we want it, it's easy to neglect it.

And then when it's taken away from us, all of a sudden we miss it. Suppose there were no churches. Then what would you do? No matter how you lived your Christian life, there'd be this big gap. That when God's people get together and they look to Him and praise Him and worship Him and adore Him, whatever the song, it may be an old hymn, or it may be one of these choruses. But you are expressing something. And that's why I'd say to you, sometimes I look around and I don't judge people, I just observe them. And somebody's sitting there, never saying, never open their mouth. Here's what I'm saying.

You are missing something. There's something about God's Word coming out of you and expressing it to him and nobody else may hear what you're saying. And most people not listening to you anyway, they're singing and praising God. And one of the ways we express our gratitude and thanksgiving is simply by praising Him in public worship together.

One last thing, and that is by giving generously. That's the way we express our gratitude and our thanksgiving. Now think about this. This is so simple. Shouldn't even have to say it.

Needs to be said. Listen, our heavenly Father who created you, who delivered you from the power of sin, gave you the gift of salvation, who provides for you every breath that comes, He could stop it any second. Heart could beat last time. Everything in your body could shut down.

It still works perfectly. And He's the source of it all. Think about this. All the things you and I have to be grateful for. Would you not agree that it is not genuine thanksgiving when you assemble in the Lord's house with the body of His people, as the pattern was in the Old Testament as well as the New, and never give God a dime, never give Him anything. How can you genuinely say, I am thankful to Almighty God for what He does for me, but the money which He made possible for me to own and to work and to have good health and earn a salary, now I'm not giving Him any of that. You see, if I'm thankful, listen, this is why the Bible speaks of the, watch this, the sacrifices of thanksgiving.

It was something, listen, it wasn't just in their lips, it was in their life, in their goods, in their material possessions. And one of the ways that we can, a good barometer for our true genuine worship and thanksgiving is, what do I give? You say, well, all these churches they've got, that's not the issue. The issue's not where you go to church, what that church budget is, all, that's not the issue.

The issue is, what do you give? How do you express genuine gratitude to God? Now, biblical, genuine, godly thanksgiving has nothing to do with a day on the calendar. And the question is, am I a godly, thankful person walking in obedience to Him?

Or I'm just out there doing my thing, getting what I need in life, and when I get in trouble, I call on God to help me. And it's just amazing to me how a person can be so blessed that so many people are. Never give God one copper penny. That's not gratitude.

The Old Testament, listen, they would never have thought of such a thing. So, when you think about how to say thank you to Him, lots of ways. Those last two are giving generously, living godly.

You cannot eliminate these and say, yes, I'm grateful to God. And my prayer for you is that you will have the kind of spirit in your relationship to God that giving to Him is a joy. Giving to Him is a privilege.

Giving to Him is an opportunity because you can't out-give Him. And besides that, if you never got anything in return, you will have honored God by your worship, singing, praising, living godly. Giving generously, you will have worshiped the living God.

And that's my prayer. That you would live that kind of life so that you would be the most blessed possible by His loving, giving hand. And Father, how grateful we are when we think about how often You have to forgive us for our ingratitude, our thoughtlessness when You have given us so much. Thank You that You created us. Thank You that You have delivered us from the power of sin. Thank You that You provide for us every day. And thank You for giving guidance in every circumstance of life. And we praise You for it. In Jesus' name, amen.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-07-17 07:13:57 / 2023-07-17 07:21:47 / 8

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