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September 25, 2020 1:27 pm
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These increasing point, we get the decision about your painful past.
Were you thankful that God has brought you through Jeremiah explores the connection between memory and thankfulness to introduce today's message so why should I be thankful is David, thank you for joining us for the weekend edition of Turning Point were answering some questions people have written to us questions that are answered right from one of the Psalms today were to talk about this question of gratitude why we should be grateful. Seems like there's an awful lot of reasons not to be thankful.
But the Bible turns that all around.
In Psalm 92 we learn how important gratitude is in our lives.
Let's talk about it Charles wrote a gripping tale called the haunted man in his writing.
He tells of a chemist who sat before the fire, troubled with unhappy memories as he sat there in dismal reflection phantom appeared and offered the haunted man the opportunity to have his memory destroyed immediately closed with the offer and henceforth was a man not only without a memory but a man who had the power to strip other men of their memories as well.
But according to Dickens story. The gift was a big disappointment.
So great was the misery that he asked the Phantom to come back and the tale comes to a conclusion with the man's grateful and earnest prayer God keep my memory green keep my memory green memory is a word which is both bitter and sweet. It is a strong argument for the sole life for life hereafter.
Someone has said that memory is the well stored library of the mind memory makes the joys of childhood live again memory and the night makes past days to appear all over again.
Memory restores the blessedness that once we knew when we saw the Lord and I love this definition, the best memory is the angel with the backward look memory is the key to gratitude. There is a disease that we treat in our culture today goes by the name amnesia is an interesting word which means actually a without amnesia mind without memory literally means without any memory while it is true that sometimes there are things we wish we could forget. It is also true that it would be very difficult for us to be grateful. People if we could not remember if we could not reflect on what God has done for us in the Psalms are filled with the exhortation for each of us to take that assignment seriously. Here in Psalm 92 we are instructed that it is a good thing to give thanks to the Lord and to sing praises to your name. Almost hi and to declare your loving kindness in the morning and your faithfulness every night on an instrument of 10 strings on the loot and on the harp with harmonious sound for you Lord have made me glad through your work and I will triumph in the work of your hand. The psalmist said it is a good thing. It is a good thing to give thanks to the Lord.
I'd like to reflect with you in three directions. I'd like to ask why it is a good thing to give thanks to the Lord why should I be thankful. What will it do what should I expect from it and first of all I'd like for you to note with me that Thanksgiving and a thankful heart causes us to look upward in the word of God. We are constantly admonished to give thanks and the word of God usually tells us in the same paragraph of instruction where our Thanksgiving is to be addressed here in the Psalm, which we have open to it says it is a good thing to give thanks to the Lord and to sing praises to your name. Almost hi for you Lord says verse four have made me glad through your work I will triumph in the work of your hand. Verse 50 Lord, how great are your works and your thoughts are very deep in verse eight, but you Lord you Lord are on high forevermore. Some is an instruction to us that Thanksgiving. First of all, takes our eyes off of the things that are around us and addresses them upward Thanksgiving really is that which we offer back to God for what he in turn has given to us and it is always an upward look. Psalm 107 says all that men would praise the Lord for his goodness and for his wonderful works to the children of men and let them sacrifice, the sacrifice of Thanksgiving and declare his works with rejoicing.
Psalm 107 21 and 22. There have been many who have expressed a spirit of gratitude and we have read about them both in the tales that have been written about our culture here in America and especially in England, and many of the great historical writings and there are many men in the Scripture, about whom we read that they were grateful. But there is one man who stands out from all the rest of that man is the apostle Paul, I am constantly amazed as I read the letters of the New Testament which are the focus of our study is New Testament believers that Paul was a man who was inoculated with a great spirit of gratitude and I reminded as I say that that he was also the man who suffered greatly who went through many difficult things in his life. And yet at the same time was a man who was filled with gratitude. He constantly focused his attention upon God. He wrote to the Ephesians, giving thanks always for all things unto God. He wrote to the Colossians, and whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the father by him. He wrote to the Thessalonians. We give thanks to God always for you. He wrote to young Timothy. I thank Jesus Christ our Lord, who enabled me. He wrote to Philemon.
I thank my God, making mention of the always in my prayer the psalmist. Psalm 92 directs our attention. First of all upward and I know that seems rather mundane, and perhaps you wonder why we would even mention such a thing. Does it not normally go with the territory that when you come to church. They tell you to think about God. I understand that the very history of the steeple that is seen in most churches is that it points to God and that the picture is that the closer one gets to God. The smaller he sees himself to be so Thanksgiving is obviously God directed. But isn't it interesting how easily we forget that.
And even at Thanksgiving time. We thank each other we spread Thanksgiving in the spirit of gratitude throughout our home.
We never really stopped to reflect upon the fact that Thanksgiving first of all, is an upward calling is a gravitational pull in reverse, bringing our praises upward to God, and someone has given us a litany of the things for which we ought to address Thanksgiving to God for his sovereign control over our circumstances for his gentle compassion in our sorrows for his consistent faithfulness to our highs and lows for his holy character in spite of our sinfulness is strong know when we needed to hear it for his surprising yes. When we have a lack of faith to believe it for his wise weight.
When we were impatient and rash for his commitment to us when we wandered away for his understanding of us when we were confused for his word. That gives us direction and for his love that holds us close and that's just a smattering of reasons why we should be thankful to God. I have a little prayer journal that I keep and I have a section in it for Thanksgiving and I wasn't sure exactly how to write my Thanksgiving.
At first I thought I would just write down the things that I was thankful for. Then I thought, no, that's not a good habit to get into and so I began to write out. Thank you God for this. Thank you God for this in the whole pages and that little Journal are filled with thank you God's because first and foremost in our spirit of gratitude is the upward look.
He is the one who is the author of every good gift that we have. But secondly, it is good to give thanks not only because it causes us to look up it is good to give thanks because it causes us to look around. Paul was not only grateful to God in all of his writings but he was a man who was into relationships. He wasn't alone or he's often painted to be. In fact, if you read his letters, he can close out a letter without giving the names of all the people who were with him at all the people that he knows you are at the point of destination of the letter and he talks about them with fondness and he mentions their names and usually says something about them. And if you read the letters carefully you will see that he is always giving thanks to God for people for friends and for relatives and for people who come alongside him to encourage him first of the 21 he says I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications and prayers and intercessions, and the giving of thanks, be made for all men. Bosses were to give thanks to God for our friends and for our loved ones. If you read through his epistles, you will see him doing that often acts 2815 says, and from there when the brethren heard of us, they came to meet us. When Paul saw them he thanked God and took courage. Every time Paul was next to somebody who God sent to minister to him. He was filled with gratitude. Romans chapter 6 he writes but God be thanked, that whereas you were servants of sin, you have obeyed from the heart. He thanks God for the people respond to the ministry. If you go through all of his letters, I don't think you'll find one that is not salted with the spirit of gratitude for relationships. I don't think you can undersell the importance of friendship. If you have someone you're close to somebody who's ministering to your somebody was put their arm around you, on occasion, someone who may cry and laugh with you, the relationship as you look around is a very very important thing for which to give thanks. I was in Greensboro I was asked to do something I'm never done before. That is the preacher revival meeting.
We don't actually do that much on the West Coast back there in the Bible Belt. They have what they call revival meetings and I want to preacher revival meeting for four nights and it was a great experience and one that I will remember for a long time. On Tuesday night of the meeting.
After I was finished preaching. One of the young women came and asked me if I would speak to someone who was waiting to talk with me.
She said she's too frightened or too embarrassed to come and talk with you. So I went over and sat down and she told me the story. She said you know Friday I was driving in my car and she said I'm embarrassed to tell you this pastor, Jeremiah, but I was on my way to take my life. I was so discouraged and felt so useless and worthless and she said I turned the radio on and I heard this guy teaching life of David and he said he was talking about Saul, and Saul suicide and she said as I drove down the highway. I heard this man say and some of you may be thinking of doing what Saul did, but don't you do it.
It's not what God wants for you and she said it shocked me was almost like the voice and the radio was talking right to me and she said I pull my car off the road. All I could do was cry. She said that I called my friend and here's the issue, and she said my friend came and got me and took me to her house and I stayed with her and her husband all weekend and they would let me leave because they were afraid of what I might do in the friend was the young lady who introduced me to her that night and she said on Monday. My friend asked me if I would go to a meeting with her that night and she said where's the meeting says right here in Greensburg. She said well who's going to speak and she said my friend said it was a man by the name of David Jeremiah and she said that I started to cry again and I told my friend.
That's the man I heard talking to me on the radio on Friday. What's he doing in Greensboro. I was kind of spooked by this whole thing.
I want you to know this is kind of scary and I talked with her and I could tell she was a deeply troubled young lady and going through some real struggles in her life. She came to the services every night that week and on Thursday night when we closed the meeting she came forward and gave her life to Christ. I had a lot of people to talk to so was a long time after the service and she waited to talk with me.
I went over to see her and I want to try something I'm not exaggerating when I say I have never seen a person so transformed, visually, by an encounter with the Almighty God, her face, her countenance are holy bearing was changed Jesus Christ to come to live within her and I knew she was a new creation. But you know what the difference was for that young lady I know the radio had something to do with it. The church service had something to do with it but you know what the real difference was it was a friend who came and got her at the point of her crisis, put her arm around her and brought her into her own home and when she gives Thanksgiving this year to God, she will have many things on her list, but she will have one thing she will have to be very grateful for that is a relationship that was worthy and that helped her through a difficult time. If you read the epistles you will see that Paul had that kind of incredible fondness for the people who minister to him. I hear him saying in second Timothy to his friends.
I wish I could be with you. I'm sad that you can't be here bring my coat when you come in specially bring my books. You get the pictures you read the letter that Paul wrote that he was very involved in relationships when you look around you can't help but be thankful for relationships because I had one other thing you need to be thankful for circumstances to which you please look back with me for a moment at Psalm 92 and notice how he addresses the subject of gratitude. He says in verse two we are to declare your lovingkindness in the morning and your faithfulness every night. He's chosen the words carefully, at least if there any mirror of my experience when I wake up in the morning. I feel the sense of God's presence in my life and so grateful for the night of rest, if indeed it is been such a night and refresh for the new day and just the sense of God's presence is a Hebrew word is the word acid and is the word translated lovingkindness and it's a rich rich word that just describes the goodness in the graciousness of God in the morning. The psalmist is overwhelmed with God's is lovingkindness, but at night it's a different word. It's his faithfulness. Who of us have not stood on the edge of the day and looking back over the day seen the many places where we could've gotten off the track, many places where if God had not been good to us. We could have truly walked astray and we thank him that he's been faithful to us. But notice this is every day. This is day in and day out in his God's goodness to us morning and night, and there's another place where talks about praising and thanking God at midnight and at noontime in all of our lives, day in and day out would have a spirit of gratitude regardless of the circumstances. It's hard to do that sometimes. Did you know the reason. Thanksgiving day is a time for us to feast is because of the courage of one man who wanted to turn adversity around into something positive along brought had produced the failure of crops in the solemn assembly was called for day of fasting and prayer, and one after another the different ones related the hardships of the new life and lamented the destructive drawer and what it had done. And finally, another farmer got up and he started to speak freely of how they had provoked Kevin with her complaints and he reviewed the mercies they had already enjoyed and he reminded them that they had not been as grateful as they should have been and he suggested, in fact, he made a motion that instead of appointing a day for fasting, they should appoint a day for feasting and this was done and it is claimed that our Thanksgiving day is a continuation of that it almost was a fast and it turned out to be a feast. Someone try to reflect this kind of a spirit in the Monday and kind of simple way and wrote this little piece I've God inherits his Lord. Thank you for the sake of dirty dishes.
We do have good food to eat.
Thank you for this pile of dirty laundry. We do have my close to where I like to thank you for these unmade beds. They sure were comfortable last night.
My thanks for this bathroom complete with spattered near soggy towels and grimy laboratory. It's still very convenient. Thank you for this finger smudged refrigerator that needs defrosting so badly. It has served us faithfully for a long time, and insider cool drinks and enough leftovers for another meal. Thank you for this oven that absolutely must be clean today. It is because many good things over the years of God. Our whole family is grateful for the tall grass that needs mowing. We all enjoy our private yard. Thank you for the slamming screen door. The children are healthy and able to run and play Lord the presence of all these chores awaiting me says that you have richly bless this family. I do them all cheerfully and gratefully a man and who among the housewives and the mothers and homemakers would like to have that pasted on the refrigerator for a dark day in the midst of the mundane chores you can still be thankful. Can you because everything that turns out to be a difficulty in our eyes is usually if we look behind it. The evidence of something good God has done for us is Metro and so when you look around and that's the point I want to get across to you. First of all, you look up at God and then you look around and you see the people that you're involved with, and you see the circumstances that God is brought into your life and you give thanks that I want to suggest to you. Thirdly and finally, the Thanksgiving causes us to look within causes us to look inwardly, can you look back over this year and chart anything that God is not in your life as a grown you up in any way has a worked you over in any way as he strengthened you at the core of who you are when you look back and say boy hasn't been great year for me, but I have learned so much about God. During this year. One writer reflects the list of inward praises by saying, Lord, thank you for the gift of good health. Thank you for eyes that see the beauty of your creation for years that receive the world of sound surrounding us. Thank you for the special stimulation of taste and touch forehands to work with them legs to walk with for a mind that is curious and creative and competent for memories of past pleasures for heartaches that forced me to rearrange my priorities for broken dreams and lingering afflictions that humbled me for the courage to tell the truth when it really hurt for the determination to finish a demanding task for sense of humor that brought healing and hope and for the sheer delight of knowing and walking with you through another year.
You know what I'm just so grateful today that I'm standing behind this place we call the pulpit and still have the privilege of ministry still have the opportunity to open the book of God with you every week.
Still have the opportunity to share his truth and to sing his praises until help lead in worship and all of that is because of what God is doing and has done in my heart when I look inward I see the traces of the hand of God in my life when an incredible thing to be able to observe. I am not the same man that I was in, though I'm not what I want to be and not what I ought to be. Thank God I'm not what I was a man, do you ever stop to look inward and say, God, thank you for what you've done in my life. First, we look up and then we look around and then we look in and grateful Lewis leads is one of my favorite writers.
He wrote an interesting little book. It's kind of a book that was program for the secular market called a pretty good person when he tried to do in this book was the sort of defiant if you ran into somebody and you said or that guy's a pretty good person will he be like what kind of person is a pretty good person and he has several things he talks about courage and grit and all the sort of thing, but right up front.
Interestingly enough, he talks about the fact that a pretty good person is a person with gratitude and he tells a story about something that happened in his life and I want you to listen carefully because I found myself caught up in the spirit of the story and feeling like I had been there a couple of times myself. He said his wife Doris hopped back into our apartment on a frightfully cold December morning and found me collapsed on the tiled kitchen floor of our apartment my face.
She told me later, was a dirty gray eyes open. But looking nowhere conveying to her. Sure, sense of death.
She kept her head, checked my pulse and listen for something breathing when she was satisfied that I had enough breath in me the last few minutes.
She rushed out to call an ambulance driver hooked me up to their oxygen tank loaded us both aboard skidded us down a country road into the trauma center of the hospital that serves the sturdy people of St. Cloud, Minnesota. The reflects we had pushed each other out of bed early that morning even though it was 30° below zero.
Because we were planning to pack our things to leave Minnesota that day and get moving back to our house in Sierra Madre, California. Doris and I have been living in St. John's University, a stones throw from St. Cloud for a few months and were primed for taking off that next day for California. I had slept poorly, wrote Lewis, bothered by dull aches in my right calf during the night and I got up from bed with a feeling of unease about myself but it being traveling day I tried to ignore it. We pulled some close over our thermal knit underwear eight bowls of hot oatmeal dry cups of black coffee to the public radio for late reports on road conditions.
To the south of us were it had been snowing heavily for several days. My unsteadiness did not go away so I decided to curl up on the couch for a few minutes before I got serious about packing. Doris told me that she was going out to get some traveling suggestions from her sister but actually with her intuition for things that might be going wrong.
She went to ask for the name of the doctor that you might call in case I was really as sick as she was afraid I was having gotten the name of the doctor. She walked back into the kitchen and found me lying near the telephone that had called me off the couch and I was looking quite dead my lungs. It turned out, said Lewis made had been splattered by a buckshot of blood clots and for a couple of days at the hospital. I tilted heavily in debt's direction. On the fourth day, a Norwegian physician by the name of Hans England leaned over my bed and congratulated me on surviving the 20 to 1 odds that medical statistics have stacked up against me when they brought me in all yeah that's terrific dock.
I said my heart was not awash with gratitude because I suppose until he told me I was going to live. I had not thought at all about the fact that I was going to die. I close my eyes and went back to sleep and then listen to this, but a couple of nights later in the movie hush that settles on the hospital room at 2 o'clock in the morning alone and with no drugs inside of me to set me up for it.
I was seized with the frenzy of gratitude possessed is the word my arms rose straight up by themselves except 100 pound weight could've not held them to my side. My hands were open. My fingers were spread waving and twisting.
While I bless the Lord, for almost unbearable goodness of being alive on this good earth in this good body at this good time said I was flying outside of myself. Hi Eldon, weightless lightness, as if my earthly existence needed no ground to rest in, but was hung in space with only love to keep it aloft. I was so grateful. It was then said Lewis that I learned that gratitude is the best feeling I would ever feel in all of my life. It was the ultimate joy of living.
It was better than winning the lottery better than watching your daughter graduate from college better and deeper than any other feeling is perhaps the genesis of all other really good feelings in the human repertoire. I am sure he wrote that nothing in life can ever match the feeling of being fully totally, completely grateful. You don't have to promote it or force it. What you have to do is get along with your Bible read a Psalm and then do three things, when you look around and look in. We hope you enjoyed today's Turning Point, weekend edition with Dr. David Jeremiah. You can hear this and other programs and get more information of their ministry by downloading the free Turning Point in my ball at me as my final tablet over visiting our website that David Jeremiah dawdle/ready Jeremiah.G/ready.
You can also inherent Turning Point television on Friday in channel 17 Sunday morning tonight and I CCTV Sundays at 6:30 AM and Fridays at 1 PM. We invite you to join us again next weekend is Dr. David Jeremiah. She is another powerful message from God's word here until you point weekend edition thanks for taking time to listen to find a nice friend.
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