Lifting the fog of selfishness
Putting on Thankfulness
Jesus went to the cross to save us, and transform us.
Change happens when we put off the sin, renew our minds in the Word, and put on the good.
Numbers 13:17-20, 25, 27-33, 14:6-10, 20-34 The Israelites are ready to go into the promised land and God sends them back into the wilderness.
God hates our grumbling.
I Corinthians 10:5-12
5 Nevertheless, with most of them God was not well-pleased; for they were laid low in the wilderness.6 Now these things happened as examples for us, so that we would not crave evil things as they also craved. 7 Do not be idolaters, as some of them were; as it is written, “The people sat down to eat and drink, and stood up to play.” 8 Nor let us act immorally, as some of them did, and twenty-three thousand fell in one day. 9 Nor let us try the Lord, as some of them did, and were destroyed by the serpents. 10 Nor grumble, as some of them did, and were destroyed by the destroyer. 11 Now these things happened to them as an example, and they were written for our instruction, upon whom the ends of the ages have come. 12 Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed that he does not fall.
Your attitude matters!
Sometimes our attitude is the caboose on the train of obedience.
Choose to do acts of obedience before we feel like it.
Genesis 4:6-7 God to Cain, do well and your countenance will be lifted up.
You don’t feel like it, but choose acts of obedience.
Satan’s lie – we need to feel good about what God has asked us to do before we do it.
If I don’t feel like it and I do it, than I am a hypocrite – a lie of Satan.
Faith is believing the Word of God, and acting on it, no matter how I feel, because God promises a good result.
God is concerned with actions and attitudes!
If you choose murmuring and grumbling as a lifestyle, you will spend your life in the wilderness.
Attitudes are patterns of thinking formed over a long period of time.
Numbers 11:1,2 God brought fire to the outlying camp of the Israelites because of their complaining.
· Complaining is a choice.
Complaining is expressing dissatisfaction with a circumstance that is not wrong about which I am doing nothing to correct.
We choose our attitudes.
· Complaining is a sin.
Complaining is an attitude choice that if left unchecked has the capacity to wither our ability to experience joy and genuine thankfulness.
Complaining is an on ramp to the highway of bitterness, depression, anger…
When we complain we are bringing God’s provision in to question. We are saying, God, You had the chance to meet my expectations and You blew it.
Complaining attitudes affect us and those around us.
1 Samuel 16:7 – God looks at the heart.
Complaining can be non-verbal, and can consume you from the inside.
Complaining is a heart attitude, what we are thinking, where our minds are set.
· God hates our complaining…
o Specifically as it relates to our circumstances because as children of an Almighty King, He has promised that He is working and orchestrating the circumstances in our lives to our good.
o God has entrusted to every person a measure of adversity, giving just the right amount to accomplish His purposes. We need to say thank you.
o Everyone’s measure is unique but there is nothing that we bear that Christ doesn’t know.
o We forfeit God’s mercy and grace when we complain.
Put off complaining – Put on Thankfulness
Luke 17:11-14 – Jesus heals ten lepers. One gives Jesus thanks. Ten attitudes were chosen, one was thankful.
o God sees our thanklessness
o Faith grows in the soil of thankfulness
Romans 1:18-21 – A lack of thankfulness makes you think futily.
Thankfulness is valuing a kindness received.
Lack luster worship stems from lack luster gratitude.
You can worship even when you don’t feel like it.
Treat it as an act of obedience.
Hearts can be driven to praise when being obedient to praise.
Levels of Thankfulness
1. Thank you – I said it. Bedtime prayers.
2. Thankful IN everything – being thankful in everything
3. Thankful FOR everything – for the circumstance…Because you know that it is through the circumstances of life, Jesus is going to prove Himself faithful in conforming you to the image of His Son
o Thankfulness is a decision
Psalm 107:8,15,21,31- Oh, that men would give thanks to the Lord for His goodness, and for His wonderful works to the children of men!
o Thankfulness is a decision based in reality
Our thankfulness is based in reality of who God is and what He has done on our behalf in sending His Son to the cross for us – everything else pales compared to this.
o Thankfulness is a life-changing decision
“Gratitude is the attitude that sets the altitude for living.” James MacDonald