Bethel Baptist Church
20.11.22 Morning Worship
  • Come, Ye Thankful People, Come
  • Bless the Lord
      • Psalm 107:8–9ESV

  • I Will Sing the Wondrous Story
  • Creation Sings
  • Count Your Blessings
  • Today, Marks the Sunday before Thanksgiving.
    What do you think I am going to talk about today?
    Any guesses?
    >>>> Thankfulness.
    I realize that holidays can become a cliche.
    But at the same time - they don’t have to be.
    They also can be used as quick - Spiritual check ups.
    ILLUSTRATION:
    Many of us as we get older, have medical issues that need be monitored.
    And so we go to the doctor - and they check us out.
    They help us make sure our bodies are properly regulated.
    Sometimes its eye check ups, hearing check ups, heart check ups … all kinds of check ups.
    I have asked some of you how your week went, and you response is … I spent the whole week going to doctor appointments.
    Christians, not only need health checks, but spiritual checkups.
    As the British Baptist hymn writer put it,
    we are “prone to wonder”.
    And thanksgiving affords us an opportunity to consider our thankfulness.
    We may be surprised how often our Bibles command, or model thankfulness.
    The Psalms represent the greatest number of references to thankfulness, in any book of our Bibles.
    >>>>>>>>>You could argue that the Psalms teach us that a person rightly worshiping God will have thankfulness.
    Also, Thankfulness is not a minor theme in our New Testament, but a topic that can be traced to 17 books in our New Testament.
    Those 17 books comprise 5 separate authors of Scripture.
    [And this doesn’t count other ideas related to thankfulness - such as praising God and rejoicing in God.
    After all, You will not praise or rejoice in that which you are not thankful ]
    Arguably, the message of the New Testament is that we ought to be thankful for God’s work at and through the Cross.
    Afterall,
    the Lord’s Supper from earliest days of the church, has been referred to as the Eucharist - which means means thanksgiving.
    (Evidence: Jesus thanked the meal, Didache 9:1 describes Communion this way)
    This mornings I am breaking my normal pattern of focusing on a single text, with hopes of communicating a major theme in our Bible.
    One whose message I believe teaches us -

    Thankfulness ought be a regular part of our prayer life.

    And we will observe 5 occasions that we should be thanking God.

    5 passages in our Bible where we are taught to practice thankfulness.
    Let’s consider - 5 occasions that every Christian ought to be giving thanks to God.
    EXHORTATION:
    As we go through these 5 occasions of thankfulness,
    use this as a Spiritual checkup.
    > Some of these occasions you may say - I do thank God in those occasions.
    But I doubt all of us are truly faithful in all 5 occasions.
    > Also, remember faithfulness is not just about doing something,
    but doing it with all your heart, soul, and mind.
    So don’t just check your outward walk, but also check your heart.
    Let’s Pray as we consider 5 occasions every Christian ought to giving thanks to God.
    ****** Lets Pray***********
    ****** Lets Pray***********
    ****** Lets Pray***********
    The First occasion of thankfulness - is at:

    (1) Our Meals (1 Ti 4:3-5)

    > Jesus thanked God for His meal - when he feed the 5,000.
    > Further, Jesus thanked God at the last supper, when he taught that the bread represented his body, and the juice represented his blood, that would be crucified on the cross.
    As I said earlier - That is why the early church called communion the Eucharist.
    And arguably saw it as a thanksgiving meal.
    However, Jesus not only models to us to thank God at our meals, but Paul teaches us too.
    1 Timothy 4:1–5 ESV
    Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith by devoting themselves to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons, through the insincerity of liars whose consciences are seared, who forbid marriage and require abstinence from foods that God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth. For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, for it is made holy by the word of God and prayer.
    CONTEXT:
    The context of First Timothy,
    is that a number of Jewish law keepers have come to Ephesus.
    They were people who claimed Christ, but as Pastor Skaggs said last week, falsely added obedience to the Law.
    And one of those demands were over dietary restrictions.

    But Paul gives us three points that are incredibly instructive regarding meals -

    To begin with,

    (a) All food is created by God, and thus God is the source of all our meals.

    v. 3 - “foods that God created”
    v. 4 - “For everything created by God is good”
    Col 1:17 reminds us that God also sustains this world.
    So,
    God as creator is the provider for every one of our meals.
    He is the source.
    The one whom all blessings flow form.
    Further, he twice says that

    (b) Food provided by God, the creator, ought to be received in thanksgiving.

    v. 3 - “to be received with thanksgiving”
    v. 4 - “it is received with thanksgiving”
    Because God is the provider of everyone of our meals - we ought to receive every meal with thankfulness towards God.
    We ought to be grateful for God’s provision.
    And Finally, that

    (c) Thanksgiving ought to be expressed in prayer.

    Paul clarifies how we properly thank God for our meals in v. 5.
    1 Timothy 4:5 ESV
    for it is made holy by the word of God and prayer.
    ==========================================
    Some have treated prayer at meal times, as a meaningless tradition, not taught in Scripture.
    Something Old fashion our parents did.
    But that is far from the truth. 1 Ti 4:1-5 teaches us to thank God at our meals.
    ILLUSTRATION:
    I had friend in MN, who worked at medical factory.
    And one day - we got on the topic of praying at meals.
    And his testimony - is that most of the Christians he works with don’t pray and thank God for their meal.
    Perhaps, that is you today. I lovingly challenge you - take time at meals to pray and thank God.
    Remember God is the provider of everyone of our meals.
    and we ought to be thankful for his provision.
    Perhaps, you do pray at your meals.
    I caution, don’t let it become a meaningless tradition.
    Make sure you are not just going through the motions, but you are honestly thanking God for your meal.
    Remember, Jesus judged pretty harshly the hypocritical prayers of the Pharisee’s.
    2nd Occasion of Thankfulness is -

    (2) Our Church Worship (Col 3:16-17)

    A lot happens on a Sunday morning.
    I don’t just mean the activity.
    Sunday School classes.
    Preaching.
    Songs.
    Greeting.
    But in terms of Spiritual activity - A Sunday morning includes a lot.
    Confession of belief.
    Spiritual Growth and Maturity.
    Devotion and sacrifice.
    Encouraging one another.
    Praise of God.
    And Paul in this passage reminds on activity that ought to be present in our worship.
    Thankfulness.
    Sunday Mornings ought to be characterized by a number of Spiritual disciplines.
    Some have called Sunday morning a miniature of the everyday Christian life.
    And one of those we need to be careful not to forget is thankfulness.
    Colossians 3:16–17 ESV
    Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
    Do you come hear with a thankful heart?
    Thankful for the Gospel.
    Thankful for the new life in Christ.
    Thankful for life and sustainment.
    We all owe God much as the creator,
    but Christians especially owe God
    because he is their Savior.
    So we ought to be worshiping with thankfulness.
    But we also ought to express that through prayer.
    “giving thanks to God the Father through him.”
    We ought to make a practice of thanking God for all of his blessings.
    Personally
    And in corporate worship.
    A third occasion of thankfulness - is

    (3) Your Prayer Requests (Phil 4:6)

    We have an incredible blessing as Christians.
    We know God answers and hears our prayers.
    Those who do not trust and believe in Christ alone,
    don’t have that privilege.
    There is no promise for lost person that God will answer their prayers.
    On the other hand, a Christian knows his prayers are answered.
    John 14:13–14 ESV
    Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it.
    But what should accompany our prayers?
    Should we come into prayer, demanding that God give us what we want.
    Should we come into prayer, like a wild animal, just happy we get what we want.
    ILLUSTRATION:
    A vulture doesn’t show manners or care,
    he just consumes it - feeding his desires.
    Is it acceptable for the Christian to treat God that way in their prayers?
    Are we to be vultures in our prayer life?
    Or should we come with more than that?
    Paul teaches in Philippians 4:6 that we ought to include every prayer request with thanksgiving to God.
    Philippians 4:6 ESV
    do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.
    Consider your prayer life.
    A quick Spiritual health check on your prayers.
    Does your prayer sound like a grateful person, pleading to your Father for help?
    > Or is your prayer life short and to the point.
    > You are not a thankful child of God,
    but vulture happy to consume what you want.
    Understand, as Christian we have an incredible privilege.
    God hears our prayers.
    But don’t be fool -
    > Come to God with a thankfulness,
    > and include not just my I wants,
    but expressions of thankfulness towards God.
    We ought to include thanksgiving in our prayer requests.
    The fourth occasion of thankfulness -

    (4) Your Fellow Christians (Eph 1:15-16)

    ILLUSTRATION:
    I want you to look at whose next to you.
    Now look at who is behind you.
    Now look at who is front of you.
    Are you thankful for those people?
    Do you rejoice at God’s work in those peoples lives?
    We can come to church, and get feed.
    I get what I need.
    But the Christian life is not just about what I need.
    It is a life of community.
    As Paul Tripp titled his video set,
    “Walking in Community"
    We hurt as a family.
    We grow as a family.
    We rejoice as a family.
    Paul models for us in his letters, a thankfulness for God’s work in his fellow Christians lives.
    Ephesians 1:15–16 ESV
    For this reason, because I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love toward all the saints, I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers,
    Paul says he does not cease to thank God for the Ephesians.
    CAVEAT:
    For time sake, We will only look at Eph 1:15-16,
    but I challenge you to look at the other verses.
    You will be challenged by how often Paul thanked God for his fellow Christians.
    Is there somebody who is next to you, in front of your, or behind your, that you neglect to thank God for?
    Maybe you need to make a habit of it.
    Maybe you need seek forgiveness and restoration.
    But Paul models a life that is constantly thanking God for his fellow Christians.
    (Other verses: Paul regularly thanks God for fellow Christians and their faith. See, Phlm 1:4, Rom 1:8, Col 1:3, 1 Th 1:2, Phil 1:3-5, 2 Th 2:13, 2 Ti 1:3)
    The 5th occasion we will look at -

    (5) Everything (Col 3:17, 1 Th 5:16-18)

    ILLUSTRATION:
    Have you ever meant to go somewhere,
    and suddenly find yourself driving to your house … or something like that.
    That route was such a habit, that you without even thinking - got in, and drove there.
    Thanking God ought to be like that.
    We need to build the habit of thankfulness,
    until it is second nature in our lives.
    For this point,
    I will point us to two passages.
    The first, Col 3:17 -
    Colossians 3:17 ESV
    And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
    A Christians life ought to be characterized by thankfulness to God.
    In everything you do - you ought to be able to find thankfulness towards God.
    ILLUSTRATION:
    A few years ago, a church released a video that went viral.
    It was a video showing a dad who wakes up on Christmas.
    But instead of - him rejoicing in all the new stuff he gets.
    He rejoiced in all the stuff he already had.
    From his cup of coffee,
    to running water,
    his house,
    Car
    family
    even his slippers.
    What is the point?
    There are million things we can thank God for.
    And not just material things.
    Certainly we ought to thank God for his wonderful provision.
    But Especially - the Gospel
    The Salvation we have.
    The Holy Spirit that Guides us.
    The Truth of God’s Word.
    Other Christians - who encourage us.
    > In Everything we do - we ought to be thanking God.
    > In every situation - we should be able to find a reason to thank God.
    But let’s face it.
    There are times I don’t feel thankful to God.
    When do I not feel like I have something to thank God for?
    When I am faced with trials.
    Oh we thank God for blessings, and when things are going our way.
    But are we equally thankful when we face trials?
    According to Paul in 1 Th 5:16-18, we have something to thank for, no matter the circumstances.
    CONTEXT:
    The letter to the Thessalonians was a letter written, especially to help persecuted Christians.
    Observe what he says.
    1 Thessalonians 5:16–18 ESV
    Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
    Paul says,
    “give thanks in all circumstances”.
    Are you thankful in all situations?
    Some dark corners of our lives,
    we struggle with seeing the blessings of God.
    We wonder how this trials is good for us.
    Or, we may even ask - How a good God could allow this?
    But Paul teaches us,
    In every circumstance
    - there is something to praise God.
    there is something to be thankful for.
    Maybe God’s strength through the trial,
    or yet, maybe the trial itself is good for us.
    As Laura Story sings, Blessings in disguise.
    ILLUSTRATION:
    Consider the testimony of the German Pastor, Martin Rinkart
    In the first half of the 17th century,
    Germany was in the midst of wars and famine and a plague.
    He lived in the city of Eilenburg
    During one especially oppressive period,
    Rinkart conducted up to 50 funerals a day
    as a plague swept through the town
    and as the Thirty Years’ War wreaked its own terror on the people.
    Among those whom Rinkart buried were members of his own family.
    Yet during those years of darkness and despair,
    when death and destruction greeted each new day,
    Pastor Rinkart wrote 66 sacred songs and hymns.
    Among them was the song “Now Thank We All Our God.”
    As sorrow crouched all around him, Rinkart wrote:
    Now thank we all our God
    With hearts and hands and voice,
    Who wondrous things hath done,
    In whom His world rejoices;
    Who, from our mothers’ arms,
    Hath blessed us on our way
    With countless gifts of love,
    And still is ours today.
    Rinkart demonstrated a valuable lesson for us all:
    Thankfulness does not have to wait for prosperity and peace.
    It’s always a good time to praise God for the “wondrous things” He has done.
    Paul teaches us that everything, and every circumstance - is an occasion to thank God.
    (Other Verses: Scripture teach that we should thankful in every occasion and in every circumstance. See, Phil. 4:6; Col. 2:7; 4:2; 1 Thess. 2:13)
    CONCLUSION:
    I hope this morning you are doing Spiritual check up on your life.
    How is your thankfulness?
    Are you thankful at the occasions that the Bible teaches us to be thankful?
    Do you thank God
    (1) At Meals
    (2) In Worship.
    (3) In our Prayer Requests.
    (4) For your fellow Christians,
    (5) And ultimately in everything?
    Our Bibles, are filled with God’s people thanking God in all kind of circumstances.
    Our Bibles show Jesus himself thanking God.
    And ultimately our NT teaches us to regularly and always to be thanking God.
    There is no situation - in which you should not be able to thank God for his provision and blessings.
    I have given you 5 occasions, in which our Bibles teach us to thank God.
    Are you thanking God in those 5 occasions?
    And in those 5 occasions, does your heart reflect thanksgiving?
    or is it simply an outward, and empty routine?
    I challenge us today, as we look to thanksgiving - to do a Spiritual checkup - and seriously consider our thanksgiving to God.
      • 1 Timothy 4:1–5ESV

      • Colossians 3:16–17ESV

      • John 14:13–14ESV

      • Philippians 4:6ESV

      • Ephesians 1:15–16ESV

      • Colossians 3:17ESV

      • 1 Thessalonians 5:16–18ESV

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