Monday, November 2, 2009

November 2, 2009

"But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy."
II Timothy 3:1-2
Wow! These few verses say alot about the attitude of gratitude and what causes people to be thankful - or not thankful.
First, it tells us that the day will come when thankfulness will be a rare commodity. What was once a common courtesy will someday become hard to find.
That begs the question, "Why?"
People will be lovers of self. How does that blunt thankfulness? People who are self-centered tend to believe that they deserve what they get, so when they get something good they feel it was owed to them and when they don't they feel cheated. It is hard to satisfy them.
People will be lovers of money. What's wrong with that? Loving money often leads to greed. Greedy people seldom experience feelings of gratitude. Greed and gratitude rarely occupy the same space.
When selfishness and greed rule your life, you are not a very pleasant person - "boastful, proud, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy." May I add - unhappy, unfulfilled and miserable?
Thankful people, by implication, are not self-centered, not greedy, humble, obedient, grateful and holy.
So, are such people thankful because they possess these characteristics or do they have these characteristics because they are thankful? The answer is, "Yes!"
Make life about Him and not about you and He will develop within you an attitude of gratitude.

November 1, 2009

"give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus." I Thessalonians 5:18

One of the earliest lessons we learn as children is to say, "Please" and "Thank You". It is a simple concept, really.

Of course, we are taught to express our thanks whenever we are given something that is nice, or helpful, or valuable, or generous.

However, in this verse, the Apostle Paul instructs us to "give thanks in ALL circumstances". Say, what? Be thankful in "ALL circumstance"? Are you kidding me? How do I do that? Some circumstances are painful and hard and unwelcomed. Am I supposed to be thankful when stuff like that happens? Why is that?

Read the rest of the verse, "for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus."


Here is the deal. We don't have to be thankful for difficult things that happen to us. Am I to be thankful that I lose a job, or my health, or a loved one? I don't think so! But, what we can be thankful for is that God is in control of our circumstances and He has promised that "all things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to His purpose" and "No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it."

So, what we can be thankful for is that when troubles come it means that God is at work! Our pain is working for our gain because that is how God works, Who He is and what He does! Thank Him that even what works against us in life works for us because His Kingdom is coming and His will is being done - in us!