We are currently in the season of LENT (click HERE if you want to read about what LENT is all about). Since LENT is a time of reflection and repentance, I felt the Lord say to write about the sins that seem permissible in this country that are doing great harm to us and those around us. My first post was about UNGODLINESS (click HERE if you want to read it), and was so convicting. My second post that I wrote was about ANXIETY, and that one was equally convicting (click HERE if you want to read it). Then, I talked about the permissible sin of DISSATISFACTION. (click HERE if you’d like to read it). And the most recent was about SELF-SUFFICUENCY (click HERE if you want to read that one!). God is doing a deeper work in me…I hope in you as well.
As we jump into today’s permissible sin, be reminded that as a Christian
GOD DOESN’T SEE WHAT’S WRONG WITH YOU,
HE SEES WHAT’S MISSING
So it is not God’s heart to make you feel bad or to condemn you, but instead, He wants to make room for replacing His character in us. As you read, let the Spirit convince you of what needs to go to make room for more of Him. Then, let the Holy Spirit reveal the character of Jesus that needs to take its place.
Permissible Sin #5: Ungratefulness
Let’s just say that you were given $10,000 to give away. You chose to give $1,000 to 10 people: all members of your family and one who lived in a far away country, whom you didn’t even know too well. All of them took the money and left to share their joy with others, except for the one from the foreign land. That recipient came back and deeply and sincerely thanked you for such a generous gift. How would that make you feel that the ones closest to you never showed gratitude?
That story is adapted straight from the Bible. Luke 17 tells us a story about 10 men with leprosy that Jesus healed. They all went away and only one, the one from a foreign land, came back and gave Jesus thanks.
“One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice. He threw himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him—and he was a Samaritan.
Jesus asked, “Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? Has no one returned to give praise to God except this foreigner?”
Oftentimes, when Dale and I speak at churches, we preach a sermon called “Frontline Families”. It’s about no longer sitting on the sidelines while this world takes our families. We base it on Deuteronomy 6. Part of that passage says this:
“When the Lord your God brings you into the land he swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, to give you—a land with large, flourishing cities you did not build, houses filled with all kinds of good things you did not provide, wells you did not dig, and vineyards and olive groves you did not plant—then when you eat and are satisfied, be careful that you do not forget the Lord, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.”
Perhaps the reason we don’t give thanks, is because we have forgotten a few things. We have forgotten that everything we have is a gift from God. We have forgotten that much of what we have was given to us by the work of someone else. We have forgotten that tomorrow it could all be gone. And if we are not careful, our forgetting can soon cause us to forsake the very One who gave it all to us in the first place.
Forgetting is a Slippery Slope to Forsaking.
I Thessalonians 5:18 says this, “In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”
The good, the bad, the perceived bad, the misunderstood, the troubling, the struggling, the suddenlies, the miracles. ALL OF IT. We are commanded to give thanks for it. Is it hard when we are told to give thanks for the things that are difficult or hard to understand? Absolutely. But giving thanks really says so much more than “thank You, God“. It says “You are sovereign. You have my best interest at heart. You loved me enough to die for me. Therefore, no matter what, I trust You.”
Giving Thanks is really about Declaring Trust
As we approach this Easter weekend, may we truly give our God thanks for giving us His only Son to pay the penalty for our sin so that we could have never-ending life with Him.
Questions to Consider: When was the last time you really took a minute to give God thanks for all He has done for you, in you, and through you? As we enter Holy Week, might you identify the depth of love and sacrifice that was paid on your behalf and offer deep, heartfelt gratitude to Jesus Christ, your Savior?
What do I do now? Confess your sin of ungratefulness, to the Father. Thank Him for His forgiveness. Ask His Spirit to help you to be thankful in ALL circumstances, trusting that His ways are higher, and He can be trusted. Begin to train yourself in gratitude.
May you live a life of gratitude for all the Father has done for you.
You are loved,