"Keeping God FIRST" (#5 Keeping THANKFUL)

Sermon Date: 
Jan 29 2017
Sermon Audio: 

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Please feel free to use the following as a reflection, personal study, or for your Life Group. Please be sensitive to other views expressed.

INTRODUCTION
What makes you exceedingly glad or joyful? When was the last time you felt this way? What seems to get in the way from having a thankful heart?

READ THE FOLLOWING SCRIPTURAL REFERENCES
Psalm 105:1-5; Thessalonians 5:16-18

What thoughts / ideas come to your mind when reading these verses?

QUESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION

1. God's Word tells us, as Christians, to be exceedingly joyful and thankful in all circumstances. How is this possible when your circumstances are so very painful or sorrowful? What is God asking of you to do? (see also 2 Corinthians 1:8-10; Romans 8:28)

Additional Note: Satan wants you to focus on your circumstances to have you questioning the goodness of God. God wants you to focus on Him who alone is able to take your trials and transform them for your goodness! Keeping thankful declares you are trusting God through your circumstances!

2. Read the account of the 10 lepers from Luke 17. Why do you think only one out the ten returned to Jesus? What was this man's intension? What can we learn from Jesus' response to the healed leper?

3. Read 2 Timothy 3:1-5. What might having an ungrateful heart look like? What might this say about one's relationship with God?

4. Read 2 Corinthians 12:7-11. Sometimes we are given thorns in our lives. What is the hope we have when our thorns remain?

Additional Note: An Unknown Author wrote a story called, "Thankful for the Thorns." This story illustrates the importance in learning how to be thankful for thorns. The florist explains, "My experience has shown me that thorns make roses more precious. We treasure God's providential care more during troubles than at any other time. Remember it was the thorns that Jesus wore so we might know His love..."

IN CONCLUSION
Let me conclude with how the above story concludes: "My God, I have never thanked You for my thorns. I have thanked You a thousand times for my roses, but never once for my thorns. Teach me the glory of the cross I bear; Teach me the value of my thorns. Show me that I have climbed closer to You along the path of pain; Show me that, through my tears, the colors of Your rainbow look much more brilliant... Praise Him for your roses, thank Him for your thorns. When the going gets tough, the tough seek the Lord!"

Rejoicing with Thanksgiving knowing God is in my EVERYTHING!
Pastor Trevor