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Give Thanks

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Give Thanks

Looking at Jesus’s words on materialism and worry, this message
reminds us that we must be thankful for God’s good gifts despite our circumstances.
Matthew 6:19–33 KJV 1900
Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light. But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness! No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon. Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature? And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith? Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
Topic: Provision, Money, Worry, Treasure, Fear, God’s Kingdom
Big Idea of the Message: A good life isn’t made by owning a fortune, but instead by
trusting God to provide for our needs.
Application Point: Rather than worshipping money, we must trust God for provision
and be thankful for what he has given us.
Do you agree that we live in a culture of greed? What evidence do you see of that?
Sermon Ideas and Talking Points:
1. Tim Keller writes, “As a pastor I've had people come to me and confess that they
struggle with almost every kind of sin. Almost. I cannot recall anyone ever
coming to me and saying, ‘I spend too much money on myself. I think my greedy
lust for money is harming my family, my soul, and people around me.’ Greed
hides itself from the victim. The money god's modus operandi includes blindness
to your own heart” (Timothy Keller, Counterfeit Gods, 52).
Why is it hard to see greed in ourselves and yet so easy to see it in others?
Keller points out that, “Jesus warns people far more often about greed than about sex, yet almost no one thinks they are guilty of it.” List some ways that the idol of loving money is offensive to God, enslaves us, and is destructive to all who are touched by it.
If greed hides itself so deeply, no one should be confident that it is not a problem for them.
Zacchaeus sacrificed everything for money. Do you think he realized what he was giving up? Do you think it was a conscious decision? What do people today sacrifice in the pursuit of money? Are you in danger of this? If not, why not?
How would you define greed? Keller points out that Jesus defined it as not only the love of money, but having excessive anxiety about it.
Read the following verses:
Luke 12:15 KJV 1900
And he said unto them, Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth.
Luke 16:13–15 KJV 1900
No servant can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon. And the Pharisees also, who were covetous, heard all these things: and they derided him. And he said unto them, Ye are they which justify yourselves before men; but God knoweth your hearts: for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God.
; ; and . Keller points out that the Bible says we do three things with our idols: love them, trust them, and obey them. (pp. 56-57) How do these verses relate to that?
Colossians 3:5 KJV 1900
Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry:
16:13-15; ; and . Keller points out that the Bible says we do three things with our idols: love them, trust them, and obey them. (pp. 56-57) How do these verses relate to that?
. Keller points out that the Bible says we do three things with our idols: love them, trust them, and obey them. (pp. 56-57) How do these verses relate to that?
Ephesians 5:5 KJV 1900
For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.
and
. Keller points out that the Bible says we do three things with our idols: love them, trust them, and obey them. (pp. 56-57) How do these verses relate to that?
Keller points out that the Bible says we do three things with our idols: love them, trust them, and obey them. (pp. 56-57) How do these verses relate to that?
2. “According to these words of Jesus, it is impossible for us to give our hearts
simultaneously to two masters. We must choose whom we are going to serve:
God or mammon. ‘Mammon’ was an expression used by the Jewish community
of New Testament times to express the idea of worldliness. So when Jesus said
it was impossible to serve God and mammon, He was actually saying that it is
impossible to serve both God and worldliness” (Rick Renner, Sparkling Gems
From the Greek, 436).
3. “The dangers of riches are often mentioned in the NT, but nowhere are they
condemned in and of themselves. What Jesus condemns here is greed and
hoarding money” (Kenneth Barker, et. al., The NIV Study Bible [Zondervan:
Grand Rapids, MI, 1995], 1448).
4. In God’s upside-down Kingdom, the greatest way to use our riches is to give
them away, not by hoarding them or spending them selfishly on ourselves. That’s
why he instructs that a tithe, the first tenth, be given to him, to his storehouse.
When we give, we are declaring to ourselves that God is our Provider, we trust
him to do what is best for us, and that we know everything we have belongs to
him anyway.
5. Have someone from your church share their testimony about giving, tithing,
and/or how God freed them from a destructive love of money.
6. Have a response time at the end of your message this week. Invite congregants
to (1) write down three things they are thankful for and (2) ask God to give them
a fresh perspective on what he is doing in and around them.
7. Put on some glasses with bright-colored lenses as you talk about how we can
see life, even difficult things, with a new perspective when we choose
thankfulness over anxiety and resentment.
The Greek word for “thanks” in this verse is eucharisteo. And the best person I know to unpack this word is Ann Voskamp:
The root word of eucharisteo is charis, meaning “grace.” Jesus took the bread and saw it as grace and gave thanks. He took the bread and knew it to be gift and gave thanks. Eucharisteo, thanksgiving, envelopes the Greek word for grace, charis. But it also holds its derivative, the Greek word chara, meaning “joy.” Charis. Grace. Eucharisteo. Thanksgiving. Chara. Joy. (Eucharisteo Conversation)
Now, let’s think for a moment about what Jesus’s eucharisteo meant.
Thank you, Father, that my body, symbolized by this bread, is about to be brutally broken and I am about to be (momentarily) damned by your wrath () so that you will receive supreme glory in being able to forgive undeserving sinners () and I will share eternally full joy (; ) with hundreds of millions of forgiven sinners made righteous through my sacrifice ().
Jesus’s thanks was not based on his present circumstances. He was about to endure the worst possible horror. He felt thankful to the Father for the graceand glory that was coming because of the cross and this gave him joy. Eucharisteo.
Jesus’s eucharisteo was fueled by his belief in future grace. That’s what the author of Hebrews meant when he wrote that,
“The joy set before you is the same joy Jesus had set before him, because you are an heir of the kingdom with him.”
Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith . . . for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.
Hebrews 12:2 KJV 1900
Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Jesus’s eyes were on his future joy. He got through the cross by not focusing on the cross but on the promised joy that would result from it.
Jesus’s eyes were on his future joy. He got through the cross by not focusing on the cross but on the promised joy that would result from it.
That’s where God wants your eyes: on the future joy he has promised you.

What You Have to Look Forward to

And what is your future joy? The very best possible future you could ever imagine — if you will believe it.
You will have the free gift of complete forgiveness for all your sins extending into forever.
Romans 6:23 KJV 1900
For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
You will never have to merit your justification by keeping the law ().
You will have all your real needs provided while on earth ().
You will have all your real needs provided while on earth.
Philippians 4:19 KJV 1900
But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.
You will receive all the grace you need at all times so that you will abound in every good work God has for you ().
You will receive all the grace you need at all times so that you will abound in every good work God has for you.
2 Corinthians 9:8 KJV 1900
And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work:
God will complete the good work he began in you.
God will complete the good work he began in you ().
Philippians 1:6 KJV 1900
Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:
You will be raised from the dead and never, ever die again ().
You will be raised from the dead and never, ever die again.
1 Corinthians 15:52–53 KJV 1900
In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.
That means someday soon you will see Jesus, be with him (), and be like him ().
That means someday soon you will see Jesus, be with him
2 Corinthians 5:8 KJV 1900
We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.
2 Corinthians 5:8 KJV 1900
We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.
().
,
and be like him ().
In that day you will know for the first time full, unpolluted joy ().
1 John 3:2 KJV 1900
Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.
In that day you will know for the first time full, unpolluted joy.
Psalm 16:11 KJV 1900
Thou wilt shew me the path of life: In thy presence is fulness of joy; At thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.
You will be completely free from all corruption ().
You will be completely free from all corruption.
Romans 8:21 KJV 1900
Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.
You will have God forever as your exceeding joy.
You will have God forever () as your exceeding joy ().
1 Peter 3:18 KJV 1900
For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit:
as your exceeding joy ().
as your exceeding joy.
And that’s just a small sampling! The joy set before you is the same joy Jesus had set before him, because you are an heir of the kingdom with him ().
Psalm 43:4 KJV 1900
Then will I go unto the altar of God, Unto God my exceeding joy: Yea, upon the harp will I praise thee, O God my God.
And that’s just a small sampling! The joy set before you is the same joy Jesus had set before him, because you are an heir of the kingdom with him.
Romans 8:17 KJV 1900
And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.
Look to the Joy Set Before You

Look to the Joy Set Before You

So right now you have trouble. That’s okay. Jesus said that you would
John 16:33 KJV 1900
These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.
And Jesus really understands.
). And Jesus really understands ().
Hebrews 4:15 KJV 1900
For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.
“If the joy Jesus promises is real and you believe him, there’s no circumstance that can steal your thanksgiving.”
“If the joy Jesus promises is real and you believe him, there’s no circumstance that can steal your thanksgiving.”TweetShare on Facebook
In fact, the trouble that you endure has a purpose: in it you are displaying the reality of Jesus to the world in a unique way. The kingdom of God is most clearly shown on earth when Christians gratefully suffer present trouble because they see a future weight of glory coming that makes everything this world throws at them as “light momentary afflictions” in comparison.
2 Corinthians 4:17 KJV 1900
For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory;
So, how can you give thanks in all circumstances? There’s only one way: Jesus’s way. Look to the joy set before you. Look to the joy! If the future joy Jesus promises is real and you believe him, there is no circumstance that can steal your thanksgiving.
So, how can you give thanks in all circumstances? There’s only one way: Jesus’s way. Look to the joy set before you. Look to the joy! If the future joy Jesus promises is real and you believe him, there is no circumstance that can steal your thanksgiving.
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