OceanSide church of Christ
|Previous||Return to list of sermons||Next|
BE THANKFUL FOR…
Victor M. Eskew
A. This speaker enjoys the holiday known as Thanksgiving (not commercial, family).
B. This being said, it seems odd to have a day called Thanksgiving Day. For the faithful child of God, every day is filled with blessings for which we should give God thanks.
1. Some blessings are easy to be grateful for: family, job, freedom, salvation in Christ, etc.
2. There are other things that are more difficult to be thankful for. Let’s look at some of these things in this lesson.
A. Why? It gives us the opportunity to learn.
B. Here, I am reminded of the Ethiopian eunuch (Acts 8:30-35).
And Philip ran thither to him, and heard him read the prophet Esaias, and said, Under-standest what thou readest? And he said, How can I except some man should guide me? And he desired Philip that he would come up and sit with him. The place of the scripture which he read was this, He was led as a sheep to the slaughter; and like a lamb dumb before his shearer, so opened he not his mouth: in his humiliation his judgment was taken away: and who shall declare his generation? For his life is taken from the earth. And the eunuch ans-wered Philip, and said, I pray thee, of whom speaketh the prophet this? Of himself, or of some other man? Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus.
1. Twice the eunuch showed his lack of knowledge.
a. He said that he read but did not understand.
b. He asked about whom the prophet was speaking in the text.
2. His ignorance, however, enabled him to fill the void through the teaching of Philip. This ultimately led to his salvation.
C. Our lack of knowledge should ignite passion and zeal to learn (Prov. 25:2).
It is the glory of God to conceal a thing: but the honor of kings is to search out a matter.
II. BE THANKFUL FOR THE DIFFICULT TIMES OF LIFE
A. Why? It is through difficulties that one grows.
B. Trials and tribulations challenge our strength, our stamina, our faith, and our minds. Difficulties cause us to be creative and to think out of the box. Whether we win or lose, we grow in the conflict.
1. James 1:2-3
My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.
2. Romans 5:3-4
And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; and patience experience; and experience, hope.
C. This speaker sees new ministers entering the field and young couples entering into marriage. They may be well-grounded in knowledge, but their strength will come by enduring trials, tests, and affliction.
III. BE THANKFUL FOR YOUR MISTAKES
A. Why? They can teach you valuable lessons.
B. Mistakes can come in many forms. Some involve sin and some do not. Any mistake holds at least one lesson within its grasp.
1. That one lesson may be: “I’ll never do that again.”
2. Often there is more than one lesson to be learned.
C. David made a severe mistake with regard to Uriah the Hittite (I Kings 5:5).
Because David did that which was right in the eyes of the Lord, and turned not aside from any thing that he commanded him all the days of his life, save only in the matter of Uriah the Hittite.
1. Do you think David learned any lessons from his transgression?
2. Let’s look at three big lessons he should have learned:
a. Covering sin only leads to greater sin (Ps. 1:1; II Tim. 3:13).
b. You cannot hide sin from God (Num. 32:23; Heb. 4:13).
c. The consequences of sin can be devastating (Rom. 6:23; Gal. 6:7-8).
D. Each one of us needs to look for the lessons in our mistakes and learn from them. The old adage is true: “One who does not learn from his mistakes is destined to repeat them.”
IV. BE THANKFUL WHEN YOU ARE TIRED AND WEARY
A. Why? It means you have made a difference.
B. Being tired usually indicates that one has been engaged in work, toil, and labor.
1. If the efforts are not sinful or illegal, someone usually benefits: God, others, family, community, self.
2. As we cradle our tired bodies in the comfort of a warm bed our conscience rejoices in a job well done.
C. In so doing, we follow the worthy example of Jesus in His earthly ministry.
1. There were at least four occasions when Jesus was weary.
a. As the disciples sailed on a ship, Jesus slept on a pillow (Mark 4:38)
b. His disciples were exhorted to rest (Mark 6:31).
c. He sat on Jacob’s well because He was weary (John 4:6).
d. The events surrounding his crucifixion took their toll. Simon of Cyrene was forced to carry the cross (Matt. 27:32).
2. Why did Jesus grow weary? (Acts 10:38).
How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed with the devil; for God was with him.
V. BE THANKFUL FOR YOUR CRITICS AND CHALLENGERS
A. Why? They force you to strengthen your nerves and sharpen your skills.
B. It is easy to lackadaisically hold a certain position. However, when that position is challenged, we are forced to make our position firm.
C. Over the last year and a half, several issues have raised their heads here that have caused me to have to sharpen my thinking on various subjects.
1. The authority of elders to require ties be worn by the men taking a leadership position during worship.
2. Are youth songs appropriate songs to be sung in worship to God?
3. I Corinthians 7:10-11
4. Matthew 5:32
5. Will grace cover sins without any conditions?
6. What are the best ways of doing benevolent work?
7. How does the Holy Spirit indwell in the Christian?
D. Our critics force us to study (II Tim. 2:15) and to be ready to give an answer (I Peter 3:15). As one man commented: “Our antagonist is our helper” (Burke).
A. It is easy to be thankful for the good things of life.
B. We, however, can be and need to be grateful for the troubles, stresses, and setbacks in life (I Thess. 5:18).
In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you (emp. mine, vme).
1. Negatives can become positives.
2. Difficulties can become blessings.