Thankfulness // Part 1
Bible Text: Hebrews 12:28-29 | Speaker: Parkey Cobern | Series: Thankfulness | We are now entering the holiday season. In a few weeks, we will celebrate Thanksgiving. For the next three midweek services, we will explore the power of thankfulness. Tonight’s teaching is called, “A Kingdom Unshakeable”.
Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for our “God is a consuming fire.” /// Hebrews 12:28-29 (NIV)
Let’s break this scripture apart and see what it has to say about thankfulness. The whole premise of the scripture points toward an attitude that affects our worship based upon some factors. The attitude that the scripture states we should have is one of thankfulness. Let’s look at a Greek translation for thankfulness:
/xáris (“grace”) answers directly to the Hebrew (OT) term /Kaná (“grace, extension-toward”). Both refer to God freely extending Himself (His favor, grace), reaching (inclining) to people because He is disposed to bless (be near) them.
(xáris) is sometimes rendered “thanks” but the core-idea is “favor, grace” (“extension towards”).
As you can see, the word translated as “thankful” is the word “charis” from which we get the word “grace”. Now, we have spoken many times about the reality of grace. Grace is not mercy. It is dispensed because of mercy, but grace is power given because of favor. This may change the whole way you look at thankfulness. How many of you have ever had to make yourself be thankful? Sometimes situations and circumstances don’t seem good, but we are commanded to be thankful anyway.
Give thanks in every circumstance, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. /// 1 Thessalonians 5:18
Being thankful is an endowment of power from the Holy Spirit! We choose thankfulness. We choose to tap into the power of the Holy Spirit in the form of thankfulness. When you are thankful, you are releasing spiritual power and favor over your life! Compare that to what happens when we grumble and complain:
Moreover, brethren, I do not want you to be unaware that all our fathers were under the cloud, all passed through the sea, all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea, all ate the same spiritual food, and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them, and that Rock was Christ. But with most of them God was not well pleased, for their bodies were scattered in the wilderness.
Now these things became our examples, to the intent that we should not lust after evil things as they also lusted. And do not become idolaters as were some of them. As it is written, “The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play.” Nor let us commit sexual immorality, as some of them did, and in one day twenty-three thousand fell; nor let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed by serpents; nor complain, as some of them also complained, and were destroyed by the destroyer.
/// 1 Corinthians 10:1-10 (NKJV)
Notice that complaining released the destroyer! Whatever spiritual power we get into agreement with is released to operate in our lives! Thankfulness is power! What is our thankfulness based upon? First of all, it is a product of favor with God. If you have favor with God, why is there a need for complaining or fear? Wouldn’t you rather have favor with God than a million dollars, because it gives you access to all the resources of heaven! Secondly, our thankfulness is based upon the fact that we are a part of a kingdom that cannot be shaken! What in the world can take down the kingdom of God?
The kingdom of God will be standing longer than your sickness. It will stand longer than your need. It will stand longer than your circumstances. Knowing this truth releases thankfulness which releases spiritual power in your life! When your problems are gone, you will still be standing because you are a part of the kingdom of God! It is God’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom!
So don’t be afraid, little flock. For it gives your Father great happiness to give you the Kingdom. /// Luke 12:32 (NLT)
As for the rest of the scripture? Living in thankfulness is a part of an acceptable and reverent walk with God. Thankfulness reveals that we have a godly fear. We don’t fear other things more than God. Thankfulness acknowledges His sovereignty over all things! And finally, our God is a consuming fire! It is a holy fire! It consumes all in our lives that works contrary to His kingdom plan.
Hebrews 12:28-29 (NIV)
1 Thessalonians 5:18
1 Corinthians 10:1-10 (NKJV)
Luke 12:32 (NLT)
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