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Thank You Notes to God!

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The Slippery Slope of Ingratitude

We looked at this a couple of weeks ago, but it is worthwhile to revisit!
Romans 1:21 NIV
21 For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened.
When we are not grateful we do not glorify God with our lives. We make ourselves the center of our own universe and that is a slippery slope that leads to foolish thinking and living.

Entitled Generation?

The Millennials get a bad wrap, but its not just them, its us too! (no matter who your us is)
we all tend to think we deserve more
Human nature really hasn’t changed
We all need to deal with unmet expectations...
A couple of small groups are doing a Marriage class - Paul David Tripp. “What did you expect?”
Relational dissatisfaction arises when we feel like the other party has failed to live up to our expectations.
This can be devastating!
We can become demanding or even look elsewhere to have our expectations met.

Disillusionment is destructive (and is one of Satan’s favorite weapons)

It is not limited to marriage:
How well are the people around you living up to your expectations?
Your Spouse, Children, Parents, Friends, Neighbors, Co-workers, Boss?
How about God?
We have all uttered these words, “It’s not fair”

Life is not fair, thank God!

Personally I am grateful that God does not treat me how I deserve!
I am also grateful that my wife, my children, and my true friends do not treat me like I deserve
Romans 6:23 NIV
23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

The Gift of Grace

My grandmother taught me that if someone gives you a gift, you should write a thank you note, and that is exactly what Paul did!

Paul’s Thank You Notes!

His Personal Testimony

1 Timothy 1:12–17 NIV
12 I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has given me strength, that he considered me trustworthy, appointing me to his service. 13 Even though I was once a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent man, I was shown mercy because I acted in ignorance and unbelief. 14 The grace of our Lord was poured out on me abundantly, along with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. 15 Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst. 16 But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his immense patience as an example for those who would believe in him and receive eternal life. 17 Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory for ever and ever. Amen.
Like Paul, we need to become experts at telling our story!
I’m excited about a project that Drew Contreras is working on… The stories of our church.
Who are you sharing your own personal story with?
Do people know why you are grateful to God?

The lives he ministered to

2 Corinthians 3:1–6 NIV
1 Are we beginning to commend ourselves again? Or do we need, like some people, letters of recommendation to you or from you? 2 You yourselves are our letter, written on our hearts, known and read by everyone. 3 You show that you are a letter from Christ, the result of our ministry, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts. 4 Such confidence we have through Christ before God. 5 Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God. 6 He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant—not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.
When we invest in the lives of others we are not only changing the lives of those we are helping… we are changing family lines… we ourselves are part of the legacy of Paul’s investment in the lives of others! Who will look back and be thankful for the letters that are written on your heart?

The Relationships He Forged

Philippians 1:3–11 NIV
3 I thank my God every time I remember you. 4 In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy 5 because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, 6 being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. 7 It is right for me to feel this way about all of you, since I have you in my heart and, whether I am in chains or defending and confirming the gospel, all of you share in God’s grace with me. 8 God can testify how I long for all of you with the affection of Christ Jesus. 9 And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, 10 so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, 11 filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God.
Who are you doing life and ministry with? Not in proximity to, but really in partnership with!

Pass the Pigs

I have a vivid memory of my very first discipleship time after being baptized.
Brad Bynum said to me, “We are pigs” I agreed, but I didn’t understand.
He then handed me the game Pass the Pigs and explained that we were Partners In the Gospel and that we would need to work together the same way as the two pig dice needed to work together in the game.
It’s been almost 30 years since that conversation, but every time I see this game I am reminded that I need PIGs in my life!
Who is your PIG! Do they know that they are your person?
How are you helping each other to grow in your knowledge and depth of insight into God’s word?
Are you calling each other to live blameless and pure lives?
Are you praying that God’s good work be brought to completion in your lives?

Are we motivated by the Cross?

2 Corinthians 5:14 NIV
14 For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died.
Pray for communion
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