Be Thankful Anyway

Pastor Mike will be speaking on Be Thankful Anyway. He will be reading out of 1st Corinthians 1:4-9.

I want you to know that even though there are Christians who end up on detours and they end up on the wrong path, my friends, if you believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and you’re sincere, you are confirmed, you are settled, you are established in the faith of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Hello and welcome to Hope Worth Having. This is Pastor Mike Sanders, Senior Pastor of the Open Door Church. We are delighted that you are tuning in today and that you are with us to hear this message.

I’ve entitled my message, Be Thankful Anyway, despite all of our problems, despite all of our circumstances, despite all the situations we might find ourselves in, let’s be thankful anyways. So I want you to get your Bible today and I want you to turn to 1 Corinthians chapter one and we’re going to be looking at verses four through nine and again we are admonished to be thankful anyway.

God cannot say to me, I am gracious and I give you salvation but one false move and I’ll take it away. That’s not how God works. Now there unfortunately are some Christians who run around and believe they can lose their salvation there may be some of you here today who live in the fear of losing your salvation and I always tell people that if you believe that you could lose your salvation would you please name the one sin that makes you lose your salvation.

Of course, no one can because there’s nothing in the Bible that says that. It’s very subjective and I just can’t imagine that God in heaven would give us access by faith to this grace that saves our soul sustains us and helps us to be all that God wants us to be but every time we fail him he’s going to say I’m going to take it back.

That ain’t going to happen my friends. I want you to remember this Romans 8 1 there is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. You’re not under the condemnation condemnation of God.

You are not under any kind of guilt. You are not under the judgment of God. You see what happens friends, is that Jesus Christ went to the cross for your sins and my sins, and he took the judgment of God.

He took the punishment of sin on the cross for you and me and friends from the beginning all the way to the end, as we’ll learn later as we celebrate God’s good work in people’s lives, is that Jesus takes care of us, and he’s gonna make sure that we make it to the finish line.

As believers in Christ. And so you can rejoice and you can say, well, maybe they’re not what they ought to be, but I am thankful anyway of God’s grace that they believe in the Lord Jesus Christ to say that God would take away your salvation every time you make a mistake, every time you sin, would mean that it is a legal gift.

And I want you to know, the gift of salvation is not a legal gift. It is a gift that is given to us through a covenant relationship. Now God did not make the covenant with us, but rather he made it with Christ and Christ sealed it and he delivered it to us through his crucifixion and resurrection.

And remember that the Father promised the Son a gift of believers. Jesus said, all that the Father gives me shall come to me and he that comes to me I will in no wise cast out. You see friends, you as a believer in Jesus Christ, I know this is stunning, it’s startling and it may even be a setback in your life, but you are a gift from the Father to the Son.

A gift of the trophy of God’s grace and his good work in people’s lives. So I want you to keep that in mind. I want you also to understand the second principle about grace is that grace cannot coexist with human obligation.

Now we’re not gonna say, well, God was gracious to me and he saved me and now I have to pay him back. You see, it’s not grace if you have to pay back. It’s not grace if you have to pay God back. Grace is a free gift, it’s not alone.

And I just want you to understand that it doesn’t matter what you do, you could never do enough to pay God back. Did you know that? You say, well, pastor, why do I wanna live a holy life and why do I wanna serve God?

I’ll tell you why because you wanna give praise and glory to the one who saved your soul. And if you would live your life like that, not that I’m trying to pay God back, but I just wanna give him glory and I just wanna give him praise.

Then friends, that is a more meaningful Christian life and that is a more fulfilling Christian life and a life of purpose and significance than you running around saying, I gotta pay God back. No friends, you’ll never be able to pay God back.

The third thing I want you to learn about grace is that it can’t be done. coexist with human merit or effort. Grace is not only offered to people who are good, but it is offered to every person on the planet.

Amen. Now think about this for a second church. You know, some people say, you know, you gotta be good enough to be safe. No, you don’t. And some of you are saying, well, you know, I’m not as bad as the other guy.

Well, friends, it doesn’t matter. I want you to understand it like this. I know this would be a hard image for you to create in your mind. We’re all back there in the back. We’re gonna run and then we’re gonna jump and try to touch the top of this ceiling.

Now that’s about 30 feet up there. And the only way you can get to heaven is if you touch the top. Let me tell you something. Some of you are gonna do better than others. But some of you are gonna do worse than others.

But let me tell you something, it doesn’t matter because none of you, including Mike, are gonna ever touch. in your own effort, the top of that ceiling. Let me tell you, the only way you’re gonna do that is through somebody helping you.

And it’s the same way in salvation. Some of you might live a little bit better than the other person. And some of you might live a little worse than the other person, but it doesn’t matter because we all fall short of the glory of God.

Are you with me? The Bible says we’ve all sinned and come short of the glory of God. And so we all fall short. The only way we’re gonna ever reach the righteous standard of holiness of God to be able to enter into the pearly gates and to live with the Lord Jesus forever and ever is going to be through the grace of God.

It’s gonna be through what God does for us and his help in that he saves our soul. And yes, you say, well, I’m better and I did this and I did that. And look how many times I came to church, pastor. Friends, none of that merits or earns you a place in heaven.

The only way you get to heaven is through Jesus Christ. Jesus said, I am the way, the truth, and the life and no one comes to me except through the Father. And the only way you’re getting to heaven is you gotta know Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior.

You say, well, I’ve been good, pastor. Your goodness won’t save you, but the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ will save you if you would surrender all to him and believe in him this morning. Christianity is set apart from any other religion in the world.

Every other approach to God is based on a bartering system. If I do this, God will do that. Most people believe that they’re either saved by works their experiences or the things that they have somehow accomplished.

But I want you to know that in Christianity, man is not the negotiator. We have no grounds to negotiate with God. We… We are nothing but poor, humble sinners. And Jesus Christ through His wonderful grace stooped down as the King.

And He lifted us up out of the myery clay of our sin. And He set our feet on a solid rock. And for all who believe in Christ, they will have everlasting life. But I want you to know that if nothing will fire you up, it is the wonderful promise of eternal life through Jesus Christ.

And see, here’s the thing I want you to know. It’s that every person who believes in the Lord Jesus Christ and the church family and the community in your family, that they have the promise of eternal life.

And I want you to be thankful this year for the people in your family that are saved. You say, well, Mike, they’re not always what they ought to be. I know. And neither are you and neither am I. I tell people up front, I just want you to know, if you join the church, I’m going to disappoint you.

I’m going to fail you. It’s not that I’m out there trying to. It’s not that I wake up and say, how can I make your life miserable every day? It’s just that I’m human, flesh and bones. And so we gotta be understanding.

And I just wanna encourage us as a church to be thankful like the apostle Paul was for the Corinthians, for God’s grace in their life. The second thing I want you to see that he was thankful for was that they were enriched.

Being enriched in everything by him. Look at verse five, that you were enriched in everything by him in all utterance and all knowledge. Well, Paul surprises us here. The apostle is saying that he gives thanks to God that they have been enriched in everything and come short in no gift.

Look at verse seven, it says there so that you can come short in no gift. He’s talking about spiritual gifts. The Corinthians were a very gifted people. They had all kinds of spiritual gifts. We don’t have time to teach them this morning, but I want you to know, that even though they were gifted, they were carnal.

They were fleshly. They reacted in the flesh. They responded in the flesh towards one another. If you take time in your own personal time with the Lord and you begin to read this text, what you will find is over and over that the Corinthians were handling things in the wrong way.

But Paul, the apostle, is thankful for the wonderful work of God and how he has gifted his people in their lives. Now, there were three particular gifts that the apostle brings to our attention. I want you to see those in verse five.

First, he uses the word utterance. It is probably better-translated speech. Some of you may have a translation that uses that. It’s the idea that they could tell God’s truth with boldness. The church was gifted with many who were not afraid to share their faith, not afraid to tell others about Christ.

No wonder this church was an explosive church, a growing church. No wonder so many good things were happening in that they were reaching out into their corrupt community and people were coming to Christ because the church was filled with evangelists who had the capacity to speak for him.

You’ll note the second gift was knowledge. I want you to see that there in verse 5. He says that in all knowledge, not the knowledge of science, not the knowledge of math. I’m sure there were people who had that knowledge, but the spiritual knowledge that they had the wisdom and understanding of God.

They had a knowledge of God’s truth that they had this wonderful understanding of how the Lord came and died on the cross and that he resurrected and all who believe in him can have eternal life. But unfortunately, they didn’t always use it for the benefit and the blessing of others.

You remember, and you can go there later this afternoon in 1 Corinthians chapter 13, that the apostle reminds the Corinthians that knowledge puffs up. It can make you prideful. I’ve met many people who know a lot about the Bible, but they’re not humble servants.

And they use their knowledge of God and His word as a weapon in their relationships. They use the knowledge of God to humiliate and demean others. Perhaps that was part of the problem with the Corinthians, blessed with this wonderful knowledge, but didn’t always apply the knowledge in a way that was loving and caring, and supportive to the family of God.

But Paul does give thanks that they have this knowledge. You’ll note again, that he talks about gifts in verse seven. He says at the beginning, they were not short on any gifts. You know the Bible teaches us that we have spiritual gifts.

When you come to believe in Christ, you’re given a gift. Unbelievers don’t have a gift, but we as believers have gifts. You say I want to learn more about these gifts. Well, they’re in 1 Corinthians chapter 12.

They’re in Romans chapter 12. They’re in 1 Peter chapter 4. These are just an overview of some of the spiritual gifts that are out there that the Bible teaches that the Spirit of God gives us. They were not shortchanged in any gift.

They were blessed with many spiritual gifts. The spiritual gifts always fall into three categories, church. Remember this, there are the sign gifts. There are the speaking gifts. And there are the serving gifts.

At the Open Door church, we believe the sign gifts have been completed. They were given to the early church to help in the transition from the old covenant to the new covenant to be a sign unto the Jews.

You say, how do you know this, Mike? Where do you come up with this crazy stuff? Well, just read 1 Corinthians chapter 14. 1 Corinthians chapter 14 tells us that the sign gifts were for the Jews to understand.

that the Old Testament and the Old Covenant had been fulfilled in the Lord Jesus Christ. And now we were transitioning into a new covenant of grace, and the gospel would not just be limited to Jews, but it would go unto all the world, unto Gentiles, unto every people group, and God gave those signed gifts to the apostles and the early church as a validation of His messengers that anyone, whoever believes in the name of the Lord shall be what church saved.

I like to hear you say that because I think it’s a wonderful testimony, but I want you to consider this. What gifts has God given you? What gifts has God given you? And are you using those gifts? But you got a problem?

Do you want to use your gift? Do you want to be engaged? Then you got to be that squeaky will. You got to be that squeaky will. Let the elders know. Let the pastor know. Let the staff know. Let us know that, hey, I’m gifted.

I want to use my gift. Don’t forget about me. I’m over here ready to serve. But here’s what I want you to remember, be thankful. Be thankful that God has enriched every believer. Whether they use their gifts or not, they have been gifted by God and there’s so much we can be thankful for in other people’s lives.

The third thing I want you to see that the apostle was thankful for was the testimony of Christ that is in each one of us who believes. Look at verse six. Even as the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you, the testimony of Christ, the testimony that Christ saved them, the testimony of Christ that He was working in them.

Now I love this word confirmed. I want you to circle it in your Bible. Here’s what it means, settled. Or to be made steadfast, to be established. This is what Christ has done for us through His work on the cross and us believing by faith.

He has confirmed us. He has established us. He has rooted us. And I want you to know that even though there are Christians sometimes that end up on detours and they end up on the wrong path and sometimes they’re not making all the progress that they should be making in their faith.

My friends, if you believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and you’re sincere, I want you to know that you are confirmed. You are settled. You are established in the faith of the Lord Jesus Christ. Some of you are worried about your children, aren’t you?

You remember the day they came to Christ. You remember the day they prayed that prayer. You remember when they reached out to God with all sincerity and humbleness and they asked the Lord to save their soul and yet their heart has drifted.

Maybe they’ve been distracted. And maybe they’re on a path that is a little destructive and you’re wondering, is there anything in that heart that has been redeemed by God? Well, friends, I want you to know this, even if they’re not all that you want them to be, if they were true, and God’s word is true.

I believe that they’re a child of God and that we have to do everything we can to bring out that best. And I’m gonna tell you, drilling down on them, beating them up verbally, ragging on them about every mistake in their life.

That’s not gonna help them. Here’s what you need to do. You affirm them. You admonish them, but you affirm them of this wonderful confirmation of God and what he did in their hearts as a little child.

And that they truly are established in the faith and that they have been made strong in Christ and that they just need to bring out that potential and they need to bring out that best in them and that you need to rejoice and give thanks, this Thanksgiving, for the testimony of Christ in them.

You see, Paul, had confidence in God’s ability and God’s commitment to the church at Corinth. There were times that he probably buried his face in his hands thinking what else could these people do?

But you know what? He was confident of God’s good work in them through them and around them. Later he would tell the Philippian church that he would remind them that he had confidence that he who began a good work in them would complete it.

Do you believe that God would complete his good work in the hearts of your children? Would you believe that God would complete the work in those around you even though they sometimes let you down? Would you believe that God can do that?

Yes, my friends, and we’re talking about the work of salvation. God can complete and will complete in the heart of all those who believe in him, his good work. Our confidence is not in the methods of man or even the intimidation or manipulation of man, but rather our confidence is in God’s great power.

What I want you to do is go home today. I want you to claim that verse in Philippians chapter 1. I think it’s verse 4 and I want you to claim it for your children. I want you to claim it for family members, for friends, and I want you to claim it and pray it for them.

And you say, Lord, not that you forgot, but I just wanted to remind you. Amen. Have you ever done that one? I have a few times. Lord, I know you don’t forget anything, but I just wanted to remind you.

You say, Pastor, that’s terrible. Well, I’m just trying to be like Moses. Just trying to be like Abraham. Just trying to be like Ruth, who always reminded God of his promises to the people. So I remind God of his promises and I pray them to God and I ask God to fulfill these promises in the hearts of those he has truly saved and that he would continue to do his good work in their life.

Now we have a fast track number four and that is the soon appearance of Christ. What else was it? thankful for, the soon appearing of Christ. Look at verse 7. We already talked about how they came short in no gift, but look at this.

Eagerly waiting for the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ. Look at verse 8. Who will also confirm, there it is again. We see it in verse 6. Now we see it in verse 8. Who will also confirm you to the end so that you may be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ?

How wonderful. The second coming of Christ is mentioned over 300 times in the Bible. People wonder, is God coming? You might be like the scoffers in 1 Peter who didn’t think that Christ would come. Where is he?

And Peter reminded them that our God is not slack concerning his promises, but is longsuffering to us. Not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. You say, why is God letting this world spiral downward?

Why is he allowing all this lawlessness and crazy that is going on in this world? Let me tell you why, because he is not willing that any should perish, but that all would come to repentance. Some of you, are trying to figure it all out.

It’s really simple. A man left to himself will make a mess of himself. And you see, they all kicked God out of the schools and they kicked God out of the courtroom. They kicked God out of government and they kicked God out of the public square and they kicked God out.

And you see God, he can take a hint. He knows. And so God, he gets out of the way. And those people that think they’re so smart and they think they know what they’re doing, well, they’re destroying themselves.

I feel sad for the children that they’re destroying these days. But let me tell you, why does God let all this take place? Because he still wants people to be saved. And that’s why the church can’t shrink back.

We can’t cower down. We can’t whine. We can’t complain. We have to step up and speak up. And we don’t need to be hateful. We don’t need to be obnoxious. We don’t need to be rude. But we need to be people who are sharing the wonderful news of the Lord Jesus Christ.

You say, pastor, what’s the answer to all this crazy? Jesus. Jesus can straighten lives out. Jesus can fix broken hearts. Jesus can save souls. And Jesus can deliver us from the mess that we have made.

We just have to put our faith and our trust in the Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus is coming again, church. But until then, we are to be working. And we are to be reaching every person that we can. The apostle was thankful for the soon appearance of Christ.

We see the signs of his coming all around. And so that ought to tell us to get even more busy. Some of you are saying, I need to slow down, Mike. I need to get in the slow lane of life. Let me tell you, friends, jump out of that slow lane and you get back in the fast lane and you serve God until he promotes you to heaven.

Amen. There’s gonna be a day we won’t have time. So I wanna encourage you to live in light of Christ’s second coming. Are you? Are you living in light of Christ’s second coming? You wake up and look for him?

The Bible says in Titus 2 .13 that we’re looking for that great blessed hope, the glorious appearance of the great God and of our savior, Jesus Christ. He hasn’t come back yet, but he’s coming soon so I better get busy and get as many people to heaven today as I can.

You see, what motivates you is not politics and it’s not even people’s response to you. It’s that it ain’t gonna be long before Jesus comes and we got a lot to get done before he comes, amen. But the final thing I want you to see and it may be the best point.

The apostle was thankful for God’s faithfulness and his fellowship. Would you look at verse nine again? God is faithful by whom you were called into the fellowship of his son, Jesus Christ, our Lord.

Can we deny that God is faithful? Can you and I, no matter how many troubling times we have seen and how many people might have let us down and failed us? Friends, it doesn’t matter. The world will disappoint you.

People will let you down. But let me tell you who will never let you down. And that is our heavenly Father. God is faithful. God is faithful. His goodness will follow us all the days of our life. And we will end our lives giving tribute and honor to the Lord Jesus Christ.

And when we leave this world and we enter into that beautiful place that Christ has prepared for us, there isn’t one of us that’s going to regret all that we did for God. And there isn’t one of us that’s going to testify that God was unfaithful to us.

My friends, this Thanksgiving, I want to encourage you to be thankful for God’s faithfulness and that he called you into the fellowship because God is faithful. And let me tell you the areas that he’s faithful in.

He is faithful to complete the salvation of all who believe in Jesus Christ. It is from beginning to end. He is the author and the finisher of your faith. And so in between, yep, some dips, some detours, some struggles, some trying times, but he’s going to get you to the end church.

I already told you that. But I want you to remember that. That God is faithful. He’s faithful to help us to resist temptation. There’s the temptation to live in anger and bitterness towards those who’ve let you down.

There’s the temptation. to be mad at every person who didn’t follow through with what they would say to you. There’s the temptation for you to torch bridges in your life and to live a life of isolation and never have any relationships in your life.

But let me tell you something friends, that’s not what God wants to do. That’s not what God wants you to do. God wants you to show grace and mercy. You say, well, they’re not worthy of me showing grace and mercy too.

How about that one? Neither are you worthy of the grace of God shown to you. You’re not worthy to be called into the fellowship of Christ. I’m not worthy that he would be so faithful to me. Be careful church, that you don’t let the temptations of your emotions and your flesh and your carnality cause you to burn bridges.

The Bible says no temptation has overtaken you except such as common demand. But God is faithful and will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able to, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape that you may be able to bear it.

Now we think of these verses just in the context of maybe lust, sexual sins, certainly included, but let me tell you what I want you to think of it in this context. And I believe it’s very applicable, especially at Thanksgiving time, if I want you to ask God to show you the way of escape from being tempted to be angry, bitter, and hateful to those who have hurt your heart.

And I want you this Thanksgiving to be thankful for every person. Let me tell you what the way of escape is. It is prayer. When you pray to God, He empowers you with His Spirit and His Word, and He will help you so that even though you’re upset at that person, you can be thankful for that person and God’s good work in their life.

Yes, friends, God has called us into His fellowship. His Son, Jesus Christ is our Lord. He has gifted us and He has blessed us, and our confidence is not in ourselves, but it is in Him. The apostle had a regular habit of thanking God for the people that were in his life.

And this week, I don’t want you to be cast down. I don’t want you to be discouraged. I want you to learn the habit of thanking God anyway. I want you to thank God for every person in your life, even if they’ve let you down.

Would you pray with me, too? Have you let the problems of life weigh you down that you can’t even give praise to God? Are you thinking about the things that are praiseworthy or the things that are defeating you and discouraging you?

Well, God wants you to be thankful anyway. We know that there are many problems in this world and I wish we lived in a perfect world but we don’t. And so here we are. What do we do? Well, I think one of the things is that we have to be Christians filled with gratitude.

So I hope this message has been a blessing to you and that you have been encouraged by this message. We want to also let you know that you can access more of our sermons and messages on YouTube. Just go to YouTube and type in Hope Worth Having.

Like our channel or subscribe to it and then you can see all the different videos. There’s Q &As, there’s some discussion panels and there’s also sermons teaching on different topics and books of the Bible.

So take advantage of that and we want to remind you that in Christ there is hope worth having. Desert for the Artists

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