Thanksgiving Attitude

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Thanksgiving Attitude
By Pastor David Hunt

One of the most outstanding illustrations of how the act of giving thanks affects God is found in the Luke’s record of the healing of the ten lepers. He introduces us to ten dying lepers crying for mercy. Our merciful savior lovingly told them to go and present themselves to the priests. His command was filled with hope. They took this to mean that they were going to be healed at some point in the process of obeying his words.

Amazingly, while they were on their way, the healing took place!

Then, the story rises to another level. One of those who were healed goes back to Jesus, the healer. When he reached Jesus, he fell on his face and glorified God while giving thanks for the blessing he had just received. This would seem the logical, expected thing to do. Except, as Jesus pointed out, where are the others that were healed?

 

Jesus, God incarnate, asked the question, “Where are those I have blessed, why did they not return to do what this Samaritan did?” I must wonder if God is still asking the same question of some of us.  Every believer should live a life filled with gratitude for the fact that we have been delivered from sin.

We may have conflicts, hardships, and afflictions that are challenging us. But, despite all this, as the old hymn declares, “It is well with my soul.” This fact alone should be enough to evoke an attitude of thanksgiving in the heart of every believer.

The 30th Psalm is known as a song of thanksgiving. It is a list of reasons why the psalmist made the decision to thank God:

  1. You lifted me out of the depths.
  2. You healed me.
  3. You brought me up from death.
  4. You spared me from going down into the pit.
  5. You turned my wailing into dancing.
  6. You removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy.

He concludes with, “I will not be silent, I will give you thanks forever.” He understood that “weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning.”

Basically, thanksgiving is the act of expressing specific gratitude to God for blessings He has bestowed upon us. Thanksgiving should accompany our prayer and supplication. Let me paraphrase Philippians 4:6. “Don’t worry about anything, pray about everything and be sure to thank God when you make your requests known.”

Principles to consider when offering thanks.

  1. Thank God for spiritual blessings. (salvation etc.)
  2. Thank Him for material blessings. (jobs, needs, etc.)
  3. Thank Him for our physical blessings. (health, family, etc.)
  4. Thank Him for past blessings.
  5. Thank God for our future hope.

The Psalmist plainly indicated that the way to enter God’s presence is with thanksgiving and praise.

Psalm 100:1-5

1 Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all ye lands. 2 Serve the LORD with gladness: come before his presence with singing. 3 Know ye that the LORD he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. 4 Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name. 5 For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.

The first command is in verse 1 is, “Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth.” It means to “shout with the force of a trumpet blast,” a shout of joy to the Lord that comes from the very depths of your being. The second command is, “Serve the Lord with gladness.” The third command is, “Come before Him with joyful songs.” Command 4 is, “Know that the Lord is God. It is He who made us, & we are His; we are His people, the sheep of His pasture.”

God appreciates our thanksgiving. It lifts Him up and it glorifies Him. And thanksgiving endears him to us. It draws us closer. If we are not grateful, if we do not express our thanksgiving, then it can have the opposite effect. One of the signs of a carnal heart is being unthankful (Romans 1:21).

We are made whole by our thanksgiving. Psychologists today tell us that sincere gratitude, thanksgiving, is the healthiest of all human emotions. Hans Selye, who is considered the father of stress studies, has said that gratitude produces more positive emotional energy than any other attitude in life. And a thankful heart will endear others to us and us to others. Thanksgiving is not only good for the giver but also good for the receiver.

THE ATTITUDE OF THANKSGIVING CAN OVERCOME DESTRUCTIVE ATTITUDES LIKE: BITTERNESS / COMPLAINING & MURMURING / DISCOURAGEMENT / ETC.

So, it is good for us to learn from the one that was a stranger that returned to give Jesus thanks. His thankfulness opened a treasure trove of continued blessings.

 

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Rev. David Hunt is the Senior Pastor of Eastivew United Pentecostal Church in Lufkin, Texas. Pastor David Hunt and his wife, Luetta, are well respected and received by our community. Their love for the church and for those who do not know Jesus Christ in the power of the Holy Ghost is superseded only by their love for Jesus Christ. Pastor Hunt is a wonderful blessing that we, as a church, do not take for granted.

Pastor Hunt is a phenomenal teacher with a unique way of imparting Biblical truths, and he firmly believes in equipping and empowering the body of Christ.  He is an international prophecy author and conference speaker.

The Hunts have two grown daughters and three grandchildren.



T.E.A.M. Ministry Part 2

Team Concept

The Biblical Pattern of Team Ministry

TEAM MINISTRY DEFINED

TEAM: Groups of two or more people working together to accomplish a task.

MINISTRY: A distinctive biblical idea that means “to serve” or “servant.”

TEAM MINISTRY

A group of Christians sharing in a united purpose

 while serving together to accomplish a spiritual task.

In the Old Testament, the word “servant” was used primarily for court servants (1 Kings 10:5). During the period between the Old and New Testaments, it came to be used in connection with ministering to the poor. This use of the word is close to the work of the seven in waiting on tables in the New Testament (Acts 6:1-7). 

Simply put, ministers are servants who serve God, His Church and others.

In reality, all believers are “ministers.” The apostle Paul urged the true pastor-teacher to “equip the saints” so they can minister to one another (Eph 4:11-12). The model, of course, is Jesus, who “did not come to be served, but to serve” (Mark 10:45). His service is revealed in the fact that He gave “His life a ransom for many” (Matt 20:28).

The Bible is filled with examples of teams working together for the Kingdom:

Team Ministry has its origin in the beginning pages of God’s Word

  • GE 1:26 Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.“
  • GE 1:27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.
  • GE 1:28 God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”

The first human pair God placed on the earth was created to be an Empowered Team!

Adam and Eve were created to give team-leadership to creation!

In the Old Testament, we see the Team concept:

  • Noah worked with his sons.
  • Moses and Aaron led the Israelites into the Promised Land.
  • Nehemiah worked with many people.
  • Although the nation of Israel had a king, leadership was actually shared between prophet, priest, and king.

In the New Testament, we see an expansion of Team Ministry:

  • Jesus sent out the Twelve (Luke 9:1-6) and the Seventy (Luke 10:1-12) in teams of two.
  • On the Day of Pentecost there was a team of about 120 that through prayer and unity helped to usher in the birth of the NT Church.
  • An examination of the missionary journeys of the Apostle Paul reveals numerous examples of the use of church planting teams.
  • Even after Barnabas and Paul separated over John Mark, they both went their separate ways working with teams (Acts 15: 36-31).
  • Study the local ministries in Rome, Corinth, Thessalonica, and others, and you will find that when they were functioning properly and growing in Christ, it was when they were a team in unity, purpose and shared ministry…operating as ONE BODY!
 

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Rev. Rick Martin is the Staff & Discipleship Pastor of Eastview United Pentecostal Church. He is an ordained minister and is the co-founder and president of the R.O.M. Group, Inc. – a consulting firm offering a service range from growth strategies to designing interior spaces. He is the author of the highly successful leadership & team ministry series The Ambassador Advantage and co-author of the international youth ministry Summer of Service. Bro. Martin has ministered in churches and conferences across the United States and in the Philippines. He has served as a pastor, district official and bible college instructor. Bro. Martin and his wife, Terri have two grown sons and two grandchildren.