Pastor David Moore
Old Testament reading: Psalm 107:1‐16
Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! His faithful love endures forever. Has the Lord redeemed you? Then speak out! Tell others He has redeemed you from your enemies. For He has gathered the exiles from many lands, from east and west, from north and south.
Some wandered in the wilderness, lost and homeless. Hungry and thirsty, they nearly died. “Lord, help!” they cried in their trouble, and He rescued them from their distress. He led them straight to safety, to a city where they could live. Let them praise the Lord for His great love and for the wonderful things He has done for them. For He satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things.
Some sat in darkness and deepest gloom, imprisoned in iron chains of misery. They rebelled against the words of God, scorning the counsel of the Most High. That is why He broke them with hard labor; they fell, and no one was there to help them. “Lord, help!” they cried in their trouble, and He saved them from their distress. He led them from the darkness and deepest gloom; He snapped their chains.
Let them praise the Lord for His great love and for the wonderful things He has done for them. For He broke down their prison gates of bronze; He cut apart their bars of iron.
Theme today; OVERLOOKED – taking God for granted is a symptom of something much more serious; we are trying to be God. ~D. Moore
New Testament reading Romans 1:18‐24
The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities— His eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.
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. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles.
Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another.
We often take for granted the very things that most deserve our gratitude. ~Cynthia Ozick
You might recognize that wickedness breaks relationships with people and godliness breaks our relationship with God. Jesus says we are to love God with all our mind, soul and strength, and to love others as ourselves. ~D. Moore
Key phrases that are key to understanding today’s passage, “men who suppress the truth by their wickedness…”; “where these men will not thank God or give Him glory.” ~D. Moore
Matthew 5:6 Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.
God is our author, David said. God knits us together in our mother’s womb. ~D. Moore
Our relationship with God is that we are in debt to Him for what He has done on our behalf. He has given us everything‐‐the only proper response is to give Him everything back. Are we about the Lord’s work? Or our own agenda? ~D. Moore
Ingratitude, it is the one thing to conclude that God exists. It is another to glorify Him as God and to let Him be God over your life.
Christianity, in a nutshell, goes like this: God created you, and even though you lived your whole life as you own lord, making your own decisions to benefit you. However, God still loves you and still wants a relationship with you. ~D. Moore
How can ingratitude end up in the worship of idols and immorality? Ingratitude is the mother of self‐ pity. And the way to overcome self‐pity is gratitude.
“You can’t, except in the lowest animal sense, be in love with a girl if you know (and keep on remembering) that all the beauties both of her person and of her character are a momentary and accidental pattern produced by a collision of atoms and your own response to them is only a sort of psychic phosphorescence arising from the behavior of your genes. You can’t go on getting very serious pleasure from music if you know and remember that its air of significance is pure illusion, that you only like it because your nervous system is irrationally conditioned to like it. You may still, in the lowest sense begin to have a ‘good time’; but just in so far as it becomes very good, just in so far as it ever threatens to push you on from cold sensuality into real warmth and enthusiasm and joy, so afar you will be forced to feel the hopeless disharmony between your own emotions and the universe in which you really live.”
~C. S. Lewis
A Christian says on the other hand, “Whatever happens, I owe God everything. My very life. Regardless of what happens to me, I owe Him gratitude. Everything I have is a free gift from Him to me, so I live my life with gratitude.” So, we who follow Jesus feel a sense of obligation to follow Jesus, know what He said and how to apply it to our lives. It is love worked out. We love God, and therefore strive to be who He has asked us to be and to do what He has asked us to do. So, for those of us who follow Jesus, I would ask you to be especially grateful for Him this week and to tell Him how grateful you are. For those who do not yet follow Jesus, I’d ask to reflect on whether this is true or not, that at the basis of much of our sin is an ingratitude to God, a refusal to let God be God, and we feed this desire to be God. Coming to Jesus means everything. Jesus Himself said to be poor in spirit, that we realize we cannot save ourselves, to be mournful at who we are and how we have allowed our ingratitude to rule our lives, and to meekly ask for God to help us come into His Kingdom. ~D. Moore
God bless you, continue to pray to our Creator for a grateful heart this week as we promote a deeper relationship with Christ.