Wednesday, July 6, 2016
Entitled People are NEVER Thankful!
No one is born with a thankful heart. This is something regarding our character that needs to be instilled in us, and challenged, to nurture a thankful heart. If we become disgruntled, we become unhappy. We are spoiled. To feel entitled, and entitled people are NEVER thankful. It is never enough for them. Whatever they have, they want more.
When you are not thankful, everything will be bitter. There is nothing good ever. We need to change that and be thankful for what we do have. Change your perspective on things. Stop grumbling and replace that with a thankful heart.
We need to develop a thankful heart. Throughout Scripture, there are always types of Christ-like characters and anti-Christ like ones. Today we are going to look at these to see who is who. We know in the history of Israel, they went through cycles of obedience and disobedience, over and over again. It's a back-slider life. It's not worth living that way as you will soon see.
Israel missed doing that, developing a thankful heart. For all these years, 2 judges, who ruled for many years and its what we don't see that is relevant.
Judges 10:1-5 ~ "After Abimelech there arose to save Israel Tola the son of Puah, the son of Dodo, a man of Issachar; and he dwelt in Shamir in the mountains of Ephraim. He judged Israel twenty-three years; and he died and was buried in Shamir. After him rose Jair, a Gileadite; and he judged Israel twenty-two years. Now he had thirty sons who rode on thirty donkeys; they also had thirty towns, which are called "Havoth Jair" to this day, which are in the land of Gilead. And Jair died and was buried in Camon."
We don't see much here. No amazing feats like Gideon did. Their names are simply mentioned. Some commentators say these were bad guys, but notice the word, "SAVE." During all this time, Israel did not have a war involving them for 45 years. They had 45 years of peace. They must have led Israel rightly and justly. They were judges. They were godly people. They were blessed. There is no fault here.
In total for nearly 45 years, Israel enjoyed peace and quiet within its borders and without. The enemies of Israel had been held at bay and the Jews prospered. The land and the people recovered and became strong and productive again. Everything "seemed" to be going well.
If it was true for a nation, could it be true about you and me, personally? Israel was not thankful during that time of peace and its a lesson we need to learn as well. As soon as they had the chance, they would depart from God, and go and do bad things again.
As a nation, a nation will go as its people go. A nation goes as a family goes. As families go in a nation, so goes America, as statistics have shown. Solomon said there is nothing new under the sun. Israel in its prosperity forgot God. Isn't that what nations do during times of great prosperity? They begin to enjoy things more than enjoy the One who gives us these things.
What are you thankful for? There are only really a handful of things worth striving and longing for in the end anyway, and that really matter. We know we have to work, gain an income and pay our bills, but when those things become our sole purpose, we will begin to fall into an unthankful heart. We begin to see that what we are striving for doesn't bring us any people. It doesn't give us any comfort. When it's all stripped away, can you write down things you are thankful to God for?
God is a jealous God. He doesn't want to share. He wants your heart. Houses and cars don't matter. We need to look at things with spiritual eyes instead. You can walk down the corridors of a hospital and the people inside some of those rooms would just love to smell the air outside again. To feel the breeze on their face and to hear the sounds of birds singing.
When everything is stripped away, do you still have a thankful heart? Israel didn't.
Developing a thankful heart, creates an appreciation.
Judges 10:1-2 ~ " After Abimelech there arose to save Israel Tola the son of Puah, the son of Dodo, a man of Issachar; and he dwelt in Shamir in the mountains of Ephraim. He judged Israel twenty-three years; and he died and was buried in Shamir."
We don't know much more than that about Tola. His name in the Hebrew means scarlet or red, grub-like worm, a maggot. The crimson-grub. Used in the dying of fabric. To color "red" a robe or a garment. The crimson, scarlet worm. The death of a tola, provided a red-colored dye to stain a garment completely, perfectly and permanently.
In nature, the Tola has a very unique way of birthing its young. It would come out of the hearth, make its way up the trunk of a tree on the east facing side, and then wait for the rising of the sun. The sun would cause it to literally "explode " sending its young back to the earth to develop. The death of a Tola worm would leave a crimson red stain on a tree. A picture of Jesus Christ for us to see.
Psalm 22:1-6 ~ "My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me? Why are You so far from helping Me, and from the words of My groaning? O My God, I cry in the daytime, but You do not hear; and in the night season, and am not silent. But You are holy, enthroned in the praises of Israel. Our fathers trusted in You; They trusted, and You delivered them. They cried to You, and were delivered; They trusted in You, and were not ashamed. But I am a worm, and no man; a reproach of men, and despised by the people."
Many scholars believe Jesus quoted all of this instead of just the first verse. When God the Father looks at you and I (independent of our efforts, works or deeds) He sees us covered in the "red" that Jesus' blood provides us. The Bible says that Jesus went to the cross for us, taking upon Himself all the sins of the world. It is why God could not look at Jesus. It is why Jesus felt forsaken by the Father. God can not look upon evil.
The reason most people don't come to Christ is because a sad, horrific, pathetic Christian witness keeps them from coming to Christ. But try as you may, there has never been found a Christian who went to the cross to die for your sins. Aren't you glad? Because it wouldn't have accomplished anything except the world would have one less Christian walking around.
Jesus died for us. He saved us! The Bible says we have been washed in the blood of the Lamb.
1 Peter 1:18-19 ~ "Knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver and gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish or without spot."
Romans 5:8-9 ~ "But God demonstrates His won love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him."
Romans 3:23-25b ~ " For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified freely by His brace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness,"
You can't buy your way into heaven. You can't wait to make a decision for Christ either. No one is guaranteed a tomorrow. You either have salvation or you don't. Live for Jesus now! Jesus changes your life. We become witnesses for Christ. We are to be on call for Him 24/7. We need to be leading people to Christ.
Ephesians 1:7-8 ~ "In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace, which He made to abound toward us in all wisdom and prudence."
He provided "the blood" which "redeems' us based upon the act of His "grace" that "brings" us salvation.