Our Father in heaven, we praise You and thank You too. Your grace and mercy has always been with us. We give You all glory, honor, and praise. At this time, Lord, we desire to give You thanks for who You are, and what You have done in our lives. God of all blessings, source of all life, giver of all grace: We thank you for the gift of life: for the breath that sustains life, for the food of this earth that nurtures life, for the love of family and friends without which there would be no life. We thank you for the mystery of creation: for the beauty that the eye can see, for the joy that the ear may hear, for the unknown that we cannot behold filling the universe with wonder, for the expanse of space that draws us beyond the definitions of our selves. We thank you for setting us in communities: for families who nurture our becoming, for friends who love us by choice, for companions at work, who share our burdens and daily tasks, for strangers who welcome us into their midst, for people from other lands who call us to grow in understanding, for children who lighten our moments with delight, for the unborn, who offer us hope for the future. We thank you for this day: for life and one more day to love, for opportunity and one more day to work for justice and peace, for neighbors and one more person to love and by whom be loved, for your grace and one more experience of your presence, for your promise: to be with us, to be our God, and to give salvation. For these and all blessings, we give you thanks, eternal, loving God, through Jesus Christ we pray. Amen.
Lesson 6: Jesus offered thanks.
Matthew 11:25; I Corinthians 3:16; Hebrews 4:16; 2 Corinthians 1:20; Psalm 138:2-3; Philippians 2:9-11
Jesus gave thanks when he prayed (Read Matt. 11:25-26). He set for us a model that we should follow. To fail to give thanks reflects on the condition of our relationship with God. If we are not thanking God, we are probably unaware of God’s merciful and generous provision.
How often do we forget the gracious hand of God and his bountiful blessings on our life.
Let’s stop for a moment and consider the blessings of God:
- Born in America.
- Finest medical care in the world.
- Freedom to worship.
- Spiritual blessings. Etc.
We should always be thankful and express thanks to God for each of those blessings and more. Why give thanks? It is only good manners to return thanks for a kindness done to us. It is courtesy, politeness, acceptable behavior for those who have been the recipients of favor and kindness and blessing. Thanksgiving is essential to prayer, since all that we are, all that we have and all that we receive comes from our gracious God.
Consider these verses:
Offer unto God thanksgiving; and pay thy vows unto the most High:
Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.
Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving;
It is a good thing to give thanks unto the Lord, and to sing praises unto thy name, O Most High:
Praise ye the Lord. O give thanks unto the Lord; for he is good: for his mercy endureth forever.
O give thanks unto the Lord, for he is good: for his mercy endureth forever.
O give thanks unto the Lord; for he is good: because his mercy endureth for ever.
Jesus has model a lifestyle of thanksgiving; we are commanded to give thanks, but we have a propensity to forget God’s goodness in our lives. (See Luke 17:11-19). In a village north of Jerusalem Jesus healed ten lepers, but only one returned to give thanks (Read Luke 17:15-16). Jesus affirms him even as he confronts the thanklessness of the others (Read Luke 17:17-18). Jesus gave thanks when he prayed and considered it a normal response to a loving God who answers our requests. Let’s not forget our manners. Let’s give thanks to a good, merciful, and kind God.
Let’s talk about our worship/praise to God:
Do you ever get tired of this world? Do you get tired of the monotony of life and seek a higher, more exciting plane? Do you ever long to leave all the filth and degradation behind, for just a little while? Would you like a break sometime—to just get away from it all, and go to a place where you can just leave it all behind?
That is what worship does (Hebrews 4:15-16)!
- Hard To Define. It is not really defined in Scripture—it is shown, but not explained. The primary Old Testament term translated “worship” means “to bow down… to prostrate oneself” and the primary New Testament term literally means “to kiss toward”.
- “It may be regarded as the direct acknowledgment to God, of His nature, attributes, ways and claims. Whether by the outgoing of the heart in praise and thanksgiving… or by deed done in such acknowledgment” (W.E. Vine)
- Sacred. Many people do not recognize the sanctity of certain things. To them, holy things are common. How does such a casual attitude toward God, cause us to lose sight of the aura of awe and majesty that surrounds Him (Hebrews 10:29; 12:28)
- God seeks intimate fellowship with us. But what do we need to remember (Psalm 8:3-4; 89:7)?
- A Spiritual Exercise. It is an exercise of the mind and heart, more than just an action of the body. How is each of the following expressions of worship an exercise of the inward man? (Remember that each of these can be done without really worshipping God.)
- Ephesians 5:19—
- 1 Corinthians 11:23-29—
- Hebrews 4:15-16—
- Man’s Link With God. Worship transports us from this earthly realm to the heavenly. It conveys us into the company of God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit (Hebrews 4:15-16).
- In what manner can we now “draw near” to God (Hebrews 10:19-22)? • Why do we come before Him (1 Peter 2:5)?
- Man’s Gift to God. God is the giver of every good gift (James 1:17). Everything we have received already belongs to Him (1 Chronicles 29:14).
- How is worship the one thing which comes from us—which we can give back to God (Hebrews 13:15)? F. Expression of An Adoring Heart. How we worship God reflects our impression of God (Psalm 98:1-4). How we worship God reflects our thankfulness (Hebrews 13:15; Ephesians 5:19-20; Philippians 4:6-7).
CONCLUSION—Worship proclaims our dependence on God. Worship is always offered to a greater being from a lesser being. God does not need our worship (Acts 17:24-25) but He does seek it as an expression of our love and communion with Him (John 4:23-24). Worship is a part of our prayer life.
Week # 6 PRIVATE DEVOTIONS TIME: In the Garden of Gethsemane (Luke 22:41-42)
“41 And he was withdrawn from them about a stone’s cast, and kneeled down, and prayed,
42 Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.”
Week # 6 NOTABLE PRAYERS: Hezekiah (2 Kings 19:15-19)
“15 And Hezekiah prayed before the Lord, and said, O Lord God of Israel, which dwellest between the cherubims, thou art the God, even thou alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth; thou hast made heaven and earth. 16 Lord, bow down thine ear, and hear: open, Lord, thine eyes, and see: and hear the words of Sennacherib, which hath sent him to reproach the living God. 17 Of a truth, Lord, the kings of Assyria have destroyed the nations and their lands, 18 And have cast their gods into the fire: for they were no gods, but the work of men’s hands, wood and stone: therefore they have destroyed them. 19 Now therefore, O Lord our God, I beseech thee, save thou us out of his hand, that all the kingdoms of the earth may know that thou art the Lord God, even thou only.”
Week # 6 QUESTIONS:
1). Read Psalm 34:1-4, and express yourself in your situation with praises and thanks to God.
2). What is worship to you?
3). Read Hebrews 4:15-16, and meditate upon it with praises to God in your heart.
4). What kind of prayer was King Hezekiah in (2 Kings 19:15-19)?
Week # 6 PRAYER FOCUS:
For God to change hearts towards Him, for Christians to stand up for God no matter what takes place in our country as believers of God as the Holy One.
Week # 6 PRAYER REQUEST:
Pray for the Church to see the need to repent of personal and national sins in the fear of the Lord (2 Chronicles 7:14; 1 John 1:9; Proverbs 9:10).
Week # 6 THOUGHT4TODAY:
Put your hope fully in Me. I have shielded you from many hardship, and I will continue to protect you.
Week # 6 APPLY IT: A Daily Quiet Time with God
Week # 6 Reading Assignments…………Book of Genesis Chapters 26-30