Are we thankful for the church?

Introduction:

A father and his son were seated at the dining room table, while the mother was finishing the final preparations on the family’s dinner. While the father and son were seated, the father asked the son if he would say the prayer for the meal. The youngster nodded his head, and said that he would pray. The mother placed the last of the meal on the table, and sat down. The boy looked around the table at the food for a moment, and began to pray. He said, “God, I’m not sure what it is. But thanks anyway. And I’ll still eat it.”

C.S. Lewis said:

“We ought to give thanks for all fortune: if it is good, because it is good; if bad, because it works in us patience, humility, contempt of this world and the hope of our eternal country.” 

We are continuing our short series on being thankful.

Today, I wish to talk about the church family.

My theme is: We are thankful for our church family.

Let’s read Ephesians 1:16:

I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers.

  1. Is the church worth being thankful for?
    1. In this passage Paul is thankful for their faith.
    2. This is one long sentence in the Greek. Verses 3-14 are a sentence and verses 15-23 are one sentence. If we look at verse 15 it says: For this reason, ever since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all God’s people
    3. So, Paul is not just giving thanks for them in general, he is giving thanks for their faith and their love for all the people. He is giving thanks that they live the Christian faith.
    4. I’ll tell you it is encouraging to serve a church that cares about people.
    5. I have to be thankful in the same way here at First Baptist.
    6. I am thankful for your commitment to serve the Alliance Community in Alliance Mission Encounter.
    7. First Baptist has many that I can call at the drop of a hat and they are ready to help people in need.
    8. I remember a few years ago I heard that someone who was near ninety years old was cutting up a tree that fell in a storm. I called two of you and you took care of it that very day.
    9. A few weeks ago I heard of someone who needed help moving things and two of you helped the next day.
    10. How many times have we helped people move.
    11. You have been on the receiving end and the giving end.
    12. I give thanks for the church family.
    13. Do you give thanks for the church family?
    14. In some countries the church family are the only family someone has:
      1. Tariku Fufa was thirteen years old when he decided to follow Jesus. Upon hearing the news, his father gave him an ultimatum: “Tariku, I give you a choice between Jesus and family.” When the boy remained firm in his commitment to Christ, his father beat him, cut his face with a knife, and threw him out into the streets of Begi, Ethiopia, to fend for himself. Without his medication, Tariku nearly died from an asthma attack, but felt God’s assurance that He had something else in store for this young man.[1]
      2. When this happens the church steps in and fill the void, being the family.
    15. It was Paul’s practice to give thanks for the church:

Romans 1:8:

First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is being reported all over the world. 

1 Cor. 1:4:

I always thank my God for you because of his grace given you in Christ Jesus.

Phil. 1:3:

I thank my God every time I remember you.

Col. 1:3:

We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you…

1 Thess. 1:2:

We always thank God for all of you and continually mention you in our prayers.

 

2 Thess. 1:3:

We ought always to thank God for you, brothers and sisters,[a] and rightly so, because your faith is growing more and more, and the love all of you have for one another is increasing.

 

  1. Are we thankful for the church?
  2. Are we thankful in general?
    1. Fable of the

Porcupine
It was the coldest winter ever.  Many animals died because of the cold.

The porcupines, realizing the situation, decided to group together to keep warm. This way they covered and
Protected themselves; but the quills of each one wounded their closest companions.

After awhile, they decided to distance themselves one from the other and they began to die, alone and frozen. So they had to make a choice: either accept the quills of their
Companions or disappear from the Earth.

Wisely, they decided to go back to being together. They learned to live with the little wounds caused by the close
Relationship with their companions in order to receive the heat that came from the others. This way they were able to survive.


The best relationship is not the one that brings together perfect people, but when each individual learns to live with the imperfections of others and can admire the other person’s good qualities.

The moral of the story is:

Just learn to live with the Pricks in your life!

 

  1. I know the church has problems. We have a fallen nature so we have problems. We get stung. I realize that, but in the end I believe the church is better off with you than without you. I believe you are better off with the church than without the church.

Close:

A large family sat around the breakfast table one morning. As the custom, the father returned thanks, blessing God for the food. Immediately after, however, as was his bad habit, he began to grumble about hard times, the poor quality of the food he was forced to eat, the way it was cooked, and much more.
His little daughter interrupted him, “Dad, do you suppose God heard what you said a little while ago when you were giving thanks?”
“Certainly,” the father replied with the confident air of an instructor.
“And did he hear what you said about the bacon and the coffee?”
“Of course,” replied the father with a note of caution in his voice.”
Then his daughter asked, “Dad, which did God believe?”

 

WHEN ONE IS THREATENED

A Mouse looked through the crack in the wall to see the farmer and his wife open a package. “What food might this contain?” The mouse wondered. He was devastated to discover it was a Mouse-Trap Retreating to the farmyard, the mouse proclaimed the warning. “There is a mousetrap in the house! There is a mousetrap in the house!”

The Chicken clucked and scratched, raised her head and said, “Mr. Mouse, I can tell this is a grave concern to you, but it is of no consequence to me. I cannot be bothered by it.”

The Mouse turned to the pig and told him, “There is a mousetrap in the house! There is a mousetrap in the house!” The Pig sympathized, but said, I am very sorry, Mr. Mouse, but there is nothing I can do about it but pray. Be Assured you are in my Prayers.”

The Mouse turned to the Cow and said, “there is a mousetrap in the house! There is a mousetrap in the house!” The Cow said, “Wow, Mr. Mouse, I am sorry for you, but it’s no skin off my nose.”

So, the mouse returned to the house, head down and dejected, to face the farmer’s mousetrap alone. That very night a sound was heard throughout the house – like the sound of a mousetrap catching its prey.

The Farmer’s wife rushed to see what was caught. In the darkness, she did not see it was a venomous snake whose tail the trap had caught. The snake was furious and bit the farmer’s wife. The farmer rushed her to the hospital and she returned home with a severe fever.

Everyone knows that you treat a fever with a fresh chicken soup. So, the farmer took his hatchet to the farmyard for the soup’s main ingredient. But his wife’s sickness continued, so friends and relatives came to sit with her around the clock. To feed them, the farmer butchered the pig.

The Farmer’s Wife did not get well and she died. So many people came to the funeral, the farmer had the cow slaughtered to provide enough meat for all of them.

The mouse looked upon it all from his crack in the wall with great sadness. And, Said, “I warned them about the mouse trap but they did not take my warning into account…”

I believe thankfulness changes our perspective. When we are thankful for the church we realize how important the church is. I ask that you are thankful.

In your bulletin we have a First Baptist Church thank you card. I encourage you this week to write in that card and send it to someone this week. It doesn’t have to be someone from this church, it could be a friend or family member, but send it to someone. Thank someone. You don’t have to thank them for doing something for you, just thank them for being a friend. Wouldn’t it be neat if we all received cards this week?

Do you know Christ?

Luke 9:23

God created us to be with him. (Genesis 1-2)

Our sin separated us from God. (Genesis 3)

Sins cannot be removed by good deeds (Gen 4-Mal 4)

Paying the price for sin, Jesus died and rose again. (Matthew – Luke)

Everyone who trusts in him alone has eternal life. (John – Jude)

Life that’s eternal means we will be with Jesus forever. (Revelation

[1] http://www.todayintheword.org/titw_devotion.aspx

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