Tame the Beast - Part 2
The following is a summary of my November 27, 2017 sermon:
TAME THE BEAST - PART 2
Part 2 of Tame the Beast. Colossians 3:1-17
November 27, 2016. The Cornerstone Church.
BIBLE READING: COLOSSIANS 3:15-17
This is part two of Tame the Beast. That’s a strange title. What am I talking about? In the NLT, verse 5 says: “Put to death the sinful, earthly things lurking within you.” That’s the beast.” Last week, we talked about taming the beast by focusing our thinking on Christ. This week, we’re talking about taming the beast by focusing on thanking God.
Three times in verses 15-17 we’re commanded to be thankful. Why? Ungodly living is ungrateful living.
“Although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give THANKS to him.” - Romans 1:21.
The opposite of faith is not unbelief. It is INGRATITUDE.
Today, I’m going to show you how to live a grateful life so that you can live a godly life.
But first … let’s answer the question: what’s the problem with thankless attitude?
A. WHAT’S THE PROBLEM WITH A THANKLESS ATTITUDE?
Here’s the problem: A thankless attitude leads to grumbling and complaining about God and life. We stop thanking God when we start thinking: “God is not good to me.” Adam and Eve fell into that exact trap:
“So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate.” - Genesis 3:6
The destructive impact of a thankless attitude went like this:
God gave them everything in abundance.
They ignored what he had done for them. They did not give thanks.
They focused on the forbidden fruit - convinced God was holding back on them.
The fell into rebellion and sin.
Ingratitude led to a fatal spiritual collapse. It always does. An ungrateful attitude always gets us into trouble. “God, I can run my life better than you can.” “You’ve made a mistake God. You don’t know what you’re doing. Why don’t you follow my plan for my life?”
OK. So, that’s the problem with a thankless attitude.
It’s vital that we learn the art of thanksgiving. Let me show you how …
B. WHAT’S THE PATH TO A THANKFUL ATTITUDE?
God has given us a billion reasons for gratitude. We don’t have to invent anything. We just have to CHOOSE to say thank you! Really! It’s that basic. Thanksgiving happens when we choose what we see and what we say:
1. Choose what YOU SEE - verse 15: “the peace of Christ.”
Choose to see all that God has done for us in Christ. Christ has brought us peace with God. Peace is shorthand for everything the Bible describes as salvation. Christ is the way into all God’s blessings.
Don’t ignore your miseries. Just don’t focus on them. Give them to God to take care of. Focus on your blessings. If you can’t think of any, then use God’s blessing book to remind yourself. For example, read Ephesians 1 or Isaiah 53, and Psalm 103.
If you base your thanks on what the Bible tells you about our blessings in Christ , the result will be a constant attitude of gratitude because our blessings in Christ never change - no matter what we’re going through. Matt Redman’s song captures this idea of thanks in all situations: “Every blessing you pour out, I’ll turn back to praise. When the darkness closes in Lord, still I will say, “Blessed be the name of the Lord.”
2. Choose what YOU SAY - verses 16: “the word of Christ.”
Speaking thanks to God is potent. It will change your life. Verse 16 tells us we can turn our thanks into songs of praise - psalms, hymns, songs. Take care what comes out of your mouth: is it praising or complaining?Complaining shuts God out. Thanksgiving welcomes God in.
In Acts 16:2-25, we read about Paul and Barnabas in dungeon/chains in Philippi. The Bible says that, at midnight, they were praying and singing hymns to God. There was a massive earthquake. Their chains fell off. The jailor was saved.
Thankful people are open to the Lord. Their faith is deeper and stronger. The Lord works in and around them. They are moving forward through their trials. They have a bigger vision of who God is and what he is doing through them.
The teaching today boils down to this:
Grumbling leads to ungodly living.
Gratitude leads to godly living.
The grateful life is the very best life. It’s the path to victory over stubborn sins. And the door to courage for impossible things. It brings joy to our hearts on the darkest days. And glory to God in all of our ways. The apostles found this out early on in their witness for Christ:
“When they had called in the apostles, they beat them & charged them not to speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go. 41 Then they left the presence of the council, REJOICING that they were counted worthy to suffer dishonor for the name. 42 And every day, in the temple and from house to house, they did not cease teaching and preaching that the Christ is Jesus.” Acts 5:40-42
This is my Thanksgiving declaration. Psalm 64:4a: “I will praise you as long as I live …” As long as I have breath - I’ll thank you Lord. As long as my mind can recall all your goodness to me in Christ. Every day. In every situation.”
I want to leave you with a final thought: We don’t deserve anything good from God. Rebels and sinners deserve only judgment. But the Lord has been so gracious. He’s given us so much in Christ.
Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever! - Psalm 106:1