4/8/19

"THE EPISTLE OF JAMES" Let Not Many Of You Become Teachers (3:1-12) by Mark Copeland



"THE EPISTLE OF JAMES"

Let Not Many Of You Become Teachers (3:1-12)
                                 
INTRODUCTION

1. In our study of "The Epistle Of James", we now come to the third chapter...

2. In verses 1-12, we find:
   a. A WARNING against too many becoming teachers - 1-2
   b. A DISCOURSE on the untamable tongue - 3-12

3. In a time where "verbal abuse" is often epidemic, and where "self-
   proclaimed teachers" engage in all sorts of heated religious
   discussions, there is much we can learn from this passage

[First, let's notice...]

I. THE "WARNING" (1-2)

   A. "LET NOT MANY OF YOU BECOME TEACHERS"
      1. Note carefully:
         a. James does not say, "Let not many of you BE teachers"
         b. But rather, "Let not many of you BECOME teachers"
      2. This passage is not just a rebuke of those who try to BE
         teachers before they are ready, but a warning that many should
         not even BECOME teachers in the future!
      3. It is a mistake to believe that EVERYONE should become a
         teacher at some point in their service to Christ!
         a. Paul illustrated time and again that the body of Christ has
            many members, and not all members do not have the same function!
            1) To the saints at Rome - Ro 12:3-8
            2) To the church at Corinth - 1Co 12:12-31 (note esp.
               verse 29, where Paul with a rhetorical question implies
               that not all are to be teachers)
         b. Peter likewise taught that God's grace toward is "manifold"
            (multi-faceted) and that we should exercise our respective
            abilities accordingly - 1Pe 4:10-11
      4. In view of what Paul, Peter, and James wrote, we should be
         careful before we apply He 5:12-14 to mean that EVERYONE
         should one day be teachers (the author of Hebrews may have
         been writing to a select audience, whom he knew ought to have
         been teachers)

   B. WHY MANY SHOULD NOT BECOME TEACHERS...
      1. Teachers shall receive "a stricter judgment"
         a. There is a grave responsibility involved in teaching others
         b. We can lead people to TRUTH - but we just as easily lead
            them to ERROR!
         c. Just as with elders (He 13:17), those who teach will be
            held accountable if they mislead others!
      2. Because we all "stumble in many things"
         a. Everyone has faults, and with many people the improper use
            of the tongue is a major one
         b. But it takes spiritual maturity ("a perfect man") not to
            stumble in word!

[So James cautions against many people trying to become teachers.  This
should not discourage any from trying to find out if teaching is a gift
that they might have if nurtured along, but one should proceed with
humility and caution.

In verse 2 James briefly mentions the power of the tongue over the
body.  He elaborates on this theme as we now consider...]

II. THE "DISCOURSE" ON THE UNTAMABLE TONGUE (3-12)

   A. THE ILLUSTRATIONS OF THE BIT AND RUDDER (3-4)
      1. Both illustrations are used to demonstrate that a small member
         (like the tongue) can control the body
         a. A bit controls a horse
         b. A rudder controls the ship
      2. So our tongue controls the body...
         a. If you speak a lie, it won't be long before you find yourself
            living a lie
         b. If you speak suggestively in an immoral manner, it won't be
            long before you begin acting immorally!
      3. The power of the tongue to direct is easily applied to the
         dangers of teaching...
         a. The teacher's speech can easily set the mood of the class
            or congregation
         b. He can easily direct the congregation in an uplifting way,
            or just as easily direct the congregation in a discouraging way
      4. Should not this power to direct via the tongue humble those 
         who teach, and caution the spiritually immature?

   B. THE ILLUSTRATION OF A LITTLE FIRE (5-6)
      1. A small fire can easily cause great destruction (remember the
         Great Chicago Fire?)
      2. So it is with the tongue!
         a. A loose tongue can ruin one's reputation
         b. It can also destroy churches, families, friendships
      3. In describing an uncontrolled tongue, James uses very vivid
         terms to make his point:  The tongue is...
         a. A fire
         b. A world of iniquity
         c. So set among our bodies that it defiles the whole body
         d. That which sets on fire the course of nature
         e. That which is itself set on fire by hell!
      4. Should not this power to destroy and defile both ourselves and
         others caution us in becoming teachers?

   C. THE DIFFICULTY OF TAMING THE TONGUE (7-12)
      1. Despite being able to tame wild animals, man is unable to tame
         the tongue!
         a. It is an unruly evil!
         b. It is full of deadly poison!
      2. I understand James to be somewhat hyperbolic here for the sake
         of emphasis...
         a. It is true that no MAN (by himself) can tame the tongue
         b. But with GOD'S help, we can tame it (as David prayed in Ps 141:3)
         c. And with GOD'S help, we MUST tame it - cf. Ep 4:29; Col 4:6
      3. As a further example of how difficult it is to tame the tongue,
         James uses a very common (and relevant) problem
         a. I.e., blessing God and cursing men
         b. Something we are very likely to do, especially on Sundays
            1) We spend time in worship, blessing God
            2) But in driving home, we might curse men (other drivers
               who pull out in front of us)
         c. Racists and bigots are often guilty of "blessing God and
            cursing men"!
      4. But with the illustrations of a spring, a fig tree and a 
         grapevine, James shows the inconsistency of this!
         a. What comes forth is a true indication of what is inside
         b. Just as Jesus taught in Mk 7:20-23
         c. Despite all the praises we offer God, it is the curses
            against man that reveals the true person inside!

CONCLUSION

1. Again, these examples of the misuse of the tongue should humble and
   caution all those who would become teachers

2. But they should also serve as a warning for us all, whether we teach
   or not, that we need to seek God's help in controlling the tongue!

May David's prayer be our own:

    Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be
    acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer.

                                                 (Psalms 19:14)

Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2016

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God is No Respecter of Persons by Caleb Colley, Ph.D.


http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=12&article=1440

God is No Respecter of Persons

by Caleb Colley, Ph.D.


When the first Gentile was converted to Christianity, the apostle Peter perceived that “God shows no partiality. But in every nation whoever fears Him and works righteousness is accepted by Him” (Acts 10:34-35). Before the church was established and Gentiles began to be converted to Christ, many Jews supposed that God favored them over all other ethnic groups; some had the false notion that merely being Jewish was a sure sign that one was saved (Matthew 3:9; Luke 3:8; 7:30).
When the religious barrier between Jews and Gentiles was broken down, Peter more fully understood one important aspect of God’s character: He does not favor—and never has favored—one person or group of people over others. Whether or not the Israelites always understood it, anyone who obeys God’s commands can be justified in His sight. Consider a sampling of the passages that emphasize God’s fairness toward all humans:
2 Chronicles 19:7: “Now therefore, let the fear of the Lord be upon you; take care and do it, for there is no iniquity with the Lord our God, no partiality, nor taking of bribes.”
Job 34:19: “Yet He is not partial to princes, nor does He regard the rich more than the poor; for they are all the work of His hands.”
Romans 2:10-11: “[B]ut glory, honor, and peace to everyone who works what is good, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For there is no partiality with God.”
Galatians 5:6: “For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision or uncircumcision avails anything, but faith working through love.”
1 Peter 1:17: “And if you call on the Father, who without partiality judges according to each one’s work, conduct yourselves throughout the time of your stay here in fear.”
Exactly what does it mean that God is impartial? God offers salvation to every man, no matter what external circumstances, such as socioeconomic status or nationality, might apply to him. God does not offer salvation only to the Jew, just because he is a Jew, or only to the Gentile because he is a Gentile. The Greek word translated “respecter of persons” in the King James Version of Acts 10:34 (“God is no respecter of persons”) is prosopolemptes, a word that refers to a judge who looks at a man’s face instead of at the facts of the case, and makes a decision based on whether or not he likes the man (Lenski, 1961, p. 418). Under Roman law, for example, a defendant’s societal status was weighed heavily along with evidence. Any human judge might show undue favor to a plaintiff or a defendant because of private friendship, bribery, rank, power, or political affiliation, but God, the perfect Judge, cannot be tempted by any of the things that might tempt a human judge to show unfair partiality.
God’s impartiality does not keep Him from choosing people and nations of people to accomplish His specific purposes. He was free to use the Israelites as the seed line to bring about the Son of God in human form (the Israelites have never been the only group of people who had access to salvation—see Romans 1:18ff; Jackson, 2004); He was free to use the Babylonians to defeat the disobedient Israelites in battle and to take the spoils from them (2 Kings 25:1-21); He was free to use Peter and Paul to spread the Gospel to lost sinners. God can accomplish everything He needs to do without violating His commitment to allow all the opportunity to be saved.
Furthermore, God blesses people in different ways. God’s impartiality does not mean that everyone will have exactly the same amount of money, exactly the same amount of influence, exactly the same number of children, or exactly the same number of years upon the Earth. (At the very moment that Peter noted God’s impartiality, he was in the presence of a man who possessed more material wealth than Peter did.) Some do have more money than others, some have families who love them more, and some even have more opportunities to hear the Gospel preached. However, everyone can be saved, if he is willing to search for the truth. While some accountable adults may live their entire lives without hearing a single Gospel sermon, they all experience the marvelous works of the hand of God, showing every person that He exists. Paul wrote:
[W]hat may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts and their foolish hearts were darkened (Romans 1:19-21).
God always has expected impartiality from His followers. We should not treat people differently because of their financial status or outward appearance. The Lord said: “You shall do no injustice in judgment. You shall not be partial to the poor, nor honor the person of the mighty” (Leviticus 19:15). Deuteronomy 1:17 reads: “You shall not show partiality in judgment; you shall hear the small as well as the great.” After describing a scenario in which a rich man was given a favored seat in the assembly, and a poor man was pushed to the side, James wrote: “But if you show partiality, you commit sin, and are convicted by the law as transgressors” (James 2:9). In stating that Christians should not show partiality because they believe in Christ, James, by inspiration, suggested that favoritism—treating certain people as if they are of more inherent worth—is inconsistent with faith in Christ, and causes one to violate God’s law of liberty (2:8,12).
We are grateful that God has not arbitrarily chosen some people to be saved and some to be lost. Imagine a basis upon which He might select which people should be saved. Would He choose the wealthy? The well known? The most intelligent? Members of a particular ethnic group or culture? Fortunately, each person can choose for himself whether or not to accept God’s saving grace (Joshua 24:15; Isaiah 7:16; Ezekiel 18:20; Matthew 23:37; Revelation 22:17). Each person is responsible for his or her own actions (Ezekiel 18:20; Romans 14:12; 2 Corinthians 5:10). Because of God’s marvelous love for all humans, He is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9; cf. 1 Timothy 2:4).

REFERENCES

Jackson, Wayne (2004), “To What Law Were the Ancient Gentiles Accountable?,” [On-line], URL: http://www.christiancourier.com/questions/whatLawAncientGentiles.htm.
Lenski, R.C.H. (1961 reprint), The Interpretation of the Acts of the Apostles (Minneapolis, MN: Augsburg).

God Did Not Condone Rape by Kyle Butt, M.Div.


http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=12&article=2333

God Did Not Condone Rape

by Kyle Butt, M.Div.


Militant atheists of the 21st century delight in accusing God of condoning the most heinous immoralities. They insist that the God of the Bible, especially of the Old Testament, was a murderous villain guilty of far worse than His human subjects. Richard Dawkins accused God of being a “misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully” (2006, p. 31).
One attempt that has been made to bolster these unfounded accusations is to suggest that in the Old Testament God condoned rape. Dan Barker commented: “If God told you to rape someone, would you do it? Some Christians, ignorant of biblical injunctions to rape, might answer, ‘God would never ask me to do that’” (Barker, 1992, p. 331, emp. added). If the honest truth seeker were to ask to see the “biblical injunctions to rape,” he would be struck by the fact that no such injunctions exist.
The passage that is most often used to “prove” that God condones rape is Numbers 31:25-40. In this passage, the young women who were taken captive after Moses destroyed the Midianites were divided between the Israelites and the priests. The priests were given responsibility for 32 of the women. Skeptics often suggest that these women were supplied so that the priests could abuse them sexually and rape them. But nothing could be further from the truth. The skeptic errs greatly in this regard either due to his ignorance of God’s instructions or willful dishonesty.
In Deuteronomy 21:10-14, Moses specifically stated what was to be done with female captives:
When you go out to war...and you see among the captives a beautiful woman, and desire her and would take her for your wife, then you shall bring her home to your house, and she shall shave her head and trim her nails. She shall put off the clothes of her captivity, remain in your house, and mourn her father and her mother a full month; after that you may go in to her and be her husband, and she shall be your wife (emp. added).
It is important to understand that God has never condoned any type of sexual activity outside of a lawful marriage. The only way that an Israelite would be morally justified in having sexual intercourse with a female captive was if he made her his wife, granting to her the rights and privileges due to a wife. Notice that the Israelite male could not “go in to her” (a euphemism for sexual intercourse) until she had observed a period of mourning and cleansing, and he could only “go in to her” with the intent of being her husband.
When the skeptics’ allegations about God condoning rape are demolished by the very clear instructions in Deuteronomy 21, the attack is usually shifted, and God is accused of being unjust for allowing war prisoners or slavery of any kind, regardless of whether or not rape was permitted. While these allegations about slavery have been dealt with decisively in other places (Butt, 2005a), it is important not to lose sight of the fact that shifting the argument to slavery is a red herring to draw attention away from the original accusation that God condoned rape.
For the skeptic to imply that God condoned rape, using Numbers 31, without mentioning Moses’ instructions in Deuteronomy 21, is unconscionable. It is simply another instance of dishonest propaganda designed to discredit God and the Bible. The irony of the skeptics’ position is that if atheism is true, the skeptic has no grounds upon which to claim that rape is morally wrong (Butt, 2005b). In fact, in my debate with Dan Barker, Barker admitted that fact, and stated that under certain circumstances, rape would be a moral obligation (Butt and Barker, 2009).
In reality, God’s ways and actions have always been fair, equitable, and just. But the errant thinking and self-contradiction of the skeptical worldview continues to show itself to be unjust in its criticism of God, and immoral in its practical application.

REFERENCES

Barker, Dan (1992), Losing Faith in Faith: From Preacher to Atheist (Madison, WI: Freedom From Religion Foundation).
Butt, Kyle (2005a), “Defending the Bible’s Position on Slavery,” [On-line], URL:http://apologeticspress.org/articles/368.
Butt, Kyle (2005b), “Rape and Evolution,” [On-line], URL: http://apologeticspress.org/articles/306.
Butt, Kyle and Dan Barker (2009), The Butt/Barker Debate: Does the God of the Bible Exist?(Montgomery, AL: Apologetics Press).
Dawkins, Richard (2006), The God Delusion (New York: Houghton Mifflin).

God Cannot Lie by Caleb Colley, Ph.D.

http://apologeticspress.org/APContent.aspx?category=12&article=1383


God Cannot Lie

by Caleb Colley, Ph.D.


Can God be limited? Many Bible passages proclaim that God is all-powerful, all-seeing, and all-knowing. While God is unlimited by time, space, or force, His very character has determined that He will never do some things, because to do them would be inconsistent with His principles—viz., God’s nature prevents Him from such things. For example, God cannot lie. Observe what the Bible has to say about God’s honesty and, therefore, His reliability.
Numbers 23:19: “God is not a man, that He should lie, nor a son of man, that He should repent. Has He said, and will He not do? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?”
1 Samuel 15:29: “And also the Strength of Israel will not lie nor relent. For He is not a man, that He should relent.”
Psalm 92:15: “To declare that the Lord is upright; He is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in Him.”
Malachi 3:6: “For I am the Lord, I do not change.”
Romans 3:4: “Indeed, let God be true but every man a liar.”
Titus 1:2: “[I]n hope of eternal life which God, who cannot lie, promised before time began.”
Hebrews 6:18: “[I]t is impossible for God to lie.”
James 1:17-18: “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.”
God is the only being Who is incapable of lying. Everything that God said would happen before now, has happened—just as He said it would. Since God knows all things past, present, and future (and since He is completely honest), it is impossible for Him to speak untruths (see Colley, 2004). One striking characteristic of the Bible is that it contains a large collection of statements attributed to God. Some of these statements are predictions of future occurrences, some are warnings, some are instructions, some are revelations concerning the Divine character, and some are statements of simple fact. One common thread runs through all of God’s recorded statements: they are all true. God has never “gone back” on a promise. God has never lied—He has never even made an “honest mistake.” God, in revealing His message to humans, has not held back truths that we need (2 Peter 1:3). Likewise, Jesus was completely honest, even when telling a hard truth meant putting Himself in danger (Matthew 23:28-33; 1 John 3:5).
God is not tempted to lie. No one can catch Him in a compromising position, or give Him an opportunity to make Himself appear more impressive by making up false accomplishments or attributes. He is perfect in every way, so even if His character did permit Him to lie, the potential for personal gain, which serves as many people’s motivation to lie, would not affect Him.
Paul, who stated so boldly in his letter to Titus that God cannot lie, wrote to Titus while he worked among the Cretans, who were known for their dishonesty. Furthermore, Cretans were accustomed to a pantheon, which included various gods, all with different personalities, so when Paul emphasized that God does not lie, he not only was giving Titus a practical teaching tool, but also was showing that Christianity is distinct from the polytheism that surrounded the church of Christ at Crete (see “God Cannot Lie,” 1996; “Why Crete?,” n.d.). People are more likely to serve a God upon Whom they can unquestionably depend. In fact, take away God’s trustworthiness, and He is no longer God. Philosopher RenĂ© Descartes, in his fourth meditation, wrote:
To begin with, I recognize that it is impossible that God should ever deceive me. For in every case of trickery or deception some imperfection is to be found; and although the ability to deceive appears to be an indication of cleverness or power, the will to deceive is undoubtedly evidence of malice or weakness, and so cannot apply to God (1984, p. 37).
Humans often lie. God made humans in His image and likeness, but, unlike God, humans commit sin (see Lyons and Thompson, 2002a,b). On occasion, we say things that are false, not because we intend to lie, but because we lack accurate information. Sometimes, while we know the truth, we choose to relay false information to others. Often, we are not comfortable with frankly telling people what they need to know. The words of humans are frequently so undependable that we sometimes use lie detectors in attempts to determine who is telling the truth, and who is not. Apparently, some humans are so “good” at lying, that even the polygraph test has now been proven ineffective in detecting lies (Vergano, 2004).
The devil is the father of lies. Jesus said: “You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it” (John 8:44). The dishonesty of Satan is one of the features that makes him the complete opposite of God; God speaks the truth exclusively, while Satan speaks only lies. The angels who, at one time, chose to follow Satan, are partakers in his deceit (see Thompson, 1999). Satan does not tell lies because he wants humans to avoid the pain that truth often brings. Rather, he lies because he hopes that humans will believe falsehoods and, eventually, be damned because they reject the truth of God (1 Peter 5:8). The fact that the devil keeps “no truth in him” is one of the reasons why heaven and hell are so far separated (Matthew 25:41; Luke 16:26). God cannot associate with the impurity that dishonesty brings.

CONCLUSION

How should we respond to the truthfulness of God? We should be grateful because we serve a God Who will not go back on His word. God’s honesty means that He will fulfill His promise of eternal life for those who serve Him. Imagine a scenario in which you approach His throne on Judgment Day, having fulfilled the requirements for appropriating the redeeming blood of Christ to your soul, only to find that God has changed the rules! You no longer would be able to enter heaven, because God had not been honest with you. We should be grateful because God is not required to be forthright with us, anymore than He is required to love us enough to offer His Son as a sacrifice for sin. Nonetheless, He is all-merciful, all-caring, and fortunately, completely honest. We are assured that every word of God is a “sure word” (2 Peter 1:19), because we know God has a detailed history of making His word good.
As we strive to be godly, we must be honest with ourselves, and with others (Luke 8:15; Romans 12:17). If we practice deceit, no one will believe we are truly followers of Christ. In 2 Corinthians 8:21, we read: “Providing for honest things, not only in the sight of the Lord, but also in the sight of men” (KJV). Following this precept will earn us “high esteem” in the eyes of God and men (Proverbs 3:4).

REFERENCES

Colley, Caleb (2004), “The Omniscience of God,” [On-line], URL: http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/2562.
Descartes, RenĂ© (1984), The Philosophical Writings of Descartes, trans. John Cottingham, Robert Stoothoff, and Dugald Murdoch (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press).
“God Cannot Lie” (1996), [On-line], URL: http://www.ivmdl.org/wil.cfm?study=117.
Lyons, Eric, and Bert Thompson (2002a), “In the ‘Image and Likeness of God’ [Part I],” [On-line], URL: http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/123.
Lyons, Eric, and Bert Thompson (2002b), “In the ‘Image and Likeness of God’ [Part II],” [On-line], URL: http://www.apologeticspress.org/articles/125.
Thompson, Bert (1999), Satan: His Origin and Mission (Montgomery, AL: Apologetics Press).
Vergano, Dan (2004), “Telling the Truth About Lie Detectors, [On-line], URL: http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2002-09-09-lie_x.htm.
“Why Crete?” (no date), World Health Organization, [On-line], URL: http://www.nsph.gr/who-harvard/whyCrete.html.

David (Part 4) (By Ben Fronczek)

http://granvillenychurchofchrist.org/?p=1602

David (Part 4)

(By Ben Fronczek)
To begin with I have a loaded question for you: How many of you would like to…
– Experience better health (get sick less, strengthen your immune system, increase your energy level, feel less physical pain, sleep better, even improve your chances of living longer.
– In addition, feel better emotionally, become happier and less envious of others, feel calmer and more relaxed with who you are and what you have, feel less materialistic, less self centered, more optimistic, and even more spiritual..
– And even become nicer to others, kinder, and develop better relationships with your spouse or other family members and even friends.
Who wouldn’t want to experience such improvements in their life? Well today I want to share with you how you can personally improve all these areas in your life. Not by taking some super vitamin or magic pill, rather, you can attain all of these wonderful benefits by making a habit of practicing a heartfelt emotion. That’s right you can improve your physical health, your emotional health, you personality, your social standing with others, even you career by developing this habit in your life, one that I see in the character we have been studying over the past few weeks. It is a trait or habit seen in a man or woman after God’s own heart.
And what is that trait which can improve the quality of our life so much?
If anything, # 3 in our series, David was truly a thankful individual.
That’s right; learning to become a truly thankful individual like David will not only put you in a favorable position with God, studies now show feeling gratitude and thankfulness can improve almost every other aspect of your life, even if you are going through what may seem like a difficult time.
David’s life was marked by seasons of great peace and prosperity as well as times of fear and despair. But through all of the seasons in his life, he never forgot to thank the Lord for everything that he had. It is truly one of his finest characteristics. In Psalm after Psalm David expresses his thankfulness to our Lord God by praising Him over and over.
I want to take some time to read some of his Psalms that express his gratitude:
Psalm 7:17 “I will give thanks to the Lord because of his righteousness; I will sing the praises of the name of the Lord Most High.”   (David was not only grateful, he wrote song about it)
Psalm 9:1-2 “I will give thanks to you, Lord, with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonderful deeds. I will be glad and rejoice in you; I will sing the praises of your name, O Most High.”    (David wrote songs about about how thankful he was, he aslo spoke of it to others)
 Psalm 28:6-7 “Praise be to the Lord, for he has heard my cry for mercy. The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise him.”
Psalm 56:10-13 “In God, whose word I praise, in the Lord, whose word I praise— 11 in God I trust and am not afraid. What can man do to me? I am under vowto you, my God; I will present my thank offerings to you. 13 For you have delivered me from death and my feet from stumbling, that I may walk before God in the light of life.”
Psalm 57:7-11 “My heart, O God, is steadfast, my heart is steadfast; I will sing and make music. Awake, my soul! Awake, harp and lyre! I will awaken the dawn. I will praise you, Lord, among the nations; I will sing of you among the peoples. 10 For great is your love, reaching to the heavens; your faithfulness reaches to the skies. 11 Be exalted, O God, above the heavens; let your glory be over all the earth.
Psalm 65;       Psalm 66    (click on verse to read it)
Psalm 68:4-10, 19-21, & 33-35 “Sing to God, sing in praise of his name, extol him who rides on the clouds; rejoice before him—his name is the Lord. A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling. God sets the lonely in families, he leads out the prisoners with singing; but the rebellious live in a sun-scorched land.
Psalm 71:14-24 “As for me, I will always have hope; I will praise you more and more. My mouth will tell of your righteous deeds, of your saving acts all day long— though I know not how to relate them all. 16 I will come and proclaim your mighty acts, Sovereign Lord; I will proclaim your righteous deeds, yours alone. 17 Since my youth, God, you have taught me, and to this day I declare your marvelous deeds. 18 Even when I am old and gray, do not forsake me, my God, till I declare your power to the next generation, your mighty acts to all who are to come.
19 Your righteousness, God, reaches to the heavens, you who have done great things. Who is like you, God? 20 Though you have made me see troubles, many and bitter, you will restore my life again; from the depths of the earth you will again bring me up. 21 You will increase my honor and comfort me once more.
22 I will praise you with the harp for your faithfulness, my God; I will sing praise to you with the lyre, Holy One of Israel. 23 My lips will shout for joy when I sing praise to you— I whom you have delivered. 24 My tongue will tell of your righteous acts all day long, for those who wanted to harm me have been put to shame and confusion.
Psalm 72:18-19 “Praise be to the Lord God, the God of Israel, who alone does marvelous deeds. 19 Praise be to his glorious name forever; may the whole earth be filled with his glory. Amen and Amen.
I’m not sure who wrote Psalm 100 but it sounds like David to me…    (It one of my favorites!)                   
Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth. Worship the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful songs. Know that the Lord is God. It is He who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.
Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.
Psalm 103,        108,     138,
Psalm 145    “I will exalt you, my God the King; I will praise your name forever and ever. Every day I will praise you and extol your name forever and ever.
Great is the Lord and most worthy of praise; his greatness no one can fathom. One generation commends your works to another; they tell of your mighty acts. They speak of the glorious splendor of your majesty and I will meditate on your wonderful works. They tell of the power of your awesome works— and I will proclaim your great deeds. They celebrate your abundant goodness and joyfully sing of your righteousness.
The Lord is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love.       The Lord is good to all; he has compassion on all he has made. 10 All your works praise you, Lord; your faithful people extol you. 11 They tell of the glory of your kingdom and speak of your might, so that all people may know of your mighty acts and the glorious splendor of your kingdom. 13 Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and your dominion endures through all generations. The Lord is trustworthy in all he promises and faithful in all he does. 14 The Lord upholds all who fall and lifts up all who are bowed down. 15 The eyes of all look to you, and you give them their food at the proper time. 16 You open your hand and satisfy the desires of every living thing.
17 The Lord is righteous in all his ways and faithful in all he does. 18 The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth. 19 He fulfills the desires of those who fear him; he hears their cry and saves them. 20 The Lord watches over all who love him, but all the wicked he will destroy.
21 My mouth will speak in praise of the Lord. Let every creature praise his holy name for ever and ever.”
You can see that David’s thanks was expressed by praising his Lord.
In Ps. 100 it says we are to “Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name!” As followers of Jesus Christ, we should follow David’s lead of thanking our Lord on a daily basis and praise Him for the blessings He pours out on our life.
If our Nation did anything right I believe it was establishing a Thanksgiving holiday.   It became an official Federal holiday in 1863, when, during the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed a national day of “Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens”, and it was to be celebrated on the last Thursday in November.
Even though many in America probably don’t personally ‘thank God’ for the blessing they have, we as Christian should. As a matter of fact we are encouraged to do so in the New Testament in a number of places to do so; for example;
 In Colossians 3:15-17 the Apostle Paul wrote, Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. 16 Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. 17 And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
 4:2 “Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.”
In Ephesians 5:17-20 he wrote, 17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is. 18 Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit, 19 speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, 20 always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
In Philippians 4:4-7 he wrote “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
And finally in 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 he wrote 16 Rejoice always, 17 pray continually, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
Can it be any plainer that we should be thanking God?
So How can we become more of a grateful, thankful person?
Maybe you have a tendency to see the glass half-empty. Actually you can change that and turn thankfulness into a habit with just a little practice.
Although it may be difficult for you to see the good in life when everything seems to be going wrong, if we choose to do so, with just a little bit of effort you can experience a more relaxed, peaceful you — with no expensive therapy or without having to read long-winded books on the subject.
I’ve read that the key is to practice becoming consciously aware of the things in your life that are going right and make a habit of remembering those things (even when times are tough).
As I mentioned in my last lesson, “What you focus on will determine your reality!”  Focus on the negative and tha’s what you’ll be (and vise-versa).
Some have completely changed their lives by:
  1. Keeping gratitude journal and writing down things that they are thankful for every night before going to bed. For example, you might feel grateful that you don’t have to deal with any serious health problems. Maybe you are thankful that your husband put away the laundry without being asked, or things went well at work. There is always, always something to be thankful for. Usually there is more to be thankful for than not. You just need learn to appreciate the blessing you have.
  2. Some make it a practice upon waking in the morning to think about things that they are thankful for before getting out of bed.. You could also try to make it a habit to meditate on the things you are grateful for while you drink your coffee, drive to work, or when you’re eating your lunch. “What you focus on will determine your reality!”
  3. Try counting how many things you can think of to be grateful for and appreciate that day while doing one of your daily routines or chores. It won’t be long before you’re finishing your chores while still thinking of things you couldn’t fit in!
I also believe thanking God for those things you are grateful for in your prayers and listing mentioning them like David did brings glory, praise and honor to our Lord as He continues to pour out His blessing on us.
The key is, the more you focus on what you are grateful for the more you will become a thankful person. (But you have to make a habit of it)
I don’t believe that the devil wants us to be grateful and appreciate what we have. I think we play right into his hands and do his will when we complain, overlook or when we are unhappy with what God has provided.
Studies have found that people who focus on what they are grateful for everyday for one week straight can experience the benefits for up to a six-month period. (List 3 things apart from you family and love ones you are grateful for today.
The benefits of becoming a grateful, thankful person are truly amazing and a blessing in themselves. And not only that, if you add a thankful heart to having a deep faith in God, loving and obeying His word, you’ll be well on your way to become a man or woman after God’s own heart!
For more lessons click on the following link: http://granvillenychurchofchrist.org/?page_id=566
All comments can be emailed to: bfronzek@gmail.com