A Heart of Thanksgiving

The Pharisee and the Tax Collector
Luke 18:9-14

9 He also told this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and treated others with contempt: 10 “Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11 The Pharisee, standing by himself, prayed  thus:  God, I thank you that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I get. 13 But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying,  God, be merciful to me, a sinner! 14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified, rather than the other. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.”

A lot of people don’t think twice about “what would Jesus do” nor what he thinks of how they live while wearing his engagement ring aka Holy Spirit.  They  say “Jesus died for my sins so I’m forgiven”.  “The lord will forgive me”.   This is true but do we live like a bride without promise?  In that culture, even today if a bride is spoiled before a wedding the engagement was off.  When Joseph found out that Mary was with child, he was faced with that choice.  But the angel came to him and eased his heart.  So we commit adultary with the world over and over presenting ourselves to Christ as a whore with expectation of  “he better take me cause I really love him”. Really? is Jesus the desperate nerd who finally got the attention of the cheerleader?

Romans 6:1-4

1 What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? 2 By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? 3 Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4 We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.

Ephesians 5:3-5

3 But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people. 4 Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving. 5 For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person—such a person is an idolater—has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.[a

We are the town prostitute (Ezekiel 16:31-40) whom the King decided to marry and gave all of his inheritance to. We are the muts of the pound, recused from being put to sleep.  We show our true character in our gratitude and gratefulness in how we worship God as well as how we give thanks.  We show our heart in how we pray and offer supplications to the heavenly Father. Our rags to riches story has produce pride and not humility.  Just like the Pharisee, we thank God for the material things we have and thank God that we are not like other people.  We thank God that we are not like the poor nations of the world.  We count our blessings because we could have misfortune like others.  We thank God that we don’t have cancer.  We are so consume with our bodies and we are consumed with the protection and provision for our sinful flesh until our prayer life reeks of the stench of the decay of sin.  We are filled with self righteousness and arrogance.  We don’t come to him as little children but we come demanding of God, Lord of all who is beyond as well as outside of time.  We talk to God this way because we don’t know Him, we only know of Him.  We have stripped Him like Jesus was stripped by the Roman Soldiers.   We have stripped God down to what we can bear and still live like sinners.  We have distorted what love is and made it lifeless and toothless. We don’t understand love, not knowing is about what’s in our heart and the other person.  We cut out God’s holiness to keep peace between our words and deeds continuing to dance before the golden calf (Deuteronomy 9:4-16).  We are not christians but gnostics or followers of Marcion, finding god in everything and using knowledge of self for salvation.  Some have created their own bibles in the past to read how they want and they still do it today.  It all shows in the heart but no one wishes to see it.  Their prayers are fill with reverence for self as they proclaim being blessed and highly favored.

John 7:16-18

16 Jesus answered, “My teaching is not my own. It comes from the one who sent me. 17 Anyone who chooses to do the will of God will find out whether my teaching comes from God or whether I speak on my own. 18 Whoever speaks on their own does so to gain personal glory, but he who seeks the glory of the one who sent him is a man of truth; there is nothing false about him.

Now we say “all dogs go to heaven”.   We speak only love, love and more love; forgetting that love corrects with grace and that love builds up.  We forget that love disciplines and love is given and not earned.  We forget that love respects and love is firm.  We only see love as giving and never saying “no”.  We see love as always giving what is wanted and not what is needed.  The gospel they teach is not true and you can see it in their thanksgiving because it shows that they don’t know God.   They don’t love us enough to tell us to stop.  They don’t love us enough to tell us that what we are doing will lead to more heart ache.  They don’t love us enough to tell us to be holy.  They will give us positions and place us in the areas of honor just as longs we give gifts to their idols.

Leviticus 20:5-7

5 I myself will set my face against him and his family and will cut them off from their people together with all who follow him in prostituting themselves to Molek6 “‘I will set my face against anyone who turns to mediums and spiritists to prostitute themselves by following them, and I will cut them off from their people. 7 “‘Consecrate yourselves and be holy, because I am the LORD your God.

2 Corinthians 4:14-16 (New International Version, ©2011)

14 because we know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus from the dead will also raise us with Jesus and present us with you to himself. 15 All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God.

16 Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.

When a heart is true, it is happy with God and God alone.  A regenerated heart can rejoice in Christ because of their salvation.  This heart is fill with thanksgiving because of the Gospel.  A heart that is true knows God and is thankful for not only what God has done but mainly because of who God is.  No father wants to be loved because of the gifts he brings but for the relationship his has with his children.  Why would our heavenly Father want anything less?  Return to Christ and pursue him(Luke 9:23-26).  If you know Christ, you would want to really know him and follow after him.  If you don’t know him its because you have no desire to get to know Jesus because he is not hiding…. You are.

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2 Responses to “A Heart of Thanksgiving”
  1. Joseph says:

    preach it preacher..

    And the LORD God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou? And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself.

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