A Truly Thankful Heart

Posted on 11/22/2015 by Rev. Benjamin R. Faust D.D.

AUDIO: dialup - broadband - podcast

TRANSCRIPT: (does not contain everything found in the audio above)

*** listen to the audio for introduction and prayer ***


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(Please pray for freedom from) an addiction I am fighting.
- finallygotitrite



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I LOVE TO BE IN YOUR PRESENCE

I love to be in Your presence
With Your people singing praises
I love to stand and rejoice
Lift my hands and raise my voice
You set my feet to dancing
You fill my heart with song
You give me reason to rejoice


EVEN THE MOUNTAINS

We praise you Lord because you're worthy
You are Lord and King of the earth and sky
Let us lift you up and declare your glory
Let us lift our hands and our voices high

Even the mountains praise your name
the rocks and the stones cry Holy!
Whoever seeks for your face
will never be the same
Let your kingdom come
in Jesus' name

I'm an instrument, I am only a vessel
Help me open up to receive your love
Let us put to death thoughts of opposition
Let me step aside and point the world to above


JESUS I ADORE YOU

Father, I adore you
Lay my life before you
How I love you

Spirit...
Jesus...


*** Choose your connection speed and listen to the audio to hear the introduction. ***


During this time of year
in the United States,
we celebrate
Thanksgiving.

Many people refer
to it as
"turkey day,"
but trust me,
you can be thankful
without chopping off
a bird's head.

"I am SO thankful,
that I just HAVE
to kill something!"

But seriously...

In 1621, we celebrated
the first Thanksgiving,
which was so called
two years later.

And while the earliest
written descriptions
talk about
how many birds
and deer
they killed,
the reason for
their celebration
was that they
had plenty to eat
for the winter,
and enough
to share with others.

After all,
they had no
Costco,
Walmart, or
Kroger
where they could
get plenty of food
all year round.

But the history aside,
today is not
Thanksgiving Day,
unless of course
you're watching
or listening to this
when it IS
Thanksgiving.

But,
long before
the 1600s,
we were told
that TODAY,
no matter
what name
or number
you asign to it,
TODAY
is always
Thanksgiving Day.


In Psalm 34:1 (NKJV),
the author these
these words
of grateful song:

1 I will bless the Lord at all times;
His praise shall continually be in my mouth.

Not just
when you have plenty,
or when you get a raise,
or when things
go in a way
you consider good.

"I will bless the Lord
at ALL times."

and,

"His praise shall................
CONTINUALLY
be in my mouth."

One day per year.

Or on one day
during the time
we sit down together
and are asked to
list out all the things
for which we are
thankful.

Or on Sundays.

Or on weekends.

But not ALL the time.

A traffic jam is not,
after all,
a place I can
be expected to
be all
warm and fuzzy
and thankful.

Right?

When my
significant other
leaves me
or cheats on me;
it would be
almost obscene
to be thankful
THEN.

And certainly,
the head,
lost in what we call
"time" and our
"life stories,"
dwells in the
thought patterns
of thanksgiving
only when
it considers it
appropriate
or profitable
or easy
to do so.


"I will bless the Lord
at ALL times;
His praise shall
CONTINUALLY
be in my mouth."


And then in
Psalm 100:4 (NKJV),
he writes this:

4 Enter into His gates with thanksgiving,
And into His courts with praise.
Be thankful to Him, and bless His name.


When should we
enter His gates?

And when should we
dwell in His courts?

On Sundays?

On special holidays?

When the
sun is shining?

Well,
if right now
it is Sunday,
and a holiday,
and sunny,
then the answer
is yes.

But if right now
it is Monday morning,
on a typical day,
pouring down rain,
and you are
walking to work,
then the answer
is no,
because
the Sunday
holiday with
sunshine
does not exist
right here and now.

Instead,
the time to give thanks
would be Monday morning,
in the pouring rain,
as you take
this one step.

If you are
lost in thoughts
about how horrible
it is that your
car broke down,

and nobody
had the descency
to give you a ride,

and this is the beginning
of another hard week
where you are
underpaid and
underappreciated,

and the people
driving by in their
nice warm, dry cars,
if they were not
selfish and godless,
SOMEONE
would stop and
offer you a ride;

which you would
probably decline
for fear they are
an axe murderer
who thinks
you would make
a tasty addition
to their evening meal;

THEN,
it is very difficult
to be TRULY
thankful.


Of course,
you could
remind yourself
to say,

"Okay, thank you God
for this pouring rain;

thank you that
my car doesn't work;

thank you that
nobody is giving me
a ride;

thank you that
some day I will
leave this
stinking job
and get the
promotions and
pay that I
YOU know
I deserve.


Matthew 15:8 (NKJV)

8 "These people draw near to Me with their mouth,
And honor Me with their lips,
But their heart is far from Me."


God doesn't want
your lip service.

Instead,
He wants you
to walk with Him
in humility,
simplicity,
and Presence;

and when you do,
the complaining
automatically stops
all on its own.

And without
grumbling and
complaining and
discontent and
fighting against Life,

genuine gratitude and
true thanks giving
effortlessly arise.


As 1 Thessalonians 5:18 (NKJV) says,

18 In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.


And Ephesians 5:20 (NKJV),

20 Giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.


So,
both IN all things,
and even FOR all things,
we should be
truth thankful.

How?

In the name,
or the nature,
of Christ,
who walked with God,
not lost in His head,
but dwelling in
the Temple;

not worrying about
tomorrow,
or dwelling in
the "story" about
today,

but dwelling continuously
in the perfect peace
that is the outflowing
of the presence
of God.


And that is the place
to which He is calling
YOU.

Not some time
in the future,
but NOW.

Not some other place,
but HERE.

The mind can
THINK about
thanksgiving,
being thankful
that something
USED to be
that ISN'T anymore;

or how
things will
SOME DAY
be better,
ulike they are
right now;

but both things
point back to
what God is
giving you
right here
and right now --

the only time
and place
He ever gives you
anything at all --

it points to
the time and place
of His indwelling
the Temple
of your body,
which is always
and only
here and now,
with implied
ingratitude.

But right now,
where you are,
what you see,
and hear,
and smell,
and sense,

before your mind
judges it, and
makes a story
about it,

THIS is
the Love and the
Blessings of God.

It is perfect.

And if you
need to take action
concerning something,

that is perfect too.


I will bless the Lord at all times;
His praise shall continually
be in my mouth.

In everything give thanks,
for this is the will of God.

Give thanks always
for all things,
in the nature of Christ.


Or you could say,
be fully Present now.


And when your
dwelling place,
your home
from which you
perceive
all that comes
and goes,

when that dwelling place
is in the Temple
with the God of Peace,
the natural fruit
of that walking
with Him
will be

A Truly Thankful Heart.