Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Bad Reasons to be Thankful?

As a preacher and as a Christian, I'm always looking for good reasons to be thankful. As promised, here are a few less-than-good reasons--from the Bible, no less.

"The Pharisee stood up and prayed about himself: 'God, I thank you that I am not like other men-- robbers, evildoers, adulterers-- or even like this tax collector.12 I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.'" -Luke 18:11
If you remember, this fella went away from the temple, viewed by God as unrighteous. Maybe thanking God that you're better than your neighbor in the pew--or anyone else--is a bad idea.

Do I take any pleasure in the death of the wicked? declares the Sovereign LORD. Rather, am I not pleased when they turn from their ways and live? -Ezekiel 18:23
For I take no pleasure in the death of anyone, declares the Sovereign LORD. Repent and live! -Ezekiel 18:32
The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. -2 Peter 3:9
Is it wrong to be thankful that a bad person has died? If God--who would be surely justified in doing so--doesn't delight in that, then we shouldn't, either.

The seventy-two returned with joy and said, "Lord, even the demons submit to us in your name."
And He said to them, ". . . do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven." -Luke 10:17-20
The authority given God's people can become a very heady thing. Jesus says, don't be thankful for the power trip, be thankful for your salvation.

Just some thoughts as we approach Turkey-N-Football Day.

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