Christians Say "Thanks!"
Robert F. Turner
David said, "At midnight I will rise to give thanks unto thee because of thy righteous ordinances." (Psm. 119:62) Yet there are Christians (?) who will not thank God for the blessings of the day.
We could not begin to cite, in the space allotted, the many scriptures that teach the importance of giving thanks unto God. It is unnecessary; for all freely acknowledge that this is scriptural and right. "Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, -- " (Jas.1:17) "In Him we live, and move, and have our being." (Acts 17:28) THE NUMBER ONE PROBLEM of those who do not express their gratitude to heaven, is their failure to recognize His constant abiding presence and beneficence.
NUMBER TWO PROBLEM; our failure to recognize our absolute and total dependence upon the Creator. Ingratitude and an insidious form of infidelity go hand in hand. Paul describes the pagan gentiles as people who knew God (i.e., were forced to recognize the presence of a Creator) but "they glorified Him not as God, neither were thankful." (Rom.1:21) Those who enjoy word studies will find a remarkable kinship in "grace" "gift"
On one occasion ten lepers lifted their voices, saying, "Master, have mercy on us!" As they went the way Jesus sent them, ten men were healed. Yet one alone, a hated Samaritan, returned to thank the Lord. And Jesus said, "Were there not ten cleansed? But where are the nine?" TEN pleaded for mercy -- ONE returned to thank. Do we find ourselves among the NINE? Failure to express our thanks, to God, and to man, may have many causes; ranging from embarrassment or lack of training in gracious living, to rude churlishness. But ingratitude -- the lack of feeling of thankfulness -- is directly related to selfishness. The self-centered person does not see his blessings as gracious favors, but as his just due. He feels the world owes him everything; or sees himself as the strong one, rightful recipient of that which others are too weak to withhold. His egoism blinds him to the magnanimous spirit of others who, seeing his littleness, love him in spite of it.
No true gift is made with desire to solicit expressions of thanks, and lavish public expressions may be painfully embarrassing. True gratitude is seldom found in flowery speeches anyway. But even the Lord commented upon the nine who failed to express their appreciation. (Lu.17:12-f) It is encouraging and heart-warming to know that our efforts are fruitful; and sincere, humble reception is the finest fruit of all.
There is not one of us but that owes much to those around us. Some Public School teacher, some helpful neighbor, a co-worker who gave us a boost -- or constructive criticism -- at a critical time. Are we too proud to admit it? Saying "Thanks!" doesn't make a Christian, but it is hard to believe a man could develop Christian character and omit gratitude. Your silence may be cheating your soul.
5 Questions to Answer about the Book of Revelation:
1. What kind of book is this (see below)?
2. To whom was it written? (see Revelation 1:4; Ch. 2-3)
3. For what reason?
4. Primarily for what time? (see Revelation 1:1, 3; 22:6, 10)
5. What are we to take from it?
We have all sorts of issues in trying to “figure out” the book of Revelation, but one thing that might help us is to determine, what kind of book is this? If we pick up a book of history, we expect certain things: names, dates, locations, and other facts. If we pick up a book of poetry, we expect writing with some kind of rhythm and meter that express ideas and emotions in an artistic way. If it is a book of biography, we would expect the story of someone’s life to be told. What should we expect with the book of Revelation? Revelation fits a type of writing that is called “Apocalyptic Literature.” “Apocalyptic” is from the Greek word “apokaupsis, meaning “an uncovering, a revealing…” A special insight, or revealing is involved here. Here are 10 Features of Apocalyptic Literature that we should expect as we approach this beautiful book:
1. Apocalyptic literature was only produced in times of perceived crisis and conflict.
2. Apocalyptic literature presents information in the form of a story/vision (narrative).
3. The story/vision uses fantastic illustrations, symbolism, and drama.
4. The symbolic story reveals truths or outcomes that are otherwise unknown.
5. The revelation presents a view of the heavenly realm, its realities and its activities.
6. The view of the heavenly realm provides a perspective on the present sufferings, crisis and conflict.
7. The message is one of coming judgment on the enemies of God and the vindication of his people.
8. The message is also that the kingdom of God will overcome all enemies and rival kingdoms, and will endure.
9. The message gives hope in a situation of perceived silence and inactivity by GOD.
10. The message includes moral exhortation and warning to God’s people.
(List adapted from David McClister, class on Revelation)
Biblical Examples: Daniel, Ezekiel, Zechariah, Matthew 24 and its parallels, and the Book of Revelation