An Unstoppable Church Is Thankful For Each Other
I Corinthians 1:4-8
November 18, 2018
I am thankful for my family – my wife and children, my grandchildren, for nieces and nephews. I am thankful for doctors, nurses, paramedics, firefighters and police. I am thank for our government and our military. I am not just thankful to these people, I give thanks to God for all of these people. Thankfulness brings a sense of gratitude with it. It also admits to a dependence upon others. When we are thankful to God for all of these I have listed we acknowledge that God is providing for our many needs. Thankfulness admits our utter dependence upon God. Without Him and the people He places around us we would find ourselves in a miserable state today. We would not be here rejoicing in this fellowship of believers. Thanksgiving has become a special day of worship for me as I recount all that God has done and is doing in my life.
What are you thankful for today?
13 But we should always give thanks to God for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God has chosen you from the beginning for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and faith in the truth.
2 Thessalonians 2:13
First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, because your faith is being proclaimed throughout the whole world. Romans 1:8
3 We ought always to give thanks to God for you, brethren, as is only fitting, because your faith is greatly enlarged, and the love of each one of you toward one another grows ever greater; 4 therefore, we ourselves speak proudly of you among the churches of God for your perseverance and faith in the midst of all your persecutions and afflictions which you endure.
II Thessalonians 1:3-4
The words Thanks, Thanksgiving, and thankfulness are used a lot in scripture. More than that, the reminder and call to be thankful is implied even more in scripture. Thankfulness really does remind us how dependent on God we need to be.
Paul was thankful to God and when you read Paul’s letters there it is right in your face, that He is thankful that God had made him dependent. One thing that can’t be missed is that Paul is thankful to God for the people who ministered to him and those that he had the chance to disciple and train to follow Christ.
Individually, I hope that you are thankful for all of God’s blessings. We have seen over the last two weeks that An Unstoppable church needs to seek God together. And An Unstoppable Church must fight for each other. Today we will see why An Unstoppable Church is Thankful to God for each other.
Let’s see how Paul expressed his thankfulness to God for the church.
4 I thank my God always concerning you for the grace of God which was given you in Christ Jesus, 5 that in everything you were enriched in Him, in all speech and all knowledge, 6 even as the testimony concerning Christ was confirmed in you, 7 so that you are not lacking in any gift, awaiting eagerly the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ, 8 who will also confirm you to the end, blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. I Corinthians 1:4-8
In this passage we can see that Paul is Thankful to God for three very important reasons.
Paul is thankful for three things
- He is thankful for the Church family he is a part of.
- He is thankful for those who fight along side him.
- He is thankful for those who continue to follow Jesus until the end.
First of all Paul…
Is Thankful to God For The Family
4 I thank my God always concerning you for the grace of God which was given you in Christ Jesus,
Paul is thankful for God’s grace that saved him. He is also thankful the grace of God that saved those he was writing. He was thankful for the kinship of believers who are being redeemed by God’ grace made possible through Jesus’ death on the cross.
Just this week I heard a new song by Mercy Me, “The Best News Ever”.
Some say, “Don’t give up” And hope that your good is good enough Head down, keep on working If you could earn it, you deserve it Some say, “Push on through” After all, it’s the least that you can do But don’t buy what they’re selling It couldn’t be further from the truth
Some say, “Don’t ask for help” God helps the ones who help themselves Press on, get it right Otherwise, get left behind
Some say, “He’s keeping score” So try hard, then try harder and lean on God
Hold up, if this was true Explain to me, what the cross is for
The cross was necessary for Jesus atoning work to be completed and God’s grace to be available for all who would cry out to be saved.
Is Thankful to God For The Fighters
A well trained and equipped military is necessary for the defense and security of a country. Being well trained and equipped is true for any kind of team. Fighters must participate in on going preparation and practice. It also includes learning new ways to accomplish the purpose of the team.
A well trained and equipped church is necessary for it to be Unstoppable. Paul was thankful to God for what God was doing in the church. God knows how to equip and provide what a team needs.
5 that in everything you were enriched in Him, in all speech and all knowledge, 6 even as the testimony concerning Christ was confirmed in you, 7 so that you are not lacking in any gift,
Paul saw God raising up all kinds of people. They becoming new in Christ. They were taking place of leadership. They were caring for each other. They affirmed him as God’s partner and it affirmed Him as he saw what God was doing. It reminded Paul that God really was saving and changing people. It was all true.
As partners or as members of the army of God we need to be thankful for all that God does for us. Peter tells us in the beginning of his second book that God has given us everything for a Godly life through Jesus Christ our Savior. Paul says that God has enriched us with everything.
Paul said that all believers have been enriched in speech and knowledge. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. Jesus said in Matthew 10:19 – “ when they arrest you for your faith, do not worry about how or what you are to say; for it will be given you in that hour what you are to say.” Paul was thankful for the spiritual growth that was happening in the lives of believers He was thankful for the gifts that God had given for ministry. Are you thankful for the gifts of these people that you go to church with? Do you know what their gifts are?
Because of the promises of Christ, believers were being changed. What were those promises? He promised His Holy Spirit. He promised to abide in us. He promised that He would hear us when we prayed. He promised that we could produce much fruit if we would spend time with Him and trust Him. As we study, worship and follow Jesus we discover more of His promises. He promised if we would testify that Jesus is the Christ the Son of the living God that the church would be Unstoppable.
I want you to know that I am thankful for the army that God has placed here. I’m thankful that God has been working in your life. We need to be thankful for each other. We need to be thankful and faithful so that God can continue to work in our lives so that we can be an Unstoppable church.
One thing that is key for us, is that we keep growing. Don’t let each other down by being unfaithful to God. Stand strong, keep walking and keep putting yourself in positions where you have to trust God. I need that from you. We need this from each other!
Continual preparation as members of the family of God results in us being faithful to the end. Faithful people are faithful to the end. Are you thankful for the faithful. An Unstoppable Church
Is Thankful For The Faithful
The return of Christ was on the minds of the early church. Much is said about Christ return in scripture. Paul was thankful for those who were excited to meet Jesus.
He was thankful for those who were… eagerly waiting for the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ, 8 who will also confirm you to the end, blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.
I Corinthians 1:4-8
Paul described them as ready. Ready to be found faithful and fully accepted by Jesus.
Do you know the story of the unwise bridemaids or wedding attendants? When Jesus walked the earth the role of the bridemaids was much different than now. Today you have to be ready to wear an ugly bridesmaid dress. Sit for hours picking out a dress and learn a special dance to do when you walk into the reception.
The bridesmaid had to wait with the bride for her husband to arrive. When he did they were to go to the entrance with their lamps lit to lead the groom to his bride. They had to wait a long time for him to arrive sometimes. In Jesus’ story in Matthew 25 we are told some were ready with oil in their lamps and some needed oil for their lamps. It was a sad day for the unwise bridemaids for they missed out on their given purpose. Not only that but they missed the wedding celebration.
What Paul was thankful for were those believers who continued to be faithful day in and day out. They enjoyed their fellowship and relationship with the Lord and were always ready to meet Jesus.
There is nothing worse than anticipating a great event and then at the last minute to miss out because you weren’t prepared.
An Unstoppable Church is one where the family or the army maintains their personal relationship with God. Not only maintains it, but, like I mentioned before like an army that is ready to spring into action.
Paul was thankful for believers who were being prepared by God and proving to be faithful until the very end. The day they met Jesus was going to be a great day. They would not have any fears of meeting Jesus unprepared. Jesus would quickly say to them, “well done, my good and faithful servant.
It is always a little disheartening to me when I hear about someone who was once a faithful follower of Jesus that no longer has a relationship with Christ. They are awol from service in the Kingdom of God. I am sorry that they never discovered the joy of Jesus. They gave up before their time was over.
But how thankful I am when I reconnect with people I haven’t seen for a while and discover that they have grown in their relationship with Jesus. It encourages me to continue to follow Jesus.
To come each Sunday and see you here is encouraging. My desire is that when someone of a certain age comes into this building, that they would see someone else of that same age being faithful to God. To see someone like me worshiping God lets me know that God is at work in the world and I can keep on keeping on. We need each other to be faithful.
Paul faced opposition, trials, trouble, and travel all of the time. He had a vital relationship with Jesus but it had to be encouraging to him to see Jesus alive in the people he met at different churches. That is why he was so thankful to God for the work God was doing in believers.
Challenge: I hope you see how valuable you are to an Unstoppable Church. Keep on growing. Keep on discovering how to trust God more. Keep on abiding in Jesus.
Then be thankful to God for those who have come to Christ. Be thankful for their gifts. Be thankful for those who continue to be in the battle with you. An be thankful for the saints who are growing daily in Christ. Those who with great joy are looking forward to the day when they meet Jesus.
A truly thankful church is An Unstoppable Church.