No More Sitting at the Kiddie Table [Sermon Notes & Audio]
Just like there is a kiddie table at a lot of Thanksgiving meals, there is a kiddie table of Gratitude (and some of us aren’t even there).
3 Ingredients for Gratitude
For gratitude to place, there have to be three things:
- Benefit — You have to receive and recognize a gift you believe is good.
- Benefactor — Benefits are not random acts; they come from someone who has good intentions for you.
- Beneficiary — Person who receives. You can’t be grateful for something you believe you’re entitled to. (PS – You’re not entitled to anything.)
If we understand these three things, we’re at the kiddie table of gratitude.
The Kiddie Table
“For the Lord your God is bringing you into a good land—a land with brooks, streams, and deep springs gushing out into the valleys and hills; a land with wheat and barley, vines and fig trees, pomegranates, olive oil and honey; a land where bread will not be scarce and you will lack nothing; a land where the rocks are iron and you can dig copper out of the hills.
“When you have eaten and are satisfied, praise the Lord your God for the good land he has given you. Be careful that you do not forget the Lord your God, failing to observe his commands, his laws and his decrees that I am giving you this day. Otherwise, when you eat and are satisfied, when you build fine houses and settle down, and when your herds and flocks grow large and your silver and gold increase and all you have is multiplied, then your heart will become proud and you will forget the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.
“He led you through the vast and dreadful wilderness, that thirsty and waterless land, with its venomous snakes and scorpions. He brought you water out of hard rock. He gave you manna to eat in the wilderness, something your ancestors had never known, to humble and test you so that in the end it might go well with you. You may say to yourself, ‘My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me.’ But remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms his covenant, which he swore to your ancestors, as it is today.” — Deuteronomy 8:7-18, NIV
Israel got into trouble, and we still do today, when they worshipped the promise instead of the Promiser.
The Kiddie Table of Gratitude is saying “Thank you” for what you see.
“Silent gratitude isn’t much use to anyone.” — GB Stern
Practice gratitude for what you see – because it’s not natural – but don’t stay at the kiddie table.
The Dining Room Table
So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you must endure many trials for a little while. These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold—though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world. — 1 Peter 1:6-7, NLT
Your level of gratitude is a measure of your level of faith.
Now we’ve graduated. It’s not longer just “thank you” for what you have, but for what you don’t see — His promises, His presence, etc.
Seek the Lord and his strength;
seek his presence continually! — Psalm 105:4, ESV
The mark of a disciple is moving beyond seeking God for what He can do. We need to move from, “my portion is the provision” to, “my portion is You.”
The Lord is my chosen portion and my cup;
you hold my lot. — Psalm 16:5
The former preach Christ out of selfish ambition, not sincerely, supposing that they can stir up trouble for me while I am in chains. But what does it matter? The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of this I rejoice. Yes, and I will continue to rejoice, … — Philippians 1:17-18, NIV
The next level, that very few of us really get to, is being grateful for God’s purposes. Even when it means difficulties for us, we give thanks because we know that His purposes are being worked out.
We don’t need to give thanks for everything (because it’s not all from God), but we can give thanks in everything (because He works it all together for good).
Level Up This Thanksgiving
- Kiddie Table — “Thank You for this …”
- Dining Room Table — “Thank You, even though …”
- The Kitchen — “Thank You in this difficulty, because of Your purposes …”