Thankful for God’s Goodness
In this sermon on showing gratitude to God, the example of the prodigal son and his brother challenges us to treat the Father's blessings in the right way.
A Life of Contentment
Over the next few weeks we’re going to explore what it means to appreciate God’s goodness to us.
God’s Blessings Need Careful Handling
In this evening's sermon on showing gratitude to God we see that how we treat the blessings God gives us portrays how we think about God.
The parable of the lost son
11 Jesus continued: ‘There was a man who had two sons. 12 The younger one said to his father, “Father, give me my share of the estate.” So he divided his property between them.
13 ‘Not long after that, the younger son got together all he had, set off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth in wild living. 14 After he had spent everything, there was a severe famine in that whole country, and he began to be in need. 15 So he went and hired himself out to a citizen of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed pigs. 16 He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything.
17 ‘When he came to his senses, he said, “How many of my father’s hired servants have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! 18 I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you.19 I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired servants.” 20 So he got up and went to his father.
‘But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms round him and kissed him.
21 ‘The son said to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.”
22 ‘But the father said to his servants, “Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. 23 Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. 24 For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.” So they began to celebrate.
25 ‘Meanwhile, the elder son was in the field. When he came near the house, he heard music and dancing. 26 So he called one of the servants and asked him what was going on. 27 “Your brother has come,” he replied, “and your father has killed the fattened calf because he has him back safe and sound.”
28 ‘The elder brother became angry and refused to go in. So his father went out and pleaded with him. 29 But he answered his father, “Look! All these years I’ve been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders. Yet you never gave me even a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends. 30 But when this son of yours who has squandered your property with prostitutes comes home, you kill the fattened calf for him!”
31 ‘“My son,” the father said, “you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. 32 But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.”’
The Younger Son believes His Father Doesn’t Want Him to be Happy
And the younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the share of property that is coming to me.’ And he divided his property between them.
The younger son demands the separation of the partnership with his father. This meant just one thing: the younger son wants his father to die. His father’s love has been poured out on him his whole, young life, but he rejects his father in the worst way possible.
He Wastes His Resources on Pleasure
Not many days later, the younger son gathered all he had and took a journey into a far country, and there he squandered his property in reckless living.
Why does he treat his father this way? It seems the younger son believed his father was standing between him and happiness. But instead of finding happiness he is left ultimately unfulfilled and miserable, until he comes to his senses.
The Older Brother Underestimates the Blessings He Receives from His Father
but he answered his father, ‘Look, these many years I have served you, and I never disobeyed your command, yet you never gave me a young goat, that I might celebrate with my friends.
The older son’s ungratefulness is as offensive as his younger brother’s. The older son would have received two thirds of the estate to his brother’s one third. The older son’s suggestion that he’s been his father’s slave whilst his younger brother has been away sounds rather hollow!
More Than Enough to Go Round
And he said to him, ‘Son, you are always with me, and all that is mine is yours.
The older brother simply underestimates the gift he has received from his father. His father reminds him that all that is mine is yours. I still have many blessings to bestow on you.
Don’t Take God’s Blessings for Granted
This sermon on showing gratitude to God challenges us that as we remember all that God has given us, let us not be guilty of taking them for granted. Let’s be good stewards of all God has given us.
Don’t Waste the Blessings God has Given You
Wasting God’s gifts on our pleasure and for our own glory leaves us as unfilled and miserable as the younger son. Let’s use the blessings God gives us in the right ways.
Don’t See Blessings as a Burden
Let’s not allow pride, jealousy, anger or self-righteousness get in the way of enjoying them. Let’s celebrate them instead.
Instead, Be Thankful
Here’s a challenge for the coming week: This week take five minutes to write about how grateful you are for all of the wonderful things that you currently have in your life.
If you found this podcast sermon on showing gratitude to God helpful, would you please do something for me?
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- A Community of the Whole
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