Thanks & Giving

Joseph LephiewSeries, Sermons, Thanks & GivingLeave a Comment

SERMON NOTES

I heard about a family where the father was very proud of the fact that they always said ‘grace’ before meals. Once they had some very smart guests coming to lunch. The father wanted to show off the fact that even their young son had learnt to say ‘grace’.

As they were about to eat lunch he said to his son, ‘Tommy, would you say grace?’ Tommy whispered to his mother, ‘I don’t know what to say’. The mother replied, ‘Just say what Daddy said at breakfast’.

Tommy closed his eyes and said, ‘Oh God, we’ve got those dreadful people coming to lunch.’

That, of course, was an unusual form of grace!

I remember my grandson Jojo was over and we were having dinner and i barbecued a lot carnasada so I asked my grandson to bless the meal say grace. He starts out by saying, “Lord we thank you for these cows who were sacrificed so we could have this amazing carnasada.

Grace is giving thanks. But we are going to go a little deeper.

I feel at times because of the life and lifestyles we live today we can get so busy that we miss out on all the things that God does for us.

Remember our theme scripture?
“in every situation [no matter what the circumstances] be thankful and continually give thanks to God; for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus.”
1 THESSALONIANS 5:18 AMP

This speaks of a spiritual attitude. Pastor Joe and Pearl Murillo and their family is going to Disneyland and doing Thanksgiving Holiday at Disneyland. I thought how awesome they can do that. Thank God they have the resources to go and have a blast like that. God gets off on us have and doing and living amazing life here. He does not get any glory when we suffer or going thru trials. It is for our growth, but like any father it still hurts to see His children hurting.

Friday night we had our monthly Volunteer Staff meeting. We ate and fellowship together. I was watching Sadie, Steve and Susie youngest daughter. She is so tiny she was arm wrestling the other girls and lost and she got so upset that she was crying. Steve comes over her and begins to teach her that she wont win every time and to learn to lose with grace. She is holding her hands and tears are flowing down her little cheek and she is saying ok dad.

God loves us and wants the best for us. That is number one. Gods wants the best for us.

“I alone know the plans I have for you, plans to bring you prosperity and not disaster, plans to bring about the future you hope for.”

Jeremiah 29:11 GNT

Gods plans for us are prosperity. Disaster is when we do not follow His plan but make our own based on feelings, circumstances or situations. Disaster is what happens when you get off the Favor Path. Gods heart is to give us our hope. Not what we deserve but this is where Grace comes in.

“For out of His fullness [the superabundance of His grace and truth] we have all received grace upon grace [spiritual blessing upon spiritual blessing, favor upon favor, and gift heaped upon gift].”
JOHN 1:16 AMP


“Out of the fullness of his grace he has blessed us all, giving us one blessing after another.”
John 1:16 GNT

God is not on a budget or in lack. He is the God of Overflow. Fullness is the Superabundance of His Grace and Truth.

Grace in the Greek. Graciousness, the Divine Influence upon the heart, and its reflection in the life. Including gratitude, acceptable, benefit, favor, gift, joy, liberality, pleasure.

This area of Grace, we do not deserve it. We could never live up to all that God is. God is pure holy but because of His love and desire to be in relationship with us, He gives us His Grace. Grace is a consciousness about His Love, His Sacrifice, His Gift of Salvation, His Mercy, His Power, His Help, His Compassion, you are conscious of His Divine Influence in your life.

There are times many times I have failed Him and felt so unworthy and yet He does not even speak of my failures or weakness. He picks me up as you would a small child who has fallen and comfort them and love on them and encourage them.

I remember when all of my grandkids were little when they would fall and I would run to their rescue just like God. I would scoop them up in my arms and hold them so close and wipe their tears and attend to the hurt or pain. I would ask them, “you want Grandpa to pray for your bobo, they would of course say yes and we would pray.” All better and they would go back to playing again.

This is Grace. Grace is so much more than just sins covered. It is His love and approval of you as His Children. We are His. WE are His beloved.

God told David if you were to go to Hell and make your bed I would meet you and rescue you there.

“Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? If I ascend to heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in Sheol (the nether world, the place of the dead), behold, You are there.”
PSALM 139:7-8 AMP

What is Grace?

The boy stood with back arched, head cocked back and hands clenched defiantly. “Go ahead, give it to me.”

The principal looked down at the young rebel. “How many times have you been here?”

The child sneered rebelliously, “Apparently not enough.”

The principal gave the boy a strange look. “And you have been punished each time have you not?”

“Yeah, I been punished, if that’s what you want to call it.” He threw out his small chest, “Go ahead I can take whatever you dish out. I always have.”

“And no thought of your punishment enters your head the next time you decide to break the rules does it?”

“Nope, I do whatever I want to do. Ain’t nothin’ you people gonna do to stop me either.”

The principal looked over at the teacher who stood nearby. “What did he do this time?”

“Fighting. He took little Tommy and shoved his face into the sandbox.”

The principal turned to look at the boy, “Why? What did little Tommy do to you?”

“Nothin, I didn’t like the way he was lookin’ at me, just like I don’t like the way your lookin’ at me! And if I thought I could do it, I’d shove your face into something.”

The teacher stiffened and started to rise but a quick look from the principal stopped him. He contemplated the child for a moment and then quietly said, “Today my young student, is the day you learn about grace.”

“Grace? Isn’t that what you old people do before you sit down to eat? I don’t need none of your stinkin grace.”

“Oh but you do.” The principal studied the young mans face and whispered. “Oh yes, you truly do…”

The boy continued to glare as the principal continued, “Grace, in its short definition is unmerited favor. You can not earn it, it is a gift and is always freely given. It means that you will not be getting what you so richly deserve.”

The boy looked puzzled. “Your not gonna whup me? You just gonna let me walk?”

The principal looked down at the unyielding child. “Yes, I am going to let you walk.”

The boy studied the face of the principal, “No punishment at all? Even though I socked Tommy and shoved his face into the sandbox?”

“Oh, there has to be punishment. What you did was wrong and there are always consequences to our actions. There will be punishment. Grace is not an excuse for doing wrong.”

“I knew it,” Sneered the boy as he held out his hands. “Lets get on with it.”

The principal nodded toward the teacher. “Bring me the belt.” The teacher presented the belt to the principal. He carefully folded it in two and then handed it back to the teacher. He looked at the child and said. “I want you to count the blows.”

He slid out from behind his desk and walked over to stand directly in front of the young man. He gently reached out and folded the child’s outstretched, expectant hands together and then turned to face the teacher with his own hands outstretched. One quiet word came forth from his mouth. “Begin.”

The belt whipped down on the outstretched hands of the principal. Crack! The young man jumped ten feet in the air.

Shock registered across his face, “One” he whispered. Crack! “Two.” His voice raised an octave. Crack! “Three…” He couldn’t believe this. Crack! “Four.” Big tears welled up in the eyes of the rebel.

“OK stop! That’s enough. Stop!” Crack! Came the belt down on the callused hands of the principal. Crack! The child flinched with each blow, tears beginning to stream down his face.

Crack! Crack! “No please”, the former rebel begged, “Stop, I did it, I’m the one who deserves it.

Stop! Please. Stop…”

Still the blows came, Crack! Crack! One after another. Finally it was over.

The principal stood with sweat glistening across his forehead and beads trickling down his face.

Slowly he knelt down.

He studied the young man for a second and then his swollen hands reached out to cradle the face of the weeping child.

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