Thursday, November 28, 2013

Why Jesus was always thankful and never bored

Psalm 136:1 "O give thanks unto the Lord; for He is good: for His mercy endureth forever".

1 Thessalonians 5:18 "In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you."

Introduction: Why Jesus never got bored and how He was always thankful
As we think about today being "Thanksgiving", I marvel at how our culture as been infected with ingratitude. The more we get, the more we want to get.  In this special thanksgiving post I want you and I to think on how we can be the most thankful people possible not only today, but everyday.  The one thing you never see in Jesus' life while here on earth are instances of boredom.  Without question Jesus' sinless humanity chiefly explains why He never got bored and was always thankful. Yet we must also remember that Jesus came to give us as Christians both the example and empowerment to be like Him. (Hebrews 2:14-15; 1 Peter 2:21; 2 Peter 1:3-4). Jesus' ability to not be bored and to be always thankful stemmed from the fact that He cultivated a constant attitude of thankfulness.  Even though we as Christians will not reach a state of sinless perfection until we are in the presence of the Lord following death or rapture, we can right now begin cultivating and practicing thanksgiving that does not have to be reserved to one day a year.  

At least eight verses in the Gospels record Jesus giving thanks to God. (Matthew 15:36, 26:27; Mark 8:6 ,14:23; Luke 22:17,19; John 6:11,23) If you and I as Christian people are to be more like our Master, we need to cultivate an attitude of thanksgiving and declare war on boredom in our lives.  Below are some thoughts that I hope will guide our thinking today and in the days, weeks and months to come.

1. God's goodness - the source of Christian thanksgiving
There is a disease that is circulating in every home that is detrimental to the Christian walk -boredom. In the above passages, as well as in Jesus' example, we see the motivation for thanksgiving is an invitation and a command to come and behold the goodness of God. Every event, every circumstance, is a window through which I can discover the goodness of God in all things.

2. The link between thanksgiving and God's goodness
It is only by God's grace that we can see His goodness in all things. The above two passages at the opening of today's post are commands. Clearly whenever God commands us to do anything, the command itself will lie outside our ability unaided by grace. For every command there is always a provision of grace. Lamentations 3:22-23 and Philippians 4:13 reminds us of God's daily provisions, and those provisions being accessed through "do all things through Christ who gives us strength".

3. Why true worship and boredom cannot co-exist in the same heart
Even when people are prone to become apathetic and disconnected, there is still ample reason to see God's goodness, however difficult it may be. (please compare Romans 8:28)  There is one human expression that is never justified in any circumstance for the Christian, no matter how seemingly uninteresting certain things may be - boredom. When we get "bored", we are assuming that there is no good or benefit to be gleaned from the event or situation. Boredom is the first step, however passive, in refusing to see the goodness of God. It not only is the enemy of thanksgiving, it is the enemy of worship. Boredom's origin is nothing short of idolatry.

4. How to declare war on boredom
Whenever I get bored, that indicates that there is an area in my heart where I have set up an idol. Boredom comes as a result of unmet expectations. That toy, that television, the thanksgiving meal, lose their perceived goodness because I forget and ultimately refuse to acknowledge that all things come from the Lord. Boredom is what occurs when I expect a created object to bring the same fulfillment as only God can bring. This is why boredom is the seed of idolatry and why it does not belong in the heart, on the lips or through the day-to-day life of any Christian. We should pray like the Psalmist prayed in Psalm 73:25-26 "
Whom have I in heaven but You?
And besides You, I desire nothing on earth.
26 My flesh and my heart may fail,
But God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever."

5. Let us be thankful to God and refuse to be bored
As we enter into this season of Thanksgiving, lets declare war on boredom. Lets not lose sight of the goodness of God. Lets not forget that in all things, give thanks to Him, for this is His will in Christ Jesus concerning you. (1 Thessalonians 5:18)  Jesus Christ gave us the supreme example on how not to be bored and His indwelling Holy Spirit gives every Christian the empowerment to wage war against boredom. (Romans 5:1-5; 1 Corinthians 2:10-13, 3:16; Galatians 5:16; 2 Timothy 1:14)

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