As a preacher, my bread and butter is verse-by-verse, or passage-by-passage exposition of the Scriptures. This normally means preaching through Books of the Bible. The advantages of this kind of expository preaching ministry are manifold, and have been expounded upon by men far more qualified to speak to the subject than me. For my purposes here, just suffice it to say I do not do as well in the pulpit when trying to come up with topical sermon series.
But having just spent 22 months in Luke, I sensed it may be time for a topical breather before we launch into Acts in January. So, two sermon series planned for November and December. The current series is titled “Gratitude: Our Weapon.” Sermons already preached in the series include:
- Gratitude: Our Weapon for Generosity (2 Cor 8-9)
- Gratitude: Our Weapon Against Greed (1 Tim 6)
If you missed either, you can listen to the Sermons Here. This Sunday we’ll think on “Gratitude: Our Weapon Against Grumbling” from Philippians 2.
The idea of gratitude being a weapon for spiritual warfare shamefully had not occurred to me until I read Heath Lambert’s book on sexual purity, Finally Free. He has a whole chapter on using gratitude to fight pornography. The opening verses in the chapter are Ephesians 5:3-4.
But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people. Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving.
There it is! So clearly! The antidote for sexual immorality and impurity and greed and other sins is actually – you guessed it – gratitude.
There’s more power for daily living in gospel gratitude than we can fathom. I’m not sure there is any sin that cannot be battled against using thankfulness. Gratitude for all of God’s good gifts, and most of all for His Son and Spirit, changes us in significant and practical ways.
Gospel Gratitude frees us from the tyranny of greed, grumbling, pornography, arrogance, useless speech, entitlement, and the list goes on.
So, start reading your Bibles with an eye towards gratitude. Few traits mark God’s born again people more prominently than thankfulness. The prayers of the Bible ooze gratitude. The attitudes of the psalmists exude thanksgiving. Read again the Psalms of Asaph (73 – 83). Time and again Asaph claws his way out of fits of depression and pits of despair. How? By praising and thanking God! By remembering His goodness and faithfulness and righteousness and promises to His people.
May the Lord be pleased to use these few sermons to create and cultivate deep, heart-felt gratitude among us. A grateful heart is happy in Jesus. A heart happy in Jesus will overflow in a tongue that praises and brags on Jesus, and hands that give and serve in His name.
God grant us gratitude, that we might magnify your salvation in Christ day-by-day.