Monday, November 24, 2014

Pastor's Ponderings, November 24, 2014

An Ungrateful Generation

In 1977, Robert Ringer authored a book called, “Looking Out For Number One.”  He quotes, “… I am referring to the conscious effort to make rational decisions that lead to the greatest amount of happiness over the long term…” Much earlier in the 16th century there was a proverb that stated “Every man for himself and the Devil take the hindmost" which meant that those who lag behind would receive no help. In our generation, this philosophy has spawned countless books, videos and programs to help us focus our attention and energy on bringing benefits solely to ourselves.  Sadly, this “get ahead by any means necessary” mantra has permeated our society and has caused us to deemphasize our connection with God and each other.

The Bible describes this phenomenon in our society as a people who love themselves, pleasure, and money.  Our love is lacking with each other and God. We are proud and boastful and tear others down.  We cannot be trusted with others concerns and choose not to control ourselves (2 Timothy 3:1-4).  

Despite all of the blessings that God has given to us (Matthew 5:45), many of us are only concerned about our own happiness. We fail to be grateful to our Creator for giving us knowledge, fortuitous circumstances, a lawful society, resources, funding, and helpful sponsors. Instead, we often think it is all about what we have done and ourselves.

Thankfully, the Bible provides an alternative perspective. God wants us to love one another and be grateful for all that He has done for us (James 1:17).  He would much rather us love people (Romans 13:8) and use things rather than love things and use people.

In this Thanksgiving season, let us decide to be grateful for all that the Lord has given us and not think our blessings come from simply our own efforts. Let us be people who are not simply looking out for number one but are grateful for our blessings and our concerned about others because this pleases God (Hebrews 13:16).

In this Thanksgiving season, let’s remind ourselves to Look Out for The One, thank Him for all that He has given us, and thank God for the people in our lives that help us to reach our full potential.  During this season and beyond, let’s be a people who please God by being grateful for his blessings and show concern for others (Hebrews 13:16).

2 Timothy 3:1-4
New International Version (NIV)
But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good,
treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God—.

Matthew 5:45
New International Version (NIV)
45 that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.

James 1:17
New International Version (NIV)
17 Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.

Romans 13:8
Amplified Bible (AMP)
Keep out of debt and owe no man anything, except to love one another; for he who loves his neighbor [who practices loving others] has fulfilled the Law [relating to one’s fellowmen, meeting all its requirements].

Hebrews 13:16 
New International Version (NIV)
 And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.

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