Max Lucado has written almost 100 books with 145 million copies in print and has appeared regularly on several bestseller lists including the New York Times Best Seller List. He was named “America’s Pastor” by Christianity Today magazine and in 2005 Reader’s Digest named him “The Best Preacher in America.”
Along with my Bible reading each morning, I read several devotional books, including Max’s “God Is With You Every Day.” The selection for today, November 14, is entitled, “A Cure for Snakebites and Ingratitude,” and Max starts with Hebrews 12:28, “Since we are receiving a Kingdom that is unshakable, let us be thankful and please God by worshiping him with holy fear and awe.”
Nothing silences grumps like gratitude.
Consider the grumbling Israelites. “They began to speak against God and Moses. ‘Why have you brought us out of Egypt to die here in the wilderness? . . . And we hate this horrible manna!’” (Numbers 21:5 NLT).
Had they forgotten God’s deliverance? The Red Sea became the red carpet. Manna fell like silver dollars. They danced the Jubilee jig and carried Moses on their shoulders. They were grateful at first.
But with the passage of time, ingratitude took over. So they bellyached. They complained. They turned sour and dour.
God responded with an object lesson for the ages. He unleashed snakes into their camp. Toxic fangs everywhere. Shades of Eden. The symbolism is inescapable. Ingratitude is a devil’s brew. It will kill you.
Many were bitten and died. The people cried out, “We have sinned by speaking against the LORD and against you. Pray that the LORD will take away the snakes” (v. 7). So Moses prayed for the people.
Then the Lord told him, “Make a replica of a poisonous snake and attach it to a pole. All who are bitten will live if they simply look at it!” (vv. 6-8 NLT).
The cure for ingratitude? Look up! Lift up your eyes! Look what God has done! (Wise counsel from Max Lucado.)
In 1 Thessalonians 5:18, the Apostle Paul declares, “In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” Having a thankful heart is so essential that it is in fact God’s will for your life!
Concerned about your finances? Give thanks! Stressed out about your health? Give thanks! Worried about your relationships (marriage, family members, others)? Give thanks! Anxious about your job situation? Give thanks! Fearful of the future? Give thanks! No matter the situation, no matter the circumstances, no matter the crisis – Give Thanks!
The Lord is on the throne. He reigns over heaven and earth. He is Large and in charge and can do more than you can ask or even imagine (Ephesians 3:20). So have a heart overflowing with Thanksgiving. Cultivate an Attitude of Gratitude! Continually offer to the Lord a sacrifice of thanks and praise (Psalm 116:17; Hebrews 13:15). Look to Jesus and Give Thanks!
Our 2023 Thanksgiving Celebration and Lunch takes place this Sunday, November 19, and everyone is invited. Turkeys are provided by the church, so bring your favorite side dishes (mashed potatoes, stuffing, salad, dessert, and more) to add to the table. Come with a heart filled with gratitude to the Lord; He deserves all our thanks and praise! Please invite someone to join you at 10:35am either in the building or online for the Live broadcast on either Facebook (Honolulu AG) or our YouTube channel (Honolulu Assembly of God). We livestream every Sunday to both locations.
November 26 is “Deck the Halls” Sunday. We will decorate the building for Christmas and then enjoy a delicious, prepared lunch together. (Lunch is provided; you don’t need to bring anything that day.)
Our 12th annual Christmas Lunch and Treasure Trade for ladies and children will take place Saturday, December 2, at 11:30am. Please bring your donations of new or gently used items to the church before the event. Tickets are available at Sunday services or by calling the church office. (Tickets are free and help us know how many to welcome.)
Aloha ke Akua!