Gratitude and Graciousness 2 Samuel 9 Part 2 by Pastor Don

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Gratitude and Graciousness 2 Samuel 9 Part 2 by Pastor Don

Pastor Don continued teaching on Gratitude and Graciousness. Here is link to the previous post. He reminded us that King David did not forget where he came from, for King David knew he was King because of God’s intervention.

2 Samuel 9:1 Now David said, “Is there still anyone who is left of the house of Saul, that I may show him kindness for Jonathan’s sake?”

To show kindness for Jonathan’s sake. Now what is the point of this? What’s going on here?

Go to Chapter 8 and look at Verse 6-8  (what is not italicized is Pastor Don’s comments as he read the passage taken from a recording of the study) Then David put garrisons in Syria of Damascus; and the Syrians became David’s servants and brought tribute. So the LORD look at this, preserved David wherever he went. And David took the shields of gold that had belonged to the servants of Hadadezer, and brought them to Jerusalem. And also from Betah and all these other cities and all like that. Now go down to verse 13 And David made himself a name when he returned from killing eighteen thousand Syrians in the Valley of Salt. He also put garrisons in Edom; throughout all Edom he put garrisons, and all the Edomites became David’s servants. And look at it again, And the LORD preserved David wherever he went. So David reigned over verse 15 over all Israel; and David administered judgment and justice to a few of the people? – to some of the people? no, to all. He ministered to all his people. Joab the son of Zeruiah was over the army; Jehoshaphat the son of Ahilud was recorder; and he goes on through all these different positions. Now, verse 1 again.

2 Samuel 9:1 Now David said, “Is there still anyone who is left of the house of Saul, that I may show him kindness for Jonathan’s sake?”

Jonathan was the son of Saul, who was the rightful heir; but Jonathan was David’s best friend. They loved each other as brothers, even better than brothers because they really, really were willing to die for each other. In the tradition of what kings usually did when they took over the throne, if David was looking for a descendant of Jonathan, usually it would have been to kill him. This was the usual routine because whoever is left that is a descendant of Jonathan (or King Saul) is the rightful heir to the throne. While this is mentioned in the Bible it is important to know God is recording the usual cultural way of succession, but it is not the Biblical way–nowhere in the Bible does it say to do this. David, because of Saul’s death, is ascending to the throne. Saul’s sons (including David’s best friend Jonathan) are also dead. To protect the throne, David traditionally would have gone throughout the house of Saul and killed all of Saul’s household. You might leave some of the women alive but that could create a problem. If any of the women that you left alive give birth, those sons would have a right to the throne. So usually the king would waste everybody. Let’s see if this is what God’s man is about to do. David says he wants to show kindness.

2 Samuel 9:2-7 (anything that is not italicized is Pastor Don’s comments as he read the passage) And there was a servant of the house of Saul whose name was Ziba. So when they had called him to David, the king said to him, “Are you Ziba?” He said, “At your service.” Then the king said, “Is there not still someone of the house of Saul, to whom I may show the kindness of God?” And Ziba said to the king, “There is still a son of Jonathan who is lame in his feet.” So this guy’s a cripple. So the King said to him, “Where is he?” And Ziba said to the king, “Indeed he is in the house of Machir the son of Ammiel, in Lo Debar.” Then King David sent and brought him out of the house of Machir the son of Ammiel, from Lo Debar. Now when Mephibosheth watch this, this is so good. When Mephibosheth the son of Jonathan, the son of Saul, had come to David, he fell on his face and prostrated himself. Then David said, Now why did he do that? Why did he throw himself in all humbleness? David is greater and he is basically pleading for what? He’s pleading for his life here. He says, here is your servant. He calls himself a servant of David because he knows what usually the deal is. So David said to him, Lord have mercy, these are good words for Mephibosheth.  2 Samuel 9:7 “Do not fear, for I will surely show you kindness for Jonathan your father’s sake And then he blows his mind completely , and will restore to  you all the land of Saul your grandfather; and you shall eat bread at my table continually. Whew!

2 Samuel 9:8 Then he bowed himself, and said, “What is your servant, that you should look upon such a dead dog as I?”

Now why does he call himself a dead dog? Because generally he would have been dead because King David could have ordered him killed if King David followed tradition. So he’s asking to what should he owe this favor? How can this possibly be? And watch what he says,

2 Samuel 9:8-13 (what is not italicized is Pastor Don’s comments as he read the text) Then he bowed himself and said, “What is your servant that you should look upon such a dead dog as I? Then the king called to Ziba, Saul’s servant, and said to him, “I have given to your master’s son all that belonged to Saul and to all his house. You therefore, and your sons and your servants, shall work for the land for him, and you shall bring in the harvest, that your master’s son may have food to eat But Mephibosheth, your Master’s son, shall eat bread at my table always.” Now look at the Goodness of God, it expands, it goes beyond what you think.  Now Ziba had fifteen sons and twenty servants. Then Zeba said to the king, “According to all that my lord the king has commanded his servant, so will your servant do.” As for Mephibosheth” said the king, “he shall eat at my table like one of the king’s sons.” Mephibosheth had a young son whose name was Micha. And all who dwelt in the house of Ziba were servants of Mephibosheth. So Mephibosheth dwelt in Jerusalem, for he ate continually at the king’s table. And he was lame in both his feet.Whew! Wheeeew!

Pastor Don told us he preached a sermon from this one time because one struggle that we have is we limit the kindness and the graciousness of God because of our own limitations. We think, well God could do good for me but you know, I’m black. God could do good for me but I come from trailer trash. God could do good for me but I’m short. Or I’m tall, or I’m whatever disability. He could do good but I used to be a prostitute, or I used to be a thug or I used to…and we go through this whole litany of all the different things that we use to down-value ourselves. Well I could count for something, but I don’t know who my mother was, or I don’t know who my father was, or any of those different limitations we put on ourselves. Those imagined limitations cause us to say, “I’m not permitted in the Kingdom.”

Well David is no fool here. What David did was not only politically smart, it was also gracious. Think of this. When David tells Mephibosheth you can eat at my table, David is saying to him two things. First of all he’s saying I’m going to treat you equally with one of my sons. But also I’m going to see you every day to make sure you remember my graciousness to you. And to make sure you don’t violate our covenant. I’m giving you a new covenant. But I’m not going to turn you loose so that you can rise up and pull my kingdom down. David’s smart. He’s being gracious and kind, but he’s also wise. He’s not turning Mephibosheth loose out there where he, or his sons, could rise up to claim the kingdom again. He’s keeping him close. Keep your enemies closer than your friends. But David did not have to extend this grace to Mephibosheth. All David had to do was command Mephibosheth’s death and Mephibosheth would be killed. Tons of soldiers in David’s army would be glad to kill the crippled guy so that they could become important.

But what’s David saying? He is saying that, in God’s house, if you’ll stay close to God, He’ll count you as a son, and all of your needs will be met. So, no matter how much private property Saul had (not the kingdom. but even a king had private fields), David has given that property to Ziba. Ziba would never have had anything like that because Ziba was a lower servant, lower than even Mephibosheth. So he’s made Ziba a rich and powerful man, but he’s elevated Mephibosheth to the status of prince in the kingdom, equal to his sons. Whew!

And when we think of that, you have to see the gratitude that is going to be eternally coming from Mephibosheth. Nobody can look down on him now, except under penalty of death. They could make fun of him after King Saul’s death, saying that he was a relative of King Saul, you’re a failure, etc. But now he eats every night with the king. He can talk to the king and tell the king that they’re making fun of me because I’m crippled, they’re making fun of me because I don’t have a mama. They’re making fun of me because I don’t have a daddy. They’re making fun of me because I’m poor. And they’d be under penalty of death for saying such things.

So what we have to see is God brings us into the Kingdom, and will do more for us out of his grace expecting our gratitude. That expression of gratitude for the expression of grace that God gives us, binds us to become a son and a daughter in the kingdom. You’re going to act different when you know that you are a son and a daughter. You’re going to live different, when you know the King is available to you all the time. You don’t have to do beg, “please, please, please.” You don’t have to please nothing. You’re sitting at the King’s table! Anything you want is already yours, you already have it. It’s already given to you.

This is a powerful story. And here’s this guy, Mephibosheth who is crippled in his feet. Usually he would have been killed, but he’s the son of Jonathan. Jonathan was a friend of David’s. David is recognizing and honoring Jonathan’s friendship. Pastor Don then asked how many of us have saved parents? He told us to think of it this way. Those of us whose parents were saved, we’re Mephibosheth’s because our parents had a love relationship with the King, we’re sons of Jonathan. That puts us into the kingdom, by relationship of Mephibosheth. Those of us whose parents were not saved, we get to come into the Kingdom in relationship to Jonathan. Those of you that will be the first generation saved, are in a stronger position than Pastor Don, who’s a fourth generation preacher. Why? Because you’re coming in as friends of the King. Pastor Don came in as friends of Jonathan. Do you get the picture? ( Heather’s note, people spent some time trying to figure this out.)

Pastor Don then shared about a guy that came to him for counseling and nobody in his family had ever even heard the Gospel, let alone come to the Lord, that he knew about. So he came in as a friend of King David. Pastor Don said that is a stronger position but one with a greater responsibility because, they’re responsible for every generation under them that comes in. You’re responsible to see to it that they know you were able to eat at the King’s table and He was gracious and kind to you and therefore your gratitude needs to be at the next level.

So having an attitude of gratitude inherent in God’s graciousness, is the thank you. Thank you, Thank you. It becomes something that we have to learn to live with everyday. We have to step out from a “please” mentality and step into the true relationship:  we’re in with Abba Father. We don’t really see, we don’t ever see Jesus begging God for anything.

We want to really become aware we have an attitude of gratitude. Gratitude should just naturally flow out of us. You get up in the morning and you realize you’re still here. You look outside, and don’t care if it’s a foggy or misty day, whatever the weather, every day is a beautiful day. The trees are beautiful. You just flow in that attitude of gratitude which means that you’re in a constant cycle of Sonship.

We then looked at a familiar story in the book of Luke – but we probably haven’t thought about this story in this terminology.

Luke15:11-12 Then He said: “A certain man had two sons. And the younger of them said to his father, “Father, give me the portion of goods that falls to me.’ So he divided to them his livelihood.

Now notice there, he divided THEM. Who’s the them? The two sons. So the first son comes and says, “Father, give me the portion of goods that fall to me.” Pastor Don says that he’s sure that the son probably said, “Please” but, let’s see what’s going to happen. What happened to the other brother? Did the other brother get something out of this? Yeah he did, he got his portion too. Do you see it? It’s right there. Pastor Don doesn’t understand why people miss that. But the younger brother asked, “Please give me my piece of everything.” And so the father says, “Well, ok.” Basically it was like the reading of the will. I’ll give you what’s in the will now.  The Father divided up his stuff between the two brothers. Now let’s see what happens.

Luke 15:13-15 Not many days after, the younger son gathered all together, journeyed to a far country, and there wasted his possessions with prodigal living. But when he had spent all, there arose a severe famine in that land, and he began to be in want. Then he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country, and he sent him into the fields to feed swine.

Now this is an insult above insults. The younger son is a Jew, and he’s forced to feed pigs, which puts him at the lowest of the low. Not only that, but it gets worse.

Luke 15:16 And he would gladly have filled his stomach with the pods that the swine ate, and no one gave him anything.

Someone asked how do you know this son was a Jew? Pastor Don answered, because, Jesus was writing about Jews, and He’s writing this. Another reason we know he’s a Jew is because verse 12 tells us the division of wealth was done by Jewish means. In the Roman culture the majority of whatever was given would go to the first son. In this case, everything’s divided equally. It’s just that whoever’s the oldest son rules over how it was divided. That’s a Jewish thing. Another reason we know he’s a Jew is because in all the parables, whenever someone’s not a Jew, Jesus expresses that. Remember, Jesus’s ministry is to the Jews. 

Then, when his fortune is wasted, it says that no one gave him anything. This is a powerful lesson of the world. When he had stuff, he spent it in prodigal living. He’s got women and guys, people all around him. When we step off into darkness, when we step off into the world, everyone acts like our friend. But when hard times come they’re not there. Everybody will share their drugs, their pornography and their dope with you when you’re sharing with them. But the minute you run out, they’re gone. Some of us know what Pastor Don is talking about. Where were your good friends then?

And the funny thing is , if you haven’t picked your friends well, when you return to the Lord, they don’t come with you. So you have to go through the process of getting new friends. Then the problem becomes, do you take the same attitude that you had with your old friends over to your new friends? That’s the hard thing.

Luke 15:17 (what is not italicized is a synopsis of Pastor Don’s comments)  But when he came to himself, he said, when he came to himself. In verse 17, when he gets to that low point it implies demonic activity. And Mrs. Moore had Pastor Don teach that lesson last Wednesday about different levels of demonic activity, Part 1 and Part 2. This is what this is saying. When he came to himself. After the devil used him up, the devil dumped him. Now the boy wants to eat pig slops and he comes to himself. Well, what does that mean? That means that after the demonic activity left and his thinking cleared, he thought a right thought. Pastor Don was recently counseling on the phone with a teenager. This teenager had decided that her parents are against her, that they’re stupid, and they are against her, that they don’t love her, or respect her, so she wants to be on her own. So she stayed out all night. She was going to be alone and do her own thing. But in the middle of the next day, she got phone messages from every one that knows her because her parents are wondering what happened to her. She didn’t come home. She didn’t call. She didn’t anything. Her parents didn’t know if she’s dead or in jail or whatever. The teenager finally came to herself and realized what she did. But, instead of just going home and eating humble pie, she’s decided, I’m going to exit stage left from the house. I’m going to go on my own. And so, needless to say, (thank God Pastor Don has a good relationship the teenagers around the church) she called Pastor Don. He tried to get her to see the truth, that her parents were not unjust or unfriendly to her. That being a grown up means you call home. That idea was foreign to her. She didn’t understand that responsible adults call home and tell people when they are going to be home. That’s just being an adult, that’s not being treated like a kid. Being treated like a kid doesn’t look like what being a responsible adult looks like. They don’t fit in the same category.

I’m sure that this young prodigal man was thinking the same way when he asked for his inheritance. He was thinking, I want my stuff now, so I can do what grownups do. But grownups don’t run off to a foreign country, and party their money away. Grownups don’t stay up all night, playing on the computer, we have to get up the next day, go to work and function. The line between maturity and immaturity is actually tied into thanks and gratitude. If this teenage girl had had thanks and gratitude, she would have, in an attitude of gratitude, realized what she had because she’s got it made. Both her parents are working, both have money and are doing good. But she misread the situation. Pastor Don told us to believe him that it was a demonic voice that told her to stay out all night, and it was a demonic voice that told her that your parents are against you, and it was a demonic voice that told her to leave her parents. Someone asked if she came home and Pastor Don told us that she hadn’t come home yet. He will call and monitor what happens about this situation.

What Pastor Don wanted us to see is when we have a hard time saying thank you, we might be getting help. The devil will always come against your attitude of gratitude because, to be like the devil, is to be ungrateful. To be like the devil is to take people, things, and situations for granted. Therefore you get moved from a position of I’m grateful for what I have, to a position of it’s either mine for the taking or mine to be thrown away. But who cares about expressing appreciation for it? The devil doesn’t appreciate anything. In the Garden of Eden, he didn’t say, “Well thank you that I’m going to rule and reign over Adam and Eve and all of their progeny for he next six thousand years.” He didn’t say thank you for that. No, he just crawled around in the dirt. So let’s look at this end of the story here. And he comes to himself, the demonic activity lifts, he comes back to his mind.

Luke 15:17-24 …“How many of my father’s hired servants have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger!” I will arise and go to my father, and will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you and I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Make me like one of your hired servants. He arose and came to his father. But when he was still a long way off, his father saw him and had compassion, and ran and fell on his neck and kissed him. The son said to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight, and am no longer worthy to be called your son. But the father said to his servants, “Bring out the best robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet. And bring the fatted calf here and kill it, and let us eat and be merry. For this my son was dead and is alive again, he was lost and is found.” And they began to be merry.

What is the dad expressing? He’s putting him back in the same position as before, and he’s expressing gratitude. Dad is a happy dude. He’s happy, why? He’s happy that the fog lifted over the son, isn’t he? He’s happy that that demonic possession is over, and he’s glad to have his son back. Phew….Someone recounted the ring and the robe, and Pastor Don said, “Yeah, bring it all back.” He puts him in the top of the house, and so we have this picture of the heart of the father. The heart of the father is one of thanks and gratitude. He is grateful for this situation coming out in this positive way. He’s grateful. The son has an attitude of gratitude. How is his gratitude expressed? He’s coming back with humbleness, he’s coming back with an apology, he’s coming with I am the lower, you’re the higher. What is he expressing? He’s expressing gratitude for the relationship. And he’s even asking to be lower in the lower kingdom. But that’s not going to happen because dad is a person of gratitude.

The other thing interesting about the return of the prodigal is he doesn’t beg to be returned to his position. That’s pretty cool. Because he could have gone back, “Please, please, please, please.” But Pastor Don guarantees that if he had gone back “Please, please, please,” the story would not have come out the way that it did. The reason is that the father saw the expression of gratitude, saw his son say, let me lower myself, and recognize you as the higher. Grace causes more grace. If someone says, “Thank you,” you want to do even more for them.

Luke 15:24-27 For this my son was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ And they began to be merry; Now his older son was in the field. And as he came and drew near to the house, he heard the music and dancing. So he called to one of the servants and asked what these things meant. And he said to him, “Your brother has come, and because he has received him safe and sound your father has killed the fatted calf.”

Now notice in verse 27 what is the father happy about? He’s happy that his son was returned safe and sound. He’s not happy the son spilled all the money, threw it all away. He’s not happy about that. He’s made himself ok with that. (sermon Pastor Don preached, part 1 and part 2) He’s made himself ok with it, but that’s not his joy. His Father’s joy is the fact that the son who could have been dead because some punk friends could have killed him or he could have starved to death in the famine, but instead his son returned home alive. The Father is happy that he’s alive and well.

Luke 15:28 But he (the other brother) was angry and would not go in. Therefore his father came out and pleaded with him.

What is he pleading about with him? He’s telling the older brother to have the right attitude and the right heart, to come and join the party. But the older son has a heart issue. And when there is a heart issue, no matter how aggressive we go after it, we can’t get people to understand. They just can’t pick it up.

Luke 15: 29 So he answered and said to his father, “Lo, this is sad, these many years, I have been serving you;

What? Sometimes our sentiment is what gets us in trouble? His mental sentiment was, I’ve been serving you (the father). His sentiment should have been I’m getting mine. His sentiment should have been I’m working in my property, the company is Jones and Sons. I’m one of the sons, I’m working in my own business here. So then the son would have pride and he’d have ownership in it. But he didn’t have any pride and he didn’t have any ownership, he didn’t have the vision or the heart of his dad. The vision and the heart of his dad was that it was Myron and sons, joint ownership. This kid is selfish and self-motivated, but he doesn’t have the plan. He doesn’t see that his best interest is a high interest rather than a low pointed one. And so he goes

Luke 15:30 But as soon as this son of yours came, who has devoured your livelihood with harlots.

 Now that’s kind of a shame here That wasn’t all the young son was doing. But it showed what the older son figured he was doing. What he’s saying is this, if I had been out there, I would have thrown all my money away on women. That is what the older brother calls sin, and that’s what he wanted to do. Someone asked what would have happened if the elder son met the prodigal first. Pastor Don speculated that he would have said, “Oh you think you’re coming back home to be a part of Hiriam and sons? I don’t think so. He would have lied, he would have said, “Daddy doesn’t want to see you. You broke his heart once, you’re not going to break his heart again.” He would probably have given him something and sent him away. You know, that’s unfortunate to put it that way, maybe that would not have been he case. Maybe it would have been, “Well it’s about time you’re back, you know, and why are you here? And the younger son would have said, “I want to be a servant,” and the older brother would say, “Yeah, you could work in my field.” The older brother would make him pay.

Well anyway, the older son imagines that all the younger son’s livelihood was wasted with harlots. We know that the younger son was low living, harlots would have been involved, but it wouldn’t have been just harlots.

Luke 15:30-32 … you killed the fatted calf for him. And he said to him, “Son you are always with me, and all that I have is yours.” It was right that we should make merry and be glad, for your brother was dead and is alive again, and was lost and is found.”

Jesus gives this parable as a picture of God, and therefore what we should see happening here is that it doesn’t matter what the younger brother was doing, this brother had a problem of having the right attitude of gratitude. He was not grateful for his brother’s return. He should have been grateful for his brother’s return, more than being upset about the fact that money was wasted. Money can always be made and lost. What’s more valuable? The human or the money? Money you can always make. But the older brother is short sighted. He didn’t understand the love of the father. Unfortunately he just never understood the Father’s love.

Pastor Don said he doubted very seriously that the father treated either of the sons differently. So where was the problem? It was a heart problem. If you ask the father, he would have probably said he treated them both the same. And it’s unfortunate that parents today can’t figure this out. You cannot treat your kids the same because they are not the same. And any parent that says, “I treated them all the same” are a fool. Because kids are not all the same, they don’t all respond the same, they don’t all have the same heart, and they don’t have the same head. If you think you are treating them the same, it’s not the same, because the kids are looking at it through different eyes. For example, sharing an ice cream for one kid is a good thing; sharing an ice cream for the other kid may make him feel that he’s getting ripped off. Buying everybody the same t-shirt when one kid had hoped that his school name was going to be on a t-shirt, would make the kid that wanted the school name feel he got ripped off. There is no way you can treat them the same. People say, well Pastor Don you treat so and so better than so and so, yeah he does. So and so needs something different from Joe. Joe and Joan don’t need the same thing, so Pastor Don has to treat them differently, to treat them according to what their need is. He cannot treat them the same way.

Jesus doesn’t treat us all the same way. Some of us he makes rich, some of us he leaves poor. He knows what’s best for us. It’s just that when we are so self minded, we think we know everything, we have a hard time accepting those truths. The reality is, God treated David better than he treated a whole lot of other people in the Kingdom. He had to, for the good of David and the good of the faith. But we have a hard time with that, because we want to be God, and we want to have our rules honored. We want God to play by our rules, but God does not. God is not an equal opportunity employer. Everybody’s called but few are chosen. God doesn’t choose everybody, because some people, the minute they got the football they would fumble it. God can’t give equal opportunity to everybody in the Kingdom of God, because people will not all do the same with the opportunity. Some might say, “it’s not fair” But Pastor Don told us that it’s not fair to be fair. Some of us need more. Pastor Don shared that he once lost 300,000 dollars in bad debt. But there are some who don’t need to lose 300,000, they could have gotten it together in a 3,000 dollar mistake. So why should God have to give them the 300,000 that they didn’t need? Yet, Pastor Don needed it to learn his lesson. Some people will have to go through two bad marriages to figure it out, and get a third marriage that is perfect. There are some people that can’t find a marriage. So is God not fair? No, God is fair, according to the need of the individual because he knows their heart, he knows the circumstances, he knows their opportunities.

Pastor Don shared about Dave Thomas, who started Wendy’s. Most people don’t know that he was adopted. He didn’t have anything. He was a throwaway kid. But God put him in the right family at the right time, and boom, he comes up with the idea for Wendy’s. Now Dave Thomas blesses many people by his job, working every day. So God knows who to bless on what level.

The older son was an ungrateful son. He wasn’t concerned about the fact that he had his, and he could partake of it all the time. He was upset that the brother who also had his he was given something more by the Father. The older son was still upset with Daddy, because Daddy did what? Daddy gave the whole thing to both of them. He wasn’t grateful because he wasn’t supposed to get his till dad died. But because of the stupidity of the younger brother, he had all his stuff, He’s upset that he didn’t have a fatted calf. But if he had been grateful to Dad, the minute he got his inheritance because of the prodigal son’s request, he could have killed the fatted calf that day. Everything would have been cool. He could have killed the fatted calf that day because the other son left

Because the Bible study was running late, Pastor Don shared with us another biblical example without going to the passage. It was the Parable of the unjust steward, which is found in Luke 16:1-13.

Pastor Don told us that Jesus gave another parable about a guy who hasn’t been doing his job so the boss tells him that he doesn’t like the way the steward’s been handling the boss’s affairs. He tells the steward that he will lose his job. The guy figures, that he’s going to get fired. He reasons that he’s too old to dig, too old to work hard, and he’s not cut out for common labor. He has to figure out a way to be gracious to people,that owe his boss so that they’ll be kind to him later. So, (Pastor Don used people at the Bible study to illustrate) what he does is he calls Heather and says, “Heather you owe 50,000 dollars, here, give me your bill”, he makes this bill $20,000 and gives it back to her, “now you only owe the boss $20,000.” He says, “Janine, give me your bill, it says you owe him 100,000 dollars. Here, I’ll make it $50,000. You owe him $50,000.” And he says, “Ethel, it says that you owe him $10,000, here you only owe him $1,000”. So he goes through all of the accounts and so as a result of doing this he now has ingratiated himself to the people. He has been gracious to the people that owe the boss. And he did that so that the people would provide grace to him in the future. Jesus commended this servant for being smart. Today the saints are not as wise.

We, the church, need to be wiser than the people of the world. We get bound up with the world’s standards. But God is looking for a heart of graciousness, He is looking for us to give grace. That will help us to manipulate circumstances for our best advantage. We give thanks at the feasts, at Passover, Yom Kippur, Rosh Hoshanna, the Feast of Tabernacles, etc. and at our secular feasts like Thanksgiving. Pastor Don suggested inviting someone who you know can’t pay you back to celebrate with you. When you give to others who can’t pay you back, God becomes indebted to you. God wants to be indebted to us, He wants us to do charity so that God can bless us. When we give to others it implies our indebtedness to God. Philippians 4:6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God;

God wants to bless us beyond anything we can hope or imagine. We need to leave the door open with an ATTITUDE OF GRATITUDE.

This was an incredible teaching, and really shows how important Thanking God is.

Have a blessed and THANKFUL day,

Heather

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About Heather Marsten

Welcome to Heather's Blog. I'm looking forward to meeting you and checking out your sites. I just moved about nine years of material over from another blog site, Xanga, who may close down mid-July. At first I was disappointed to make the move because I had a lifetime membership at Xanga and had to spend weeks transferring posts. But now I'm thrilled. Already I've met new bloggers and read many new websites. Blogging is a wonderful way to expand my horizons and garner new ideas. I'm a happily married mom of three young adults. My husband and I are proud to watch our children grow and venture out into the world. My daughter is still in college but my two sons have graduated. One has a job and the other just graduated and is in the process of finding a job in his field, physics. Anyone know of any jobs out there? I'm proud of our children and love watching them grow and mature. They've become fine, compassionate, and loving people. Empty nest? Nah, I'm too busy to let an empty nest bother me. Not enough hours in the day. My husband and I enjoy quiet time together and I have many interests to pursue - one of which is blogging :D I am a born-again believer and love God. As you read this blog, you will discover that Bible studies thrill me. There is so much wisdom contained between the covers of the Bible and I am fortunate to sit under the teachings of a remarkable pastor, Pastor Don Moore. Members of our church (Living Word Chapel in West Hurley, New York) are encouraged to teach and there are visiting pastors who stop by our church, I also study the Bible on my own and love sharing what I learn. One other passion is writing. My current work in process is a memoir. A scene from my memoir was published in a book called: Heavenly Company: Entertaining Angels Unaware - an anthology of angelic encounters compiled by Cecil Murphy. I'm hoping my memoir will encourage other survivors of abuse. I grew up in a home filled with abuse, including incest. For most of my life I was searching for something that would fill the void of not being loved by my parents. I tried many ways to find that love -- therapy, relationships, occult studies, and keeping my life so filled I had no way to think about my past. It was only when I discovered God that I was able to put the pieces of my life back together and walk forward in a joyous life. My nickname - wondering has changed from wondering where the heck God was in my life, to wondering what incredible adventure is going to happen next. I hope you enjoy my site. Please say hi, share some thoughts, and ask questions. I look forward to meeting you and checking out your sites. Have a blessed day. Heather
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