One of the most important things a person can learn is to use the tools that God has given them, praise and thanksgiving! In your home or church have you ever thought about how much negativity each of us has heard? Husbands to wives, wives to husbands, parents to children and children to parents. In our Biblical Counseling ministry here at Hope Biblical Counseling Center, I hear harsh negativity all the time. For an unsaved person negativity is a way of life! For a Christian out of fellowship with God negativity is a way of life! For a Christian living a mechanical Christian life, negativity is a way of life. Only by coming to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ can we have the power to overcome being a selfish, angry, and negative person to being a thankful person. However, after we are saved I have found the Biblical admonition to praise and thank God to be a very powerful tool. It is always right for the Christian to praise God! Two hundred forty-eight times the Bible says so.
1 Thessalonians 5:18, In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.
Psalms 70:4, Let all those that seek thee rejoice and be glad in thee: and let such as love thy salvation say continually, Let God be magnified.
Psalms 71:8, 14, Let my mouth be filled with thy praise and with thy honour all the day. But I will hope continually, and will yet praise thee more and more.
Psalms 28:7, The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song will I praise him.
Fathers, mothers, and children as Christians who are never taught how to praise and thank God at the point of impact in their lives, will always lead negative, angry, selfish, discouraged, defeated, non-Spirit controlled lives. It is a recipe for disaster.
Proverbs 13:13-15, Whoso despiseth the word (does not give proper attention to) shall be destroyed: but he that feareth the commandment shall be rewarded. (14) The law of the wise is a fountain of life, to depart from the snares of death. (15) Good understanding giveth favour: but the way of transgressors is hard.
Did you notice “destroyed?” This is happening in our churches and homes in epidemic proportions. Many people’s lives who profess to be saved are literally destroyed because they do not use the tools God has given them. Difficult things are going to happen in people’s lives. There are going to be days that are difficult. Circumstances that are difficult. The Bible teaches us at the point of impact (when we have a bad thought, a difficult thing happens etc.) to use the tools of praise and thanksgiving. How do we do this?
How You Handle Trials in Your Life is Important
1 Peter 1:6-7, Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: (7) That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:
Everyone in your family and your friends can see how you handle trials and difficulties in your life. It is a testimony. When you lead a selfish, negative, angry, deceiving, and non-Spirit controlled life it affects you and others around you! When? At the point of impact! God wants each of us to have a real, intimate, personal, and passionate relationship with God. It requires being a Spirit controlled person.
Ephesians 5:17-18, Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is. (18) And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled (controlled) with the Spirit;
What is the will of God? To be a Spirit controlled person with a real, intimate, personal, and passionate relationship with God. Mechanical Christianity does not work and it is disastrous. It is the reason so many people are defeated, discouraged, negative, and destroyed. If you do not know what it means to have a real, intimate, personal, and passionate relationship with God please click here: https://hopebiblicalcounselingcenter.com/product/how-to-have-a-real-relationship-with-god-the-work-of-the-holy-spirit-in-a-persons-life/
We Must Learn How to Live a Life of Praise and Thanksgiving
Philippians 4:4-8, Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice. (5) Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand. (6) Be careful (anxious) for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. (7) And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. (8) Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
Did you notice in vs 4 we are to rejoice in the Lord always? Does that happen in your life? If not you are a non-Spirit controlled person at the point of impact. Notice in vs 6 we are to be anxious for nothing? How many times do you react selfishly, in worry, anxiety, and fear instead of being Spirit controlled at the point of impact (when something happens)?
Did you notice in verse 6 the word thanksgiving? There is also another word there, supplication (means to ask for something humbly or in submission to God). Notice I said ask humbly (submitted)?
Did you notice in verse 8 it said praise? Thanksgiving and praise in verse 6 and 8! There it is!
Did you notice in vs 8 to think on these things? There is nothing negative in vs 8! So, how do we do that? At the point of impact I want to submit to God.
James 4:6-8, But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble. (7) Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. (8) Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded
Did you notice in vs 7 submit yourself to God? How do I do that? Whatever it is, I need to say, “Lord I want to turn this thought or this circumstance over to you!” That is submission! Then I need to say, “Lord what do you want me to praise and thank you for?” Remember praise and thanksgiving, 248 times in the Bible! By submitting and turning the issue or thought over to God immediately, it reboots our mind to think on those positive and good things of Philippians 4:8.
Philippians 4:8, Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
What happens then? We can have God’s peace and rejoice in Him always!
Philippians 4:7, 9, And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. (9) Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.
Folks, you cannot stop a bad thought from coming to your mind, but you can stop it from staying there.
In the Bible, the heart and the mind are used interchangeably. There is a very important principle in II Corinthians 10:5, Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;
See the word imaginations? It means fantasies. Every person who is rebellious in their life is because they are living in a fantasy world. A place where they allow their minds to run off and fantasize about living in another time, another place, with another woman, another man, being immoral with a boy or girl, man or woman, sports, activities etc.…
Many people spend hours in their virtual reality world where they think no one else sees. Let me clue you in God sees!
II Corinthians 10:4, (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;)
Notice the phrase, “For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds.”
We wrestle not against flesh and blood. Therefore, our weaponry is not carnal (fleshly). However, it is in fact powerful through God for the pulling down of strongholds. (Interesting word). Strongholds where? In the mind. The word strongholds literally means “a heavily fortified containment and is used of a false argument in which a person seeks “shelter” (a safe place) to escape reality.” Ephesians 6:13-18 describes some of the spiritual weaponry God has given for us.
When a person is in rebellion to their parents, Biblical authorities, boss, etc. it never fails that they have not controlled their thought life or they do not know how to do so.
The essence of the submitted Christian life is to ask God questions. Remember James 4:7 says the devil is involved and the only way to walk in the Spirit is to have a submitted life with God. That is where our power comes from, being submitted moment by moment, at the point of spiritual impact.
We Have to Practice Using the Tools of Praise and Thanksgiving Continually
Hebrews 13:15, By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name.
This is not optional equipment we must practice it in our lives continually! We need to teach this to others, especially our children, so they will not live a selfish, defeated, discouraged, angry, deceiving and non-Spirit controlled life.
Ephesians 6:4, 6-7, And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. (6) Not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart; (7) With good will doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men:
Folks, a father provokes his children to wrath when he does not train them properly to use the tools of praise and thanksgiving. I am fully convinced that most of the problems in the home today are because of mechanical Christianity and not being Spirit controlled people. Part of being a Spirit controlled person is to understand that we must use the tools of praise and thanksgiving God has given to us.
Hebrews 2:12-13, Saying, I will declare thy name unto my brethren, in the midst of the church will I sing praise unto thee. (13) And again, I will put my trust in him. And again, Behold I and the children which God hath given me.
None of This Works If You Are Not Saved
Do you want God to help you? Get saved and focus on teaching your family to practically practice how to praise and thank God and make it “real” in your life. There must be a time in your life that you realize you are a sinner and turn from yourself and your sin and turn to the Lord Jesus Christ who alone can save you.
How to Go To Heaven When You Die
Have you ever thought about what happens to you when you die? Death is no respecter of persons. It comes to the old, young, and those in between. Death is coming! Each of us is going to die. Then what? Is it possible to be prepared for death? The Bible tells us there is a heaven and a hell. It tells us one of those places will be our eternal destination depending on what decision we make about Jesus Christ.
John 3:16-17, For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten son (Jesus Christ), that whosoever believeth in him should not perish (in hell), but have everlasting life (in heaven). For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved (go to heaven).
John 3:36, He that believeth on the Son (Jesus Christ) hath everlasting life (in heaven): and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abideth on him (in hell)
So there you have it, heaven or hell. Did you notice these verses that say believe or not believe in Him (Jesus Christ) and what He did for you? What did he do?
Matthew 1:21, And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name Jesus (the name “Jesus” means “Saviour”): for he shall save his people from their sins. There you see it, “their sins.” Do you realize today you are a sinner? If you are honest, you know that you have sinned (done something wrong in your life).
You have to realize you are a sinner. Romans 3:23, For all (me and you) have sinned and come short of the glory of God.
Because you are a sinner, you will die (everybody does). Romans 6:23, For the wages (payment) of sin (all the wrong things we do), is death (physical and spiritual death). Luke 16:22-24 … the rich man also died, and was buried; And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments… and he cried and said … I am tormented in this flame. People die because they are sinners! This means eternal separation from God in hell. Hebrews 9:27… it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment.
Because God loved you so much, He gave his Son to die for your sins so that you might have the gift of eternal life (in heaven).
Romans 6:23… but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
If someone gives you a gift, what would you have to do to receive it? You would just have to simply accept it to make it yours.
The question is, “How do I accept the gift of eternal life that Jesus died to give me?”
You must repent of your sins. Luke 13:3 … except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish (hell). Acts 17:30, God…. commandeth all men everywhere to repent. Mark 1:15, Jesus said … The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel. What does it mean to repent? You must see your sins as wrong and as willful rebellion against God. You must realize that you have no hope of going to heaven in your own power. Your only hope is in Jesus Christ who died for your sins. You must turn from yourself, realize your sins have separated you from God and heaven, have sincere sorrow over the wickedness of your sins, and turn your heart, mind, emotions and will to God as the only One who can save you. You must turn to God with a sorrowful heart because of your sins against Him.
II Corinthians 7:10, For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation…. If you are not willing to acknowledge that you are wrong, you are saying that you don’t need to repent. That means that you see yourself as having done no wrong in the sight of God. Repentance is a change of mind that agrees with God that you are a sinner and that Jesus died on the cross for your sins to personally save you. You must turn away from your sins and yourself, change your mind about your sins, and turn to Jesus Christ alone who can save you.
You must believe in Him. Simply believe in Jesus Christ as the One who bore your sins on the cross, died in your place, was buried, and was resurrected by God. When you receive Jesus Christ as your Saviour, you can claim the powerful, miraculous promise of Christ’s resurrection-eternal life with God in heaven.
You must call upon Him in prayer. Romans 10:9-10, 13, That if thou (you) shalt confess with thy mouth (call on Him in prayer) the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead (the resurrection of Christ), thou shalt be saved (heaven). For with the heart man (you) believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession (in prayer) is made unto salvation. For whosoever shall call (in prayer) upon the name of the Lord shall be saved (heaven).
Receive Jesus Christ as your personal Saviour. God loves you, and He wants you to speak to Him sincerely from your heart. Pray this prayer: Lord I know I am a sinner. I believe you died in my place on the cross for me. I ask you to forgive me of my sins and come into my heart and be my Saviour. I repent of my sins, and I receive you now as my Saviour. Thank you for saving me. If you have prayed sincerely from your heart to receive Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour, the Bible says you are now a child of God, John 1:12. Please contact us and let us know of your decision to trust Christ as Saviour, and we will provide material to help you get started properly in your new life.
The ultimate selfishness is to die apart from being saved and going to hell for all eternity. I encourage you to turn to Jesus Christ in true repentance and ask Him to forgive you of your sins and come into your heart and be your Saviour.
After you are saved, focus on learning to practice every day at the point of impact using the tools of praise and thanksgiving God has given you and ask God to make it real in your life.