GOD'S GIFT TO US IN JESUS' DEATH
by David Chadwell
What is the nicest thing a person has ever done for you? I would hate to answer
that question aloud! So many nice things have been given and done for me, I would
hate to single out just one. So many nice things have been done for me, I know I do
not remember all of them.
When something really nice is done for me, I have a very real problem. Actually,
I have two problems. The first problem: if what is offered to me is much too kind, much
too generous, much too thoughtful, I really struggle with accepting the kindness.
Back in the 1960's when I preached for the Senatobia congregation in
Senatobia, Mississippi, a Christian friend came to me and said, "Why are you so
selfish?" The question astounded me. I muttered back, "I don't know. How am I
selfish?" The friend answered by asking another question: "Do you really enjoy doing
nice things for other people?'
I knew the answer to that one! I quickly replied, "Certainly!"
He then asked, "Why won't you let others have that feeling when they want to do
something for you?" I had not thought about it that way, and obviously I never forgot it.
The second problem I have is found in how do I show gratitude for something I
genuinely appreciate. What is the appropriate way to show gratitude?
- One person in the Old Testament who knew how wonderfully God blessed him
was the psalmist, David.
- I am going to ask you to do something with me if you feel comfortable doing this.
Psalm 118:1-4 O give thanks unto the Lord; for he is good: because HIS MERCY
ENDURETH FOR EVER. Let Israel now say, that HIS MERCY ENDURETH FOR
EVER. Let the house of Aaron now say, that HIS MERCY ENDURETH FOR EVER. Let
them now that fear the Lord say, that HIS MERCY ENDURETH FOR EVER.
- Many think David wrote Psalm 118 when he was a king.
- In the first four verses and in the last verse, there is a thanksgiving phrase
that is repeated five times.
- The phrase is, "His mercy endures forever"
- We will project the reading on the screen.
- Each time that phrase appears, I would like for all of us to say it together
out loud in the first 4 verses and in the last verse.
- After verse 4, I want to continue reading some sections of the Psalm that
do not include that phrase.
- However, I ask all of you to join with me by repeating the phrase in the
last verse of the Psalm.
Psalm 118:5-9 I called upon the Lord in distress: the Lord answered me, and set me in
a large place. The Lord is on my side; I will not fear: what can man do unto me? The
Lord taketh my part with them that help me: therefore shall I see my desire upon them
that hate me. It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man. It is better to
trust in the Lord than to put confidence in princes.
Psalm 118:19-29 Open to me the gates of righteousness; I shall enter through them, I
shall give thanks to the Lord. This is the gate of the Lord; The righteous will enter
through it. I shall give thanks to You, for You have answered me, And You have
become my salvation. The stone which the builders rejected Has become the chief
corner stone. This is the Lord's doing; It is marvelous in our eyes. This is the day which
the Lord has made; Let us rejoice and be glad in it. O Lord, do save, we beseech You;
O Lord, we beseech You, do send prosperity! Blessed is the one who comes in the
name of the Lord; We have blessed you from the house of the Lord. The Lord is God,
and He has given us light; Bind the festival sacrifice with cords to the horns of the altar.
You are my God, and I give thanks to You; You are my God, I extol You. Give thanks to
the Lord, for He is good; For HIS MERCY ENDURETH FOR EVER.
In the New Testament, the Christian Paul was deeply appreciative of God's
blessings in Jesus Christ.
- Listen to Paul's words:
1 Timothy 1:12-17 I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has strengthened me, because
He considered me faithful, putting me into service, even though I was formerly a
blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent aggressor. Yet I was shown mercy because
I acted ignorantly in unbelief; and the grace of our Lord was more than abundant, with
the faith and love which are found in Christ Jesus. It is a trustworthy statement,
deserving full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners,
among whom I am foremost of all. Yet for this reason I found mercy, so that in me as
the foremost, Jesus Christ might demonstrate His perfect patience as an example for
those who would believe in Him for eternal life. Now to the King eternal, immortal,
invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.
- Paul knew what he was before he believed in Jesus Christ, and Paul knew what
God made him after he believed in Jesus Christ.
- Before he believed in Jesus Christ, Paul was a devoutly religious person, but
a very ungodly religious person.
- After he believed in Jesus Christ, Paul through Jesus Christ was truly a
servant of the Most High God.
- Paul said God patiently, mercifully saved him to prove that in Christ God can
- How can we say, "Thank you!" to God for the redemption, the forgiveness, and
the resurrection God gives us in Christ?
Thanksgiving for Bread
Thanksgiving for Cup
[Fruit of the vine served.]
West-Ark Church of Christ, Fort Smith, AR
Morning Sermon, 15 February 2004