by Warwick & Alison Marsh, Faith & Family Advocates, Canberra Declaration.
Dealing with our own ungratefulness and the breakthrough that thanksgiving brings.
Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.
And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him. Colossians 3:17
Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. Philippians 4:6
Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; Ephesians 5:20
I can remember growing up as a child visiting my relatives in the Scottish Highlands. My mum was Scottish and we were on an extended stay in the home country, living with our grandmother in Edinburgh.
Each of my relatives on our visit to the highlands gave my brother and I a half a crown each when they met us. The Scottish people, contrary to popular opinion, are very generous and we certainly, as distant antipodean relatives, born in Australia, enjoyed their generosity.
The good news is that we had a lot of relatives in the highlands of Scotland and so the half-a-crowns mounted up until we were able to come back to Edinburgh, Scotland with quite a stack of coins.
Each half crown coin in 1960 was worth in today’s currency five dollars. So we felt like multi-millionaires.
There was only one problem – we were told by our mother to say thank you each time or receive a cuff to the ears.
From early on I felt annoyed at being told to say thanks to people, by my parents, when other people gave me something.
My circular reasoning was thus: if my relatives decided to give me money it was their freewill decision. They obviously thought I was worthy of it and thus I did not need to say thank you for it.
When you are young the world revolves around you. I am glad to say my parents knocked those thoughts out of me.
Ingratitude is a sin with severe repercussions.
Romans 1:18–32 gives a detailed description of the downfall of a person or a society. Listed alongside idolatry, homosexuality, and every kind of rebellion is unthankfulness. Verse 21 says, “Although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him.”
This tells us that God takes gratefulness—and ungratefulness—seriously. As long as a person or a culture remains thankful to God, they retain a sensitivity to His presence.
When we refuse to be thankful or to express gratitude, we grow hard-hearted and proud. We take for granted all that God has given us and become our own gods.
That is where Australia is today and much of the church besides. We are consumed with ourselves. That is why we are fasting and praying for Repentance, Renewal and Rain.
Fasting is a direct challenge to the flesh nature and for that reason it can often bring the breakthrough needed. If we can repent of being consumed with ourselves, we can be renewed by the Holy Spirit.
David prays a prayer of repentance in Psalm 51, “Create in me a clean heart oh God and renew a right spirit with in me”. A right spirit is a thankful spirit.
That’s why I am encouraging you to be thankful today for the rain that has fallen in Australia over the last month in the drought-stricken areas of Australia. (see above: yesterday’s BOM Rainfall Map)
Having said that I also encourage you to give thanks to God in faith for the rain God is going to send across our nation in the coming days, weeks and months. (See below: yesterday’s BOM 8-day forecast)
Hebrews 11:1 says, “Faith is the substance of things hoped for the evidence of things not seen”. Later in Hebrews 11:6 it says, “Without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him”.
To help you give thanks to God we are having a special 12 Hour Zoom Thanksgiving Call starting tonight at 8PM AEDT time, 7PM Queensland time. Ps Margaret Court will be joining us tonight for the first hour of the Zoom Prayer call. See details below! Don’t miss out!
Father in heaven, Paul the Apostle says in 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus”.
So Father, firstly I rejoice in your love through Jesus Christ your Son in that while we were yet sinners Jesus Christ died for us.
Secondly, we ask that we would as a nation continue to pray to you the God of all creation. The God that ‘sends the rain on the just and the unjust’ and the God of us all.
We pray you would deliver us from being self-consumed. Deliver us from unthankfulness. Help us be grateful as individuals and as a nation.
We thank you that the Catholic church is calling for a Month of Prayer for rain in November and we will join with them in their ongoing prayer for the drought to well and truly break.
It will take many consecutive months of above average rainfall for the drought to be truly broken. We thank you in advance in faith for those consecutive months of above average rainfall now in JESUS NAME!
Raise a Hallelujah – Bethel Music www.youtube.com/watch?v=aJFhHf-NjRg