A Gift To Be Grateful For
A GIFT TO BE GRATEFUL FOR
Mark 10: 32-34
This morning I have a gift that someone has given me…it was really nice of them to do this.
- Open gift…(be disappointed)…”I already have one that is better than this one”…”That was a waste of someone’s money”…(drop it in the floor.)
What did you think about the way I acted over this gift?
- How would you feel if you were the one who gave this gift to me?
- Could you tell that I didn’t appreciate the gift?
How could you tell?
- My actions…my words expressed it did it?
- Our actions and our words express whether we are grateful…or whether we are ungrateful for things that others do…or for the gifts that are given to us.
Isn’t that also true when it comes to God…and what God gives us?
- How grateful are we to God?
- What do our actions and words say?
One way or another, God gives us everything…in fact, Acts 17 tells us that ”HE gives to all life, breath, and all things”.
- Every thing we have has come from God…and all those gifts are wonderful.
- But as great as the physical gifts are…the greatest gift that we have received from God is Christ.
- And it is through Christ that we receive an abundance of spiritual gifts…gifts that literally just “keep on going and going and going.”
- How grateful are we to God for all of those gifts?
- Do we really appreciate what God…what Christ has done for us?
Here in Mark 10 we are going to see just a glimpse of what Christ went through to make His gift available to us…
- Let’s look at this…and remember…our actions…and what we say…are an indication of how we really feel…and after we look at this let’s all be more dedicated to express our gratitude to Him in our lives.
In verse 32 Jesus and His disciples are on the road to Jerusalem…and notice what it says next. It says: “…and Jesus was walking on ahead of them; and they were amazed, and those who followed were fearful.”
Now, it would be easy to just read these words and go on…not giving much thought to them.
- But what we have to understand is this is not an accident that Jesus is “walking ahead of His disciples.”
- The reason He is walking ahead of them is because they are “dragging their feet.”
- They are reluctant.
They are reluctant because look where they are going…to Jerusalem!
- And notice how they feel…the verse says they “were amazed, and those who followed were fearful!”
- The word “amazed” in the Greek means: “stupefied…astounded…surprised.”
- These people were “stupefied and scared” about following Jesus to Jerusalem.
- To them, this doesn’t make sense.
- Why? Why do they feel that way?
They feel that way because they know that they will be walking into a “hornets nest.”
- Jesus had been to Jerusalem
- If you go to John 10: 23 you find an incident where Jesus had been in Jerusalem…and some Jews gather around Jesus and they ask Him, “If you are the Christ, tell us plainly.”
- And Jesus tells them, “I have already told you and you don’t believe.”
- And then Jesus tells them that the reason they don’t believe is because “they are not His sheep” because they do not hear His voice and follow after Him.
- And in verse 31 of that chapter the Jews are so upset that they “take up stones to stone Him.”
- And in verse 39 they tried to “seize Him.”
- Things weren’t safe for Him in Jerusalem.
In John 11, Jesus talks to His disciples about going back to Jerusalem…and His disciples tell Him in verse 8, “They Jews just tried to stone you there…are you going there again?!”
- The disciples know how bad things are for Jesus in Jerusalem.
- In fact, in verse 16 of John 11, Thomas tells his fellow disciples when Jesus sets out to go back to Jerusalem, “Let’s go also, that we may die with Him.”
The disciples knew how bad things were in Jerusalem.
- They knew that every time Jesus went there that He was risking His life.
- And they knew that every time they went there with Him…they too ran the risk of dying.
- And that is why in Mark 10: 32 they are “dragging their feet.”
But not Jesus…Jesus leads the way.
- In spite of the danger…in spite of the risk…in spite of what He knows is waiting there in Jerusalem…He leads the way.
And He did know what was waiting…look at Mark 10:33-34.
Jesus calls His disciples aside and look what He says…look at how specific He is. He says: “Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be delivered to the chief priests and the scribes; and they will condemn Him to death, and will deliver Him to the Gentiles. 34 “And they will mock Him and spit upon Him, and scourge Him, and kill Him, and three days later He will rise again.”
This is the third time that He tells His disciples this.
- The first time He tells them in Mark 8: 31; and then again in Mark 9: 31; and now here in Mark 10…and this time He tells them where it will happen and He specifically tells them that He will be spit on and scourged by the Gentiles.
Jesus knew what was waiting for Him in Jerusalem…and He still went.
- In fact, He is leading the way.
There is more than one kind of courage.
- There is a courage that comes instinctively…on the spur of the moment.
- You are on the sidewalk and a little child stumbles and falls in the street.
- A car is coming rapidly down the street toward the child and the driver doesn’t see the child.
- And without thinking, you rush out in front of the car, and risking your own life, you grab the child and leap out of the way just in time.
- And everyone tells you that you were courageous…and you were but it was something you did without thinking about it.
- That is one kind of courage.
But there is a greater kind of courage and that is courage that sees what is ahead…it knows what is coming…it knows the danger…the risk…the pain…the hatred that lies ahead…and even though you know what lies ahead…it goes any way.
- That is the kind of courage that Jesus had.
- He knows exactly what is going to happen to Him in Jerusalem…and yet He sets His course straight for it.
And we all know why He went there.
- John, one of the disciples who was with Jesus the day He was crucified wrote several years later in I John 3: 16: “We know love by this, that He laid down His life for us.”
- The reason He suffered the shame of the cross…the mocking…the spitting…the beating…the death…is LOVE.
- Love for us…for you and for me.
You know, if someone was going to nail my hands to a cross I would be fighting and jerking…and doing all I could to stop them.
- I am not sure that they had to fight with Jesus to get Him nailed to the cross.
- He probably said, “Here, I will hold my arm still while you hit the nail.”
- Jesus did it all for love.
And God allowed Him to go to the cross out of love too.
- “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son…”; Jn. 3: 16.
- We didn’t deserve it…and yet God gave Him for us.
- And this verse doesn’t really express the full magnitude of how much God loves us…because Eph. 1 tells us that God knew before the foundation of the world that His Son would have to die on that cross.
- That means every single second of time from the creation to the cross God knew Jesus would die there.
- And still, God gave Him…that is a lot of love.
And we know what He did for us there on the cross.
- Think of the gifts: Heb. 2: 9-10 says He “tasted death for everyone” so that we might be “brought to glory.”
- In verse 14 of Heb. 2 we are told that He set His course to Jerusalem so that “He might render powerless him who had the power of death, that is Satan; and might deliver those who through fear of death were subject to slavery all their lives.”
- And in Heb. 5: 9 we are told that He went to Jerusalem in order that He might become “the source of eternal salvation to those who obey Him.”
- And in Rom. 3: 21-25 we are told that He went to Jerusalem so that we “might be justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus; whom God displayed publicly as a propitiation in His blood through faith.”
Brethren, we could go on and on…there are so many things that are ours because He set His sights on Jerusalem.
- God, through Jesus, has given us many marvelous, priceless gifts.
- How, how grateful are we?
- How appreciative are we?
- What do our actions and our words say about our gratefulness?
- In Col. 2:7 the apostle Paul says that we are to be “overflowing with gratitude.”
- In I Thess. 5: 18 we are told that it is the “will of God for us to be ”
- How grateful are we? Has our grateful spirit grown weary?
I have already mentioned that we show our gratitude by our actions and by what we say.
- Let me just mention some ways we show our gratitude to God for what He has give us.
One way we show our gratitude is by coming here to worship. . .to give “thanks to God.”
- And I don’t mean to be negative. . . I simply want us to look at ourselves and evaluate where we are.
- Are we truly grateful when we are able to come together with our brothers and sisters in
Christ and worship God . . .to sing praises to Him. . . and refuse to?
- Are we truly grateful when we show by our actions that money, sports, TV, PTA, fishing,
plays, and all these other things are more important than He is?
Another way to show our gratitude to Christ is to honor Him in our daily living and our service to Him.
- By honoring Him and His name by not using it in vain.
- By not using it as a common expression of awe or amazement.
- By not using it as a way of cursing someone.
- By not reducing Him down to a common object and strip Him of the reverence he deserves?
- We show gratitude when we commit ourselves to service and to leadership and then doing it.
- We don’t show gratitude by failing … by missing the meetings.
- We show gratitude when we work at and maintain our marriages and keep our families from falling into ruins?
Another way to show our gratitude for God’s gift is by loving each other.
- We don’t show it by refusing to speak to a brother or sister…or by slandering them…or
hating them…or by being biased and prejudiced against them…or by holding grudges.
- We don’t show gratitude to God when we falsely accuse a brother or sister of being racists…or doing something they didn’t do.
- And we show no gratitude to God by being quick to have our feelings hurt…or hurting someone else’s.
We show gratitude when we put another’s needs above our own.
- When we build one another up.
- When we are able to make visits to the sick…and the poor…and the widows and
orphans…and we make those visits.
- We show gratitude when we are able to be in Bible class and worship…and we are there.
- We show gratitude when we open our Bibles and study…when we pray…when we care for others…when we give.
We show gratitude by living a life of righteousness.
- By not drinking…and cheating…and lying…and looking at pornography…and not participating in the sinful desires of the flesh.
- We show gratitude when we choose not to sin.
- One of the most ungrateful things you can do is deliberately live a life of sin.
- You see, it was because of sin that He had to die in the first place.
Brethren, God has given us so much.
- Let’s be grateful.
- Romans 1:21 says that “ingratitude is sin.”
- In 2 Timothy 3:1-5, in describing the “perilous times of the last days”, along with many other transgressions, Paul says men will be “unthankful.”
You can turn back in your Bibles and you can read of some people that God claimed for His own… and He loved them… and protected them,.. and provided for them… and He delivered them…
- And they did not appreciate it.
- And because they didn’t, in time, God turned away from them.
- If and when we do the same thing… He will turn away from us too.
Brethren, let’s always remember what He has done for us…and by our words and our deeds let us never fail to be grateful.
Let me speak briefly to those of you who have not put Christ on in baptism.
- Jesus went to the cross so you could be saved.
- Will you show your gratitude for His suffering and sacrifice there by confessing Him as
Lord, repenting of your sins, by being baptized for the remission of your sins.. .and
- Will you be thankful this morning?
© Sunset Ridge Church of Christ 2023