Recorded on October 21st, 2018
We all do it! We all play “Let’s make a Deal” with God. If you do this for me, I’ll do this for you. But our fears control us and we forget, or are too embarrassed to thank God for what He has done. Doesn’t God deserve our Thanks and Praise all of the time?
Transcript of Sermon:
[Music] Psalm 105 one through seven you all heard it it’s a call to praise God a call to give God the credit where credit is due a call to let God know that we are pleased with the outcome of something there may not be much more that I can say about this after all doesn’t this song pretty much speak for itself thank you oh all right I I used to like to go fishing when I was younger and I would go to a reservoir on the Eno River in North Carolina now I could always tell if anyone else was there because there would be a car next to the road or if there were no cars I’d be I knew I’d be alone there so I’d walk up through the woods for about a mile and I get to the reservoir so but what I enjoyed going and trying to catch so I would enjoy trying to go and catch something but I would usually fish for a couple hours before getting tired of casting and doing nothing more than drowning worms that was when it was let’s make a deal Time Lord if you let me catch a fish I will yell my praises to you across this body of water I would fish for another ten minutes or so and along would come someone else to fish on the other side of the small man-made lake someone else showed up so I had to revise the way I was going to praise God now it was God if you let me catch a fish I’ll say how much I praise your holy name another 15 minutes may pass and I would see traipsing up through the woods another fisherman if I catch a fish now I’m gonna really embarrass myself because I’ll have to say praise God another revision to that praise Lord if you let me catch a fish I promise I’ll mention it my prayers tonight what was going on with me here I was trying to make a deal with God about how I would praise him I was too afraid or too embarrassed to come out and say praise God in front of one or two total strangers I had never seen them before and I would probably never see them again and yet I was afraid afraid to allow two persons that I didn’t know hear me say praise God then there was the time of flame let’s make a deal when my dad was had prostate cancer Lord if you let him be all right I will praise your holy name out loud in church I’ll bring it up during praises and concerns everyone will know how much I praise you for the gift that you have given to me for the gift of more time with my father you all remember that the day I said praise God my dad’s cancer is in remission no no you wouldn’t remember that because it didn’t happen I played let’s make a deal with God and God chose the wrong door and got the donkey cart instead of praising God for all that he has given me I chose to be silent and not praise God at all of course there were also the let’s make a deal times when I prayed in earnest saying God if you allow such-and-such to happen in my life I will praise you forever but not my will but your will be done what I prayed for never transpired luckily it was God’s will for it not to happen but did I praise God for having the wisdom to not give me what I thought was best for me no instead I went on about my business without a second thought about what a blessing God had given me and when I did not when I did think about it I looked at it as almost like a missing Christmas gift now I could probably stand up here and go on for 20 minutes confessing my lack of praise that was due to God but was too afraid of what someone might think so that I didn’t say anything I’m not proud of my past behavior if anything I’m ashamed of how I acted in the past I can also probably say I am ashamed of my behavior that I will have in the future you see I know there will be opportunities to praise God and I will allow those opportunities to slide on by not because I’m not grateful to God or don’t want to praise God but because contrary to popular belief I am not that outgoing especially in front of those I don’t know see I know all of you there are different ways to thank God for all of his blessings that he bestows on us and there are different ways to say thank you you can say praise God or thank you Lord or amen just to mention a few now I heard a story about the all men and that was there used to be setup in churches what was called an all men corner this was typically a group of three or four men that would sit in the back corner of the church and when the pastor hit upon a point and their message that needed emphasis or thanks they would say all men which would be a cue for the congregation to also say Amen just a little trivia about the almond corner do we have an all man all right our scripture today read from the New International Version of the Bible says give praise to the Lord but just as a clarification point if you read almost any other version of the Bible you’ll find it says give thanks to the Lord I know that giving praise and giving thanks I used in the same context within our scripture and between the different versions of the Bible but there seems to be a difference in my mind at least between the two when I think about thanking God I’m reminded of something like saying a blessing before meal a sentence that ends in a period but when I think of praising God my mind goes in a different direction the statement has a definite definite emphasis on the praise God and has an exclamation point at the end of the sentence thank God for or praise God for a Psalm 105 was written by King David and as in a lot of his Psalms he starts out by thanking God for something that has happened in his life or in the life of the Israelites something that he knows God made happen of the hundred and fifty Psalms seventy-three songs were written by Dave David and the majority of them even the sad and lamenting ones start out with thanking God Psalm 105 is no different this starts out with praising God and then it goes into reminding the Israelites about how far they had come in their lives because of having God in their lives what they as a people have had to go through and what they had had to endure now in our Sunday School class we’ve discussed how we talk to God the one thing that keeps going through my mind is about how the more severe the circumstances that God has helped us with the more inclined we are to say thank you the less we see God in something the less inclined we are to say said thank you now last week pastor ELISA spoke about when the Israelites were slaves and Pharaohs heart was hardened Pharaoh’s was not looking for God because he didn’t believe in the Israelites God he believed that he was God when we look for God when we search and start to see God in places we never thought possible when we allow ourselves to soften our hearts and let God in it is those times we can when we can see what God has done and it is those times when we can say thanks be to God it’s in those times when we allow our hearts to soften that we can see not just the major miracles in our lives that God has performed but the small miracles also God has a way of waking us up in his presence to his presence some of us have always been awake have always known always been able to have that conversation with God always been able to stand up and say thank you Lord Jesus I praise your holy name others of us have to be awakened in other ways we need to be awakened by having something happen that we can’t control and oh yes we want that control and sometimes I think we want to be in control so much that we have a hard time seeing God at work in our lives I’m one of those that likes to be in control of my own life I have a tendency to not think about God when I should just not say thank you to God when I should I fear that someone may see or hear me sure I can stand up here in front of my friends that I know are all Christians and shout praise God but to see me let’s say at the mall you’re more than likely hear more of a breeze going I’m still planed let’s make a deal with God if you do this I’ll do this if you give me this then I’ll give you this but God on what the better deal most of us have worked with volunteered with been involved with someone in a group or even had friends they were always that always had a tendency to never hear them say thank you after a while we start to wonder if it’s something that we are doing wrong that causes them to not acknowledge us we start to question ourselves and our self-esteem starts to diminish then we may start to resent doing anything for them I don’t ask for much but I thank you once in a while would be nice why would I help them they never say thank you I don’t believe they’re Christians they never said thank you a lot of times in our lives we want to make a deal we want the deal but we aren’t willing to pay the price for it we want to come out on the winning end of a bargain and in a lot of cases that is exactly what happened we asked for something no matter if it’s big or small and we get it then off we go on our merry way not giving it a second thought time passes by and again we ask for something and again we receive and then off we go again on our merry way not thinking about what we have received until the next time God and His infinite wisdom answers all prayers we don’t always care for the answers that we get and we don’t always like the timeliness that surrounds the answers that we get but we still receive an answer God gives regardless of whether he receives thanks of praise he isn’t petty or vindictive he doesn’t say they didn’t thank me so I’m never gonna do anything for them again or it goes to show they don’t believe in me I guess they aren’t really Christians God doesn’t expect thanks or praise but doesn’t he deserve it God works in our lives doing so many things performing so many miracles many of which we don’t even notice what if God was like some of us throw his arms up in the air and say that’s it I’m done a lot of times God works without hearing a word of thanks from us but should he we don’t like doing things when there’s no reward and we were made in God’s image so in my mind it is reasonable that God would at least like a thank you once in a while and Psalm 105 – it says tell of all his wonderful acts if you look at the world today sometimes it’s difficult to see the good most news sites tell of political unrest robberies violence fistfights yelling matches if you can think of something negative it’s in the news it’s what makes up 99% of the news today every once in a while you’ll find a story that is good like the one from earlier this week about a young woman who went into a grocery store bakery and asked if there were any birthday cakes for a first birthday for that day when the clerk inquired as to why he discovered that the woman had delivered a stillborn son a year ago on that day and this was her way of celebrating what would have been his first birthday she paid for the cake for this other young man’s party and left in hopes that a good deed was done and would be paid forward another bit of good news I saw was the fact that last weekend was the first weekend in 25 years that New York City had not had a shooting that’s 1,300 weekend’s 2,600 days where someone was shot compared to one weekend where no one was shot that is cause for celebration praise God every once in a while there will be a good news story but if you’re not quick to see it or to read the story you’ll miss it I had to recall these two stories from my memory because there is no finding them now oh you can find the same bad news story with 16 different spins on it but still the same bad news everywhere you look but if you want to retell about something good that has happened you better have a good memory because it will be gone forever in less than an hour tell of all his wonderful acts it’s hard when so much in our world is negative we have to search for the good we have to open our eyes and look around there’s a lot of good in our world we’ve just become accustomed to not seeing it the good is so overshadowed by the bad that it’s like trying to find that piece of cookie and a cup of coffee you know it’s in there but you’re just not sure where and you’re not if you’re not fast and finding it it may never be able to be found look for the good grab it when you can and don’t let go and when you find that good in your world don’t be afraid to say praise God don’t be afraid to say thank you as I stand up here going on and on about a scripture that I thought was quite self explanatory I would have to encourage each of us to not only look for the good in this world but to strive to become the good in this world we don’t need to go out and run for public office or start a church in Africa or you even start a soup kitchen ministry all we need to do is to show compassion and the love of Christ to our fellow man if we see an opportunity to help a neighbor to assist someone in the grocery store to give words of encouragement to a child it is if it’s done with the love of Christ in our hearts that is like saying praise God because we are doing something for the glory of God a court I found and now I don’t even know where it’s that good news thing but I thought it fit very well it is better to have no words for have heart than to have many words and no heart now in writing this message I learned something about myself that is one of the things that I enjoy about speaking I’m always able to learn something new I have learned that I must be terrified that the world might see me as a Christian sure I can stand up here amongst friends and fellow Christians and speak words of reassurance to you I can see you on the street and stop and talk I can even go with you as a group to a retirement facility but when I go out to a restaurant to eat the furthest thing from my mind is to ask a blessing to thank God for that what he has given me I can see another family giving thanks and will think I should have done that but continue eating how many of us out there are like that the next time you go out to eat take note of how few of us that live in the Bible Belt will openly thank God maybe it’s time to get over our fear and stop playing let’s make a deal maybe it’s time to step up and say praise God amen