************ Chapel Talk on 1 Thessalonians 5:18 ************


By: Rev. Adrian Dieleman


This chapel talk was given on February 20, 1998


"Growing in Gratitude"
Hanford Christian School
Needed:
-chair for teacher, quarter
-cleaning rag, 2 pennies
-cardboard box, bag of garbage
Scripture: 1 Thessalonians 5:18
"... give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus."

I. Give Thanks
I need some help from a teacher (PICK ONE). Your name is Swami. You live in Bangladesh.
Now, let's make you look like someone from Bangladesh:
-take off shoes, socks too
-no belt
-no shirt, only a t-shirt
-no glasses
-no wallet or money (LEAVE WITH .25)

I need some more help. This time from a student in grades 5-8 (PICK ONE). Your name is Chedi. You live in India.
What are you doing in this building? Why are you here? This is a school. You aren't allowed to go to school. You need to work.
I will give you a job in my restaurant. You will start at 6 in the morning and end at midnight. You will work 18 hours every day. You will work 7 days of every week. I will pay you 2 per hour (GIVE 2 PENNIES). You can eat the food my customers leave on their plates.
Now get to work cleaning the floor. Here is a rag (GIVE RAG).

I need some more help. This time from a student in grades 1-4 (PICK ONE). Your name is Jose or Maria. You live in Mexico City. Do you know what your house is? Your house is a cardboard box (PUSH IN BOX). Your food is taken out of the garbage. Here is your supper (GIVE GARBAGE BAG).

Now, boys and girls, Swami, Chedi, and Jose (or Maria) are real people. What do you have that they don't have?
What do you have that Swami doesn't have? (POINT TO ITEMS ON TABLE)
What do you have that Chedi doesn't have? (POINT TO SCHOOL, MENTION GOOD FOOD)
What do you have that Jose (or Maria) doesn't have? (HOME, GOOD FOOD, WATER ...)

How come we have what Swami, Chedi, and Jose (or Maria) doesn't have?
Let me tell you: because God has blessed us.

The Bible tells us what we are supposed to do. It says "give thanks." This means we need to give thanks to God.

Mrs. VanderPol tells me that this year your theme is "Grow in Gratitude." To grow in gratitude you need to realize that God has blessed you and me with so very much. And you need to thank Him for those blessings.

II. Give Thanks in All Circumstances
If you were Swami, or Chedi, or Jose (or Maria) do you think you would give thanks? (Get Answers)
Do you think you could give thanks? (Get Answers)

What does the Bible say? It says "... give thanks in all circumstances ..." If you are poor like Swami or Chedi or Jose you are supposed to give thanks. If you are rich like you and me you are supposed to give thanks.

Are you supposed to give thanks when you are sick?
Are you supposed to give thanks in death?
Are you supposed to give thanks when you fail a test?
Are you supposed to give thanks when your best friend moves away?

Yes, yes, yes, yes!

God wants you to praise Him all the time.
I want you to listen to a song entitled, "Praise the Lord Jesus Anyway." (PLAY SONG)

"Give thanks in all circumstances." No matter what happens, give thanks.

Notice what Paul does not say. He does not say "Give thanks for all circumstances." We don't say thank-you to God for sickness but we do say thank-you in sickness. We don't say thank-you to God for poverty but we do say thank-you in poverty. We don't say thank-you to God for death but we do say thank-you in death. We don't say thank-you to God for divorce but we do say thank-you in divorce.

We are to give thanks in all circumstances but not for all circumstances.

III. God's Will
Now, why are we to give thanks in all circumstances. The Bible says, "this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus."

God wants us to say thank-you. God wants us to say thank-you in all circumstances. He requires this of us. He looks for this in us. He wants this from us.

"... give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus." When you do that, you are growing in gratitude.
You can e-mail our pastor at: Pastor, Trinity United Reformed Church
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