Ingratitude self-evaluation test

For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy.

(2Timothy 3:2)

In Paul’s letter to Timothy, he warns of imposters in the last and perilous days. He lists a series of qualities that describe these traitors (cf., 2Tim 3:2-8).

Among this descriptive list is the quality of being “UNTHANKFUL.”

We usually know when someone ELSE is being an ingrate, but seldom do we recognize it in ourselves. There are only two ways I know to see it in ourselves. One is through constant self-evaluation (cf. 2Cor 13:5), the other is learning by example (both positive & negative).

Let’s combine these strategies with a self-evaluation test using biblical examples.

Take this GRATITUDE self-test to know if we’re being grateful or ungrateful.

Do I only see…

  • the FORBIDDEN fruit?
  • the freedom to eat every other FRUIT in the garden?

(Gen 2:16-17; 3:4-6) Metaphorical for those forbidden “fruits” of the lust of the flesh.

Do I only notice…

  • Those that are ABSENT from the assemblies?
  • Those that are in ATTENDANCE?

(Mat 18:20; 1Cor 11:18)

What do I regularly think about…

  • WORRY and anxiety?
  • the WORD?

(Mat 6:33; Phil 4:8)

When I’m planning my contribution…

  • Do I Give GRUDGINGLY?
  • Do I Give GLADLY?

(2Cor 9:6-15)

When studying my bible do I…

  • Dread READING?
  • Look for the REAPING from what I read?

(John 20:30-31; 2Tim 2:15; Eph 3:3-4; 2Pet 1:5-10)

When assembling to worship with the saints, do I…

  • See it as an OBLIGATION that I have to do?
  • See it as an OPPORTUNITY that I get to do?

(John 4:24; Heb 10:25)

When it comes to my brethren what do I notice…

  • The HURT of some?
  • The HELPFULNESS of most?

(Num 11:5-6; James 1:20)

When the weather turns…

  • Do I only see the RAIN, snow, sun etc.?
  • Do I notice the blessings of REFRESHMENT?

(Acts 14:17; Matt 5:45)

What is my attitude toward my job?

  • Do I view it only as WORK to pay my bills?
  • Do I see it as WEALTH building to share & enjoy?

(Eph 4:28; 1Tim 6:17-19)

When I’m ill…

  • Do I exemplify the SICKNESS with an organ recital?
  • Do I SHOW my hope in my faithful endurance?

(Jas 5:11; 2Cor 4:16-18)

When trouble comes…

  • Do I only see the STRUGGLE?
  • Do I see the STRENGTH and patience that comes from endurance?

(Jas 1:1-3; Heb 12:11)

When I go into the marketplace…

  • Do I lament the COMMERCIALISM?
  • Do I see the nearly limitless CHOICES?

(Mat 20:13-15)

Life on earth is seldom easy. The way we respond to the struggles of life will determine how much HOPE we display. A positive response gives the best chance to reach the lost through our godly example (cf. 1Peter 3:1-6).

Spencer is an evangelist for the church of Christ at Franklin & Juniper st. in Borger Texas.

3 BIBLE VERSES TO HELP YOU WHEN YOU’RE DOWN

My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Jas 1:2

 

The novice my think that God is just wrong in this verse. How could one possibly find trouble / temptations joyful?

 

If you will read the rest of the passage it says, “Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. 4 But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.” Jas 1:3, 4

 

We need, nay, must trust God and continue to be joyful in spite of our sorrows. I find this difficult to observe, but if we will trust God and ask for wisdom, He will help us. [Look at vs 5]

 

We tend to think negatively first and most. We’ve got to remember that the righteous have never been forsaken or begging bread. [Ps 37:25]

 

And the LORD said unto him, Go, 1Ki 19:15

Elijah was down. He was being chased by that evil Jezebel for she wanted to have him dead. [vs2]

 

Elijah hid in a cave and was praying that he would die. [vs5] But God had a better idea. God always has better ideas. God told Elijah to “go”.

 

That’s what He wants for all of us. He wants us to go, get up and keep on keeping on. We can never do anything about the past, but we can ALWAYS do something about today.

 

As the old saying goes, when life gives you lemons, make lemonade. God has spoken to us today. Just as He told Elijah to get busy, He’s told us the very same thing.

 

He’s told us what to do, serve him, work hard, act honorably, love, visit folks and to spread His word. [Among other things]

This brings me to another passage…….

5 Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass. Ps 37:3-5

Sometimes we don’t know what to do when things fail to go our way. True, it is hard to know what to do next, but God has never left us without any instructions. When life gets difficult, when it seems like nothing is going your way, that’s a perfect time to check your alignment.

He said to “commit thy way unto the Lord”. This does not mean that we take our ideas and commit them, rather, it means we make sure our ideas are in alignment with His ideals, then commit yourself to the Lord. He added to “trust also in Him”.

So often we focus on how to get the things we want, overlooking the way to live.  Verse 3 said, “Trust in the Lord, and do good.” If we will just do this. I tell folks that don’t know what to do with their lives to just be the best you can be. For if you will focus on being the best you can be, doors of opportunity will open.

Unfortunately, we focus on (not)ty words. I can’t, they won’t, I’m not, are all words that have the wrong focus. It’s shameful, for it speaks against God your personal value. He loves you, so much that He gave His only begotten son. [John 3:16] He gave your abilities [Matthew 25:15], and He places you in a valued position in His church, when you obey the Gospel [Romans 12:6-8]. Let us respect God in our person, using our God given abilities to the best of our efforts.

By Spencer

 

Don’t worry be Happy

We like to complain, “It’s hot, It’s cold. I’m too fat, I’m too short. I’m too old”…. yackk yackk yakk! We need more cheese in this world, with all the whine that’s going around. We whine (make excuses) about everything. Weather, ourselves, each other. Get over it!

GOD MAKES GOOD THINGS
Complaining about life is an insult to God and to His creation.

Ge 1:1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
Ge 1:27 So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.
Ge 1:31 Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good.

OUR ATTITUDE
God made us, we were made in His image. But it’s our attitude, not our appearance or health that separates us from God. Moses complained that he wasn’t a good speaker, God got angry. (Ex 4:10,11)

Zig Ziglar calls it “stinkin thinkin”. Look to the scriptures, there are wonderful words of comfort from our Creator; “Have you not known? Have you not heard? The everlasting God, the LORD, The Creator of the ends of the earth, Neither faints nor is weary. His understanding is unsearchable. 29 He gives power to the weak, And to those who have no might He increases strength. 30 Even the youths shall faint and be weary, And the young men shall utterly fall, 31 But those who wait on the LORD Shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint.” Isa 40:28

God has a question for us when we complain about the troubles of life; “Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth?” Job 38:4. I think that it’s morally wrong for Christians to remain unhappy. We can have sorrow and complaints, but to continue to talk about them, elevating them above our hope in Jesus, then what are we saying about Him? What are we saying to the world about our Savior?

OUR SPEECH

Jas 3:9 With it we bless our God and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the similitude of God. 10 Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be.

EXAMPLES of Positive attitudes

  1. Stephen, As he lay dying, he said these words about his accusers, “And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge.” Ac 7:60
  2. Paul; “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. 22 But if I live in the flesh, this is the fruit of my labour: yet what I shall choose I wot not. 23 For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better: 24 Nevertheless to abide in the flesh is more needful for you. 25 And having this confidence, I know that I shall abide and continue with you all for your furtherance and joy of faith;” Php 1:21

OUR ABILITIES
God has provided for each and every one of us with something to contribute.

  • 1Co 12:18 But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him.
  • 1Co 12:12-31; (12) For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ.
  • Ga 6:14 But God forbid that I should boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.
  • Talents; Mt 25:15 And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability; and straightway took his journey.

Be Happy for Jesus

Many an ugly, sick or poor person has brought someone to Christ! If we only spoke about the love of God when we feel great, then we’re missing huge opportunities. 

  1. Ro 13:12 The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light. 13 Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in lewdness and lust, not in strife and envy. 14 But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts.
  2. Peter told folks to appear hopeful in the midst of persecution; “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:” 1Pe 3:15

Even if there seems to be nothing in the world to make us happy, we should still act happy. The reason, one day the Lord shall return to take us to a far better place.

Perhaps your own reiterated cries deafen you to the voice you hoped to hear” ― A Grief Observed – CS Lewis.

spencer
Borger, Tx
806/274-5021

Ask me how to make your calling and election sure. 2Pet 1:10