Here it is, lesson 4 from the life of Noah. We have learned a lot from this man of faith. We still have much to learn. Here is what we have learned so far:
In this article, we are going to learn about more of the results of genuine faith in the message that God has given to us, a message of judgment, mercy, and grace. Gratefulness is another manifestation of genuine faith. Gratefulness does not come natural to us because of our selfish, sin nature that dominates us. Gratefulness is something that we learn. The Apostle Paul wrote it this way:
18 in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. (I Thessalonians 5)
Paul teaches the believers to be grateful. That is something that we need to be reminded of constantly. Noah learned to be grateful in all things at all times. Let’s see what we can glean about Noah and his gratefulness.
I. Grateful after tragedy
It is one thing to be grateful when all is sunshine and roses in life. It is another thing to be grateful to God when tragedy strikes. Noah finds himself on the other side of a colossal tragedy. Everyone he had ever known, other than his wife, his children, and his daughters-in-law, had died in the great flood. Noah reacts with a grateful heart. He is grateful to be alive still. He is grateful that his family was spared. He is grateful that the waters receded and that he is able to reestablish his life and family. God gives us reasons to be grateful in all circumstances. Today, we can be grateful that there is proof of the Great flood and that the proof can motivate us to turn to the Lord and receive His message of judgment, mercy, and grace.
- Evidence 1 = the fossil record
- the fossil record does not show billions of years of life and death. The fossil record shows a catastrophic event with millions of deaths taking place at once. Archeology reveals this to us and the Bible explains to us how it happened. It does not take millions of years to form fossils. If the conditions are right, it can happen in a matter of minutes. We have fossilized hammers, teddy bears, fish eating other fish etc. The hammer and teddy bear fossilized in under 100 years. There are even fossilized sea shells on the top of Mt. Everest.
- Evidence 2 = Mt. St. Helen’s Volcano
- The earth itself reveals evidence of a universal flood. With that much water, some areas of the earth had to rise while others had to sink. For instance, the Grand Canyon was carved out very quickly with all of that water from the flood. The layers in the Grand Canyon are mirrored in the Mt. St. Helen’s volcano, which took only minutes to form when the volcano erupted in the 20th Century.
- Evidence 3 = Rock layers
- We have all been told that the rock layers took millions of years to form. This is simply not true. There is evidence of trees growing through several different rock layers, layers that we dated millions of different years a part.
II. Belief produces gratefulness
As we have learned in several of the previous lessons, genuine belief produces obedience. Genuine faith also produces gratefulness. Noah was grateful to be alive. He was grateful to be with his family. Noah demonstrated his gratitude by thanking God openly and worshiping God publicly. This had a profound impact in the lives of Noah’s family. They also learned to be grateful and to demonstrate their gratefulness openly. They worshiped God and were taught/encouraged by Noah to continue to worship. Are you learning to be grateful to God? Do you demonstrate your gratefulness? Are you teaching others to be grateful?
III. Practical Examples of gratefulness
There are two stories from the ministry of Jesus that I would like to use as practical examples of learning to be grateful.
- 10 lepers
- There were 10 lepers who were together in a leper colony. Jesus chose to pass by them and they cried out to Him to heal them. He took time to listen to them and He sent them to go to the priest. The priest was the one who could declare them healed. While on their way, they realized that they had all been healed. One of the former lepers turned back and bowed at Jesus’ feet and thanked Him. He was the only 1 of the 10 who was grateful. The others were probably in a hurry to see the priest so that he could send them home to their families. They were probably noble in their intentions yet they were still ungrateful.
- Simon the Pharisee
- Jesus came to visit Simon the Pharisee. Simon was blessed to have the Savior of the world walk into his house. He should have been humbled by this gesture and he should have shown great appreciation to Jesus. Simon was actually very offensive to Jesus. In the culture of the day, when a person entered a home, the fist thing that happened was that the visitor was offered water to wash his feet and hands. Jesus lets us know that Simon did not offer Him water to wash His feet. There is a woman in the passage who is described as a sinner. She comes to Jesus and washes His feet with her tears and hair. She recognized who Jesus was and was appreciative, thankful to be able to see Him and meet with Him. Simon did not respect Jesus with a holy kiss of the day yet the woman was kissing Jesus’ feet. All Simon did was pass judgment. He judged the sinful woman for being sinful. He also judged Jesus for allowing the sinful woman to touch Him. As a result of her appreciative attitude, her sins were forgiven because she came to faith in Christ. The result of faith is being appreciative. A thankful person is demonstrating that his faith is real.
We must all learn to be grateful. That gratefulness comes from having genuine faith and walking with God. When you are grateful to God, that gratefulness is demonstrated in your attitude of gratefulness toward your 1) parents 2) teachers 3)coaches etc. Tell your parents thanks for all that they do for you. Thank your teachers for teaching you how to read so that you can read the Bible. Write them a letter of thanks because they taught you how to write. Tell your coaches how much you appreciate their effort and time so that you can learn to play a sport that you love. Finally, teach others to connect with God so that they can learn to be grateful as well. Teach others how to be grateful, by your example and sharing the teachings of the Scriptures. May the Lord help us live out our genuine faith with an attitude of gratitude in every circumstance of life.