John The Baptist: Being Thankful in Prison

Today’s message from Pastor Gus Brown:
Are you thankful for who Jesus is? Are you thankful for the cross? He suffered and died for us.A person is in prison during Thanksgiving. Is it something to be thankful for?

1 Thessalonians 5:18
Give thanks in everything,
for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

How does one give thanks even during difficult circumstances? In order to be thankful, you need to be able to see God and His glory and majesty. You would need to see Him for who He is through His power and might. In the aftermath of a natural disaster, one realizes that personal belongings are much less important than life itself. God is the one who gives life, and spares it through a calamity, and in His sovereignty he can take it away.

Some people will not be thankful or grateful, in spite of everything they experience.

2 Timothy 3:2
For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy.

Are we thankful for what we do have?

Proverbs 30:8-9
8 Keep falsehood and deceitful words far from me.
Give me neither poverty nor wealth;
feed me with the food I need.
9 Otherwise, I might have too much
and deny You, saying, “Who is the Lord?”
or I might have nothing and steal,
profaning the name of my God.

A man who is robbed teaches us four lessons–

1. Let me be thankful, first, because I was never robbed before.
2. He was thankful for his life.
3. They took it all, but it was not that much.
4. It was I who was robbed and not I who robbed.

To be thankful in this way is to show thankfulness in all circumstances.

John the Baptist is in prison. He was sent there by King Herod and he knows his time is short. He learned to be thankful in a very difficult situation.

Matthew 11:1-6
1 When Jesus had finished giving orders to His 12 disciples, He moved on from there to teach and preach in their towns. 2 When John heard in prison what the Messiah was doing, he sent a message by his disciples 3 and asked Him, “Are You the One who is to come, or should we expect someone else?”

4 Jesus replied to them, “Go and report to John what you hear and see: 5 the blind see, the lame walk, those with skin diseases are healed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the poor are told the good news. 6 And if anyone is not offended because of Me, he is blessed.”

John heard about what Jesus was doing and wanted to know if He was the One for encouragement in the midst of his suffering.

Romans 10:17
So faith comes from what is heard, and what is heard comes through the message about Christ.

Hebrews 9:28
so also the Messiah, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for Him.

Are you looking to Jesus for solutions in your life, or are you looking at someone or something else?

2 Corinthians 4:4
In their case, the god of this age has blinded the minds of the unbelievers so they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.

Jesus told John’s disciple to go back and report what you see and hear. The lame are walking…the blind can now see…people were being cured of leprosy. The words were to encourage John for his faithfulness to Jesus. When he received the report, John was encouraged and thankful that his work was not in vain.

Acts 3:4
Peter, along with John, looked at him intently and said, “Look at us.”

Jesus was changing lives with his presence and his acts of compassion on the people.

Luke 5:31-32
31 Jesus replied to them, “The healthy don’t need a doctor, but the sick do. 32 I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.”

You don’t begin to live until you acknowledge Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior. God wants you to live in Him and through Him.

Ephesians 2:1
And you were dead in your trespasses and sins.

Jesus came to those who needed Him most–the people who were in the greatest need. The gospel message sets you free (John 8:36).

Galatians 2:10
They asked only that we would remember the poor, which I made every effort to do.

Always remember the less fortunate and show them compassion, just as Jesus did. He is the one who heals through the power of His salvation.

Romans 1:16
For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is God’s power for salvation to everyone who believes, first to the Jew, and also to the Greek.

Are you able to say “thank you, Lord” for your circumstances? If you can see evidence of His work in both the large and the small things, there is reason to be thankful. Reflect on how much He has done for you, and be thankful to Him.

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