Appreciation Beyond Words

Kind of a lopsided weekend. Really exciting service Saturday night, less so last night. Momentum is still building, praise the Lord. Probably the biggest reason for the difference in the services is that we’ve put a lot of emphasis on going out and meeting new people from that university. Plus the other university had a lot of exams last night, so that kind of hurt our attendance. Tests Sunday night at 6. Unbelievable.

 

Plus I’ve got my annual sickness. Throat killing me, the whole nine yards. I ate about three dozen cough drops before preaching each night, and we managed to make it through. I might have OD-ed on codeine, though – felt a little lightheaded by the time I got done last night.

 

We finished our series “Man Vs. God” about sin last week. So we took this week to talk about Thanksgiving, a holiday that they’re aware of but don’t really celebrate. I was planning on ignoring it, since it’s really an American thing, but a bunch of students asked me if we were going to do anything about it. We didn’t really celebrate it as much as just talk about giving thanks.

 

First time going to II Chronicles at our church. We went to the story of King Joash whose life and throne were saved because of Jehoiada’s family. But after Jehoiada’s death, Joash turned after idols, and Zechariah the prophet confronts the kingdom. So Joash has him killed, even though Zechariah happens to be the son of Jehoiada. 24:22 wraps up the story by saying that in this way Joash did not “remember” the kindness shown to him by Jehoiada’s family. Of course, that doesn’t mean that it slipped Joash’s mind that this guy was the son of the family that adopted him, saved him, and made him king. It means that he didn’t honor Zechariah in the way that his family deserved to be honored.

 

This really shows the real heart of gratitude. It’s not just something we say – it’s honor that we give. Enter Romans 1, where Paul says that the sin of mankind is not honoring God as God, “neither were thankful”! Paul links the two together: honor and thankfulness.

 

The greatest part of the story, of course, is Jesus. He also came to a people who owed His father everything, but rather than honor Him as God, man killed Him for confronting their sin. He is the greater Zechariah, though – when He died He called out for our mercy, rather than vengeance. Only through His death can we be reconciled to the Father.

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