St. Johns
Life Changing Gratitude: The Empty
October 22, 2017

Life Changing Gratitude: The Empty

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Speaker: Dr Jon Lovelady | Series: Life Changing Gratitude

This week, we begin our series “Life Changing Gratitude.” The sermon art for the series is the classic painting by Norman Rockwell, “Saying Grace.”  The scene is a woman and little boy bowing their heads to say grace, but since it is a crowded restaurant they are sitting with two young men who are obviously not religious! Norman Rockwell captures the puzzled look of these two young men as this little family bows their heads for prayer. Now more than ever, people are puzzled by our gratitude to God amid the tragic events of our world. In this series we will use a variety Biblical characters to understand the power of life transforming gratitude. In the first sermon, “The Empty” we turn to 1 Samuel 2:1-10, which is Hannah’s Song. This is a life changing moment because Hannah has just left her first son, Samuel, who is approximately 3 years old with Eli the priest at the Tent of God’s Presence in Shiloh. Hannah had been barren prior to this point and relentlessly mocked, because of her childlessness. It would have been easy for her to be caught in the grief of the moment, because she is fulfilling her promise to God. Instead of words of grief or resentment, she pours out words of deep gratitude! Her empty, broken heart has found a fullness of life and purpose! It was a life changing moment! These words help us to move to deeper gratitude in our lives! Let these words lift you and challenge you to see the God who wants to transform the emptiness of our lives. 1 Samuel 2:1-10: Then Hannah prayed and said: “My heart rejoices in the LORD; in the LORD my horn is lifted high. My mouth boasts over my enemies, for I delight in your deliverance. “There is no one holy like the LORD; there is no one besides you; there is no Rock like our God.” Do not keep talking so proudly or let your mouth speak such arrogance, for the LORD is a God who knows, and by him deeds are weighed. “The bows of the warriors are broken, but those who stumbled are armed with strength. Those who were full hire themselves out for food, but those who were hungry are hungry no more. She who was barren has borne seven children, but she who has had many sons pines away. “The LORD brings death and makes alive; he brings down to the grave and raises up. The LORD sends poverty and wealth; he humbles and he exalts. He raises the poor from the dust and lifts the needy from the ash heap; he seats them with princes and has them inherit a throne of honor. “For the foundations of the earth are the LORD’s; on them he has set the world. He will guard the feet of his faithful servants, but the wicked will be silenced in the place of darkness. “It is not by strength that one prevails; those who oppose the LORD will be broken. The Most High will thunder from heaven; the LORD will judge the ends of the earth. “He will give strength to his king and exalt the horn of his anointed.” (NIV)

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