Sunday, November 23, 2008

A Proper Perspective on Thanksgiving

That was the sermon title this morning.

There were thirty in attendance and once more, the Lord blessed us with a wonderful time of prayer, worship, instruction and fellowship.  There were a couple of spouses absent because of illness and we prayed for them.  We also praised God for bringing a son home from Iraq safely; for little two year old Cooper (a great nephew in California) coming home after chemo treatments with the leukemia in remission; for God's healing touch on those in need.

Don's text was from Ephesians 5:19-20 "19 Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, 20 always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ."

What does Thanksgiving really mean?




Thanksgiving is God... thanking HIM for all things.

What are three hindrances to giving thanks:

1.  Pride - self-sufficiency and an exaggerated opinion of one's ability and "stuff."

2.  A critical spirit - complaining pushes thankfulness and gratitude out the door.

3.  A lack of attention - taking life for granted and failing to stop and notice the obvious like the stars, clouds, flowers, God's creation all around us.

In Psalm 100

A psalm. For giving thanks.
1 Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth.

2 Worship the LORD with gladness;
       come before him with joyful songs.

3 Know that the LORD is God.
       It is he who made us, and we are his ;
       we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.

4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving
       and his courts with praise;
       give thanks to him and praise his name.

5 For the LORD is good and his love endures forever;
       his faithfulness continues through all generations.

and Psalm 107:1

1 Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good;
       his love endures forever.

and Luke 17:11-19

11 Now on his way to Jerusalem, Jesus traveled along the border between Samaria and Galilee. 12 As he was going into a village, ten men who had leprosy met him. They stood at a distance 13 and called out in a loud voice, "Jesus, Master, have pity on us!"

14 When he saw them, he said, "Go, show yourselves to the priests." And as they went, they were cleansed.

15 One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice. 16 He threw himself at Jesus' feet and thanked him—and he was a Samaritan.

17 Jesus asked, "Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? 18 Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?" 19 Then he said to him, "Rise and go; your faith has made you well." ......

we learn that thanksgiving should be expressed to God and to others.

A thankful heart will endear others to us and will draw God near to us, also.  We must be careful to offer and express sincere heartfelt thanks for all and every answered prayer and every asked prayer for we have His promise that any prayer offer within the guidelines of His Word will be answered.

Our thanksgiving should be expansive:::

for the blessings of life - "name them one by one"

for the burdens of life - James 1; 1 Thessalonians 5:18 - "give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus."  (Our thanksgiving is expected... it is God's will for us and our lives will be enriched by our gratitude.)

for the benefits of life - with our focus being on the positives in our lives and not the negatives; to be grateful for the "extras," whatever they may be.

Don ended with the Three G's of Thanksgiving:

Thanksgiving is a mark of a growing Christian; Thanksgiving is a mark of a giving Christian; Thanksgiving is a mark of a glowing Christian.

Heavenly Father, I am so thankful for Your Word for it contains everything we need to live a life of liberty, blessing and abundance. I acknowledge with gratitude that it is ALL the gracious work of my LORD Jesus Christ and I embrace it with joy.  Amen

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