THANKSGIVING Topic

THANKSGIVING SERMONS by Rev. Mike Jones [Revised November 21, 2021]

Psa 4:3 THE CHRISTIAN’S PURPOSE

Psa 22:3 PRAISE THE LORD

Psalm 34:1 THE CHRISTIAN AND THANKSGIVING

Ps 37:1‑11 THE RESTLESS CHRISTIAN

Psalm 37:3‑5 TRUST

Ps 112:7 EVIL TIDINGS

Ps 150: HALLELUJAH

Luke 17:11‑19 NO THANKS

THANK GOD FOR WHAT HE DOES NOT DO

THANKSGIVING QUIZ

THANKERS WHO THANKED

FUTURE BLESSINGS

Psa 4:3 GOD’S PET

Deu 26:11 REJOICE IN EVERY GOOD THING

Psalms 78:4 GODLY REASONS TO REJOICE

Joel 2:26 PLENTY OF THANKS

THANKSGIVING THANKS

PSA 50:12-15 RONNIE THANKSGIVING SERMON

Psa 4:3 THE CHRISTIAN’S PURPOSE

But know that the LORD hath set apart him that is godly for himself: the LORD will hear when I call unto him. (Psa 4:3)

Isn’t this a marvelous statement? It’s almost as if the Lord has made us the “Teacher’s Pet”. Several times in scripture the Lord says Christians are His Peculiar Treasure and in doing so He tells us what His purpose for us is. (The Word “Peculiar” is found 7 times in the Bible. One of these times is about a king’s treasures (Ecc 2:8 I gathered me also silver and gold, and the peculiar treasure of kings and of the provinces: I gat me men singers and women singers, and the delights of the sons of men, as musical instruments, and that of all sorts.) but the remaining 6 times are about God choosing us as His “Peculiar People” -Ps 135:4 For the LORD hath chosen Jacob unto himself, and Israel for his peculiar treasure.

I. CHRISTIANS ARE TO BE A SEPARATED PEOPLE. Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works. (Titus 2:14). De 14:2 For thou art an holy people unto the LORD thy God, and the LORD hath chosen thee to be a peculiar people unto himself, above all the nations that are upon the earth.

A) Because we were Redeemed BY Christ- Jesus gave himself for us that he might redeem us from all iniquity. Christ paid the price for our freedom and gave us life.

B) Because we were Separated FOR Christ‑ Purify unto himself. God is a Holy God and He wants a Holy people (A mother loves her mud encrusted boy but she doesn’t want him sitting on her best dress!!)

C) Because we are Workers WITH Christ‑ zealous of good works. WANTING to work because of your love for God (If ye love me keep my commandments).

II. CHRISTIANS ARE AN OBEDIENT PEOPLE. Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine: (Exo 19:5) De 26:18 And the LORD hath avouched thee this day to be his peculiar people, as he hath promised thee, and that thou shouldest keep all his commandments;

If God is always right (and He is) then He is to always be obeyed. A sinner is simply someone who is not living his live in conformity to what God wants. God’s part of the covenant is to give the orders; my part is to obey them!!

How can I learn obedience?? Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered; (Heb 5:8). (Remember that God is refining you into a TREASURE; He can’t allow weaknesses to remain.)

III. CHRISTIANS ARE TO SHOW FORTH THE PRAISES OF GOD. But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should show forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light: (1 Pet 2:9)

A) Where we are to show His Praises: –

1) In Society: A Chosen generation

2) In “Religion”- a royal priesthood

3) In the World- an holy nation

4) Individually- a peculiar people

B) Why we are to show His Praises: He has called us out of darkness into his marvelous light.

What are the results of being God’s Peculiar People?? Answered Prayer- But know that the LORD hath set apart him that is godly for himself: the LORD will hear when I call unto him. (Psa 4:3)

Psa 22:3 PRAISE THE LORD

But thou art holy, O thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel (Psa 22:3) Amazingly, This is the Psalm that Jesus repeated on the Cross. During this time of agony and pain He gives us a very useful insight into the value and place of Praise in the life of the Christian.

I. THE HEALING POWER OF PRAISE

A) It helps our Health Prov 17:22 A merry heart doeth good like a medicine.

B) It helps our Looks Prov 15:13 A merry heart maketh a cheerful countenance: but by sorrow of heart the spirit is broken. In fact, we are admonished to wear Is 61:3 …the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness...

C) It helps our attitude Prov 15:15 He that is of a merry heart hath a continual feast. I learned long ago that you can’t Praise the Lord and grumble at the same time.

II. THE WORSHIP OF PRAISE

A) With our Lips- Heb 13:15 By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name. (At All Times)

B) Under all Circumstances- I Thess 5:18 In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. (In All Circumstances)

C) With God’s Glory in View- Ps 50:23 Whoso offereth praise glorifieth me: and to him that ordereth his conversation aright will I shew the salvation of God. God is not glorified by our silence, our fears, our doubts, or our frustrations. He is glorified by our Praise. (For God’s Glory)

III. THE VICTORY OF PRAISE- Jehoshaphat in II Chron 20: defeated the enemey by Praise vs 22 and when they began to sing and to praise, the Lord set ambushments against the children of Ammon

When God delivers us our first reaction should be Praise- Ps 106:47 Save us, o Lord our God, and gather us from among the heathen, to give thanks unto thy holy name, and to triumph in thy praise.

IV. THE PREPARATION OF PRAISE- Sin blocks the fountain of Joy- Ps 51:11 12 Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy Holy Spirit from me. Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit.

Right living puts praise on our lips- Ps 119:7 I will praise thee with uprightenss of heart, when I shall have learned thy righteous judgments.

The inability to praise points toward a deeper problem- Matt 12:34 Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.

HOW SHOULD WE PRAISE? With our mouth Ps 145:21, With joyful lips Ps 63:5, with a shout Ex 3:11 (Praise the Lord is Hallelujah!!), with trumpet and sound of cornet Ps 98:6, with stringed instruments and flutes Ps 150:4

WHERE SHOULD WE PRAISE? In the gates of the camp of the Lord (II Chron 31:2), In the midst of the congregation (Ps 22:22), Among many people (Ps 35:18), Among the Nations (Ps 57:9)

WHEN SHOULD WE PRAISE? All day long (Ps 35:28), At all times (Ps 34:1), Seven times a day (Ps 119:164), Continually (Ps 71:6).

WHAT SHOULD WE PRAISE FOR? His mighty acts (Ps 150:2), His power (Ps 21:13), His excellent greatness (Ps 150:2), His word (Ps 56:4), His name (Ps 54:6), His wonders (Ps 89:5), His faithfulness (Ps 89:5)

Ps 150:6 Let everything that hath breath praise the lord. Ps 115:17 18 The dead praise not the Lord, neither any that go down into silence. But we will bless the Lord from this time forth and for evermore. Praise the Lord.

Psalm 34:1 THE CHRISTIAN AND THANKSGIVING

Psalm 34:1 I will bless the lord at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth.

I. WHY SHOULD WE BE THANKFUL?

A) Sign of being Spirit filled‑ Ep 5:20 Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

B) Sign of Stability and growth‑ Col 2:7 Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving.

II. WHAT ARE WE TO BE THANKFUL FOR?? I Thess 5:18 In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

III. HOW ARE WE TO THANK GOD?

A) In Song Ps 92:1 It is a good thing to give thanks unto the Lord, and to sing praises unto thy name, O most high: [Have someone lined up to sing some specials or let the congregation sing several “Praise Songs”.]

B) By Testimony Ps 105:1 O give thanks unto the Lord: call upon his name: make known his deeds among the people. [Allow people to Praise in Prayer and Testimony].

Ps 37:1‑11 THE RESTLESS CHRISTIAN

Christians are supposed to be examples of the Peace and Stability of God. Instead, many of them have “fretting” hearts and, like restless ill children, they cannot be satisfied (“From whence come wars and fightings among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members?” James 4:1). Let’s look at the Cause and Cure for these “Fretters”.

I. THE CAUSE OF FRETTING:

A) Our Own Foolishness- Prov 19:3 The foolishness of man perverteth his way: and his heart fretteth against the Lord. We Fret about-

1. Our Weakness: Lack of Strength or Wisdom to handle a situation

2. Our Waywardness: “Prone to wander, Lord I feel it”. It’s EASY to backslide!! We must keep our body under subjection to be faithful.

3. Our Wickedness: “When I would do good evil is present with me”

B) The “Pleasures” of the Wicked- Ps 37:1 Fret not thyself because of evildoers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity. We’re supposed to have Abundant Life but they have FUN!! (Sleep late on Sunday, “Party” all the time, etc.). (If it was so much fun why were we so glad to leave it????? Ever notice now even bad things begin to look good when you’re away awhile??).

C) The Riches of Others- Ps 37:7 Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass. Sinners seem to get rich while many Christians have to pray for Daily Bread and miss most of the comforts of this life. (“Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompense of the reward” Heb 11:26. Depends on where you want your mansion!!!).

D) Because of Affliction- Ps 119:75 I know, O Lord, that thy judgments are right, and that thou in faithfulness has afflicted me. Why do some suffer great pain while others are well?? (“Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong” II Cor 12:10).

E) Because of what MIGHT happen- Ps 112:7 He shall not be afraid of evil tidings: his heart is fixed, trusting in the Lord. The Just shall live by FAITH.

II. THE CURE FOR FRETTING:

A) Look at the Long Road- Ps 37:2 For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb. vs 7 Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him. Will You sell your “Birthright” for a mess of pottage because of a little hunger now???

B) Have Faith in God’s Love- 37:3 Trust in the Lord, and do good; so shall thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed. (I’ll trust Him even if the Boat sinks!!! Mark 4.)

C) Let Sinners enjoy all they can now because Hell is long and hot! 37:10 For yet a little while, and the wicked shall not be; yea, thou shalt diligently consider his place, and it shall not be.

D) Remember vs 8 Cease from anger, and forsake wrath; FRET NOT THYSELF IN ANY WISE TO DO EVIL. Don’t allow Satan to make you Fret instead of have Faith.

Are you Restless?? Or Resting in Christ???

III. THE COMMANDS THAT WITHSTAND FRETTING:

A) Vs 3 “Trust (lean on, rely on and be confident)in the Lord, and do good;” Result- Thou shalt dwell in the land, and be fed- STABILITY

B) Vs 4 “Delight thyself also in the Lord:” Result- He shall give thee the desires of thine heart-NEEDS

C) vs 5 “Commit thy way unto the Lord (Roll and repose each care of your road on Him);”

“Trust also in him”. Result- He shall bring it to pass- LEADERSHIP

D) vs 7 “Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for him:”- FAITH

Psalm 37:3‑5 TRUST

There is little that can be trusted in today. It seems that all our foundations are crumbling and falling–Every day the paper tells of someone molesting 3,4, or 5 year old children; or of young people being murdered or murdering someone. Many families are crumbling and divorce is now as common as marriage. “Superstars” in sports and entertainment are everyday seen to have “feet of clay”.

Even in our own lives we seem to struggle and struggle and, as men in quick sand, seem to only get deeper and deeper. Everything we invent seems to have a bad side effect- Industry pollutes. Comforts cause us to get fat, have heart problems, and spend all our money trying to get slim again! And conveniences seem to give our families less time together instead of more. And even money doesn’t help-Most people earn more in a month now than their parents did in a year and yet we can hardly seem to “keep our heads above water”.

What can we do in situations like this? Should we “throw up our hands and quit”? Should we “eat, drink, and be merry because tomorrow we die”? Is there an answer?? Is there anything we can trust in?? Let’s look at the Word of God and see what He has to say.

I. THINGS NOT TO PUT TRUST IN:

A) Man Jer 17:5 Thus saith the lord; cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the Lord. Ps 118:8 It is better to put trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man.

When I see an entertainer fall I feel pity for the person. When I see an evangelist fall I see a failure to practice what was preached and a disgrace to God’s name and honor. Mixed in with the pity I feel is anger that this person failed, fear that if it happened to them it could happen to me, and discouragement- If they couldn’t do right with all their talent then how can I possibly hope to succeed as a Christian with my limited abilities? Trusting in man is dangerous!

B) Riches Mk 10:24 And the disciples were astonished at his words. But Jesus answereth again, and saith unto them, children, how hard is it for them that trust in riches to enter into the kingdom of God. One of the best selling books today is Larry Burkett’s “What ever happened to the American Dream”. In it he lists how Americans will be forced to look to the future with less expectations as well as less money. It’s not just that they will make less money; opportunities to grow and improve will also be greatly reduced. Will people have the courage to work more and more for less and less- or will we give in to the idea that it’s alright for one man to control the world as long as he gives us the things we want!

The main thing to remember about riches, however, is that the Bible says (Rev 3:15-21) that the last day Laodicean church will be rich, increased with goods, and have need of nothing. Riches will ruin us.

C) Weapons (David and Goliath) I Sam 17:45 Then said David to the Philistine, thou comest to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield; but I come to thee in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Isreal, whom thou has defied. Is 26:4 Trust ye in the Lord for ever: for in the Lord Jehovah is everlasting strength. Psa 20:7 Some trust in chariots, and some in horses: but we will remember the name of the LORD our God. No matter how strong you get you’ll never be strong enough to defeat society, self, Satan, or God’s Plans. The only place of Safety is in the Rock- Jesus.

 

II. WHO TO PUT TRUST IN: Prov 3:5 6 Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

A) WHO Trust in the LORD

B) HOW With ALL thine Heart Lean not unto thine own understanding

The RESULTS of such Trust:

1. You will dwell and be fed Ps 37:3. Ps 31:19 Oh, how great is thy goodness, which thou hast laid up for them that fear thee; which thou hast wrought for them that trust in thee before the sons of men!

Ps 34:22 The Lord redeemeth the soul of his servants; and none of them that trust in him shall be desolate.

2. Accomplishment of God’s will (“he shall bring it to pass”) 37:5

3. Direction for your life Prov 3:6

4. Mercy Ps 32:10 Many sorrows shall be to the wicked: but he that trusteth in the Lord, mercy shall compass him about.

5. Steadfastness Ps 125:1 They that trust in the Lord shall be as mount Zion, which cannot be removed, but abideth for ever.

6. Perfect Peace Is 26:3 Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee. John 16:33 (Amp Bible) I have told you these things so that in Me you may have perfect peace and confidence. In the world you have tribulation and trials and distress and frustration; but be of good cheer–take courage, be confident, certain, undaunted- for I have overcome the world.- I have deprived it of power to harm, have conquered it [for you].

TRUST: Confidence in or reliance on something. What have you placed your confidence in today?? What are you relying on to get you through this world and provide safety for the next??

A “Human Fly” was climbing up the side of a building once when suddenly he lost his hold and came crashing to his death. When they examined his body they found clutched in his hand a cobweb that had been stained by dust to resemble the building he was climbing. This man trusted in the wrong thing and paid with his life. CAN YOU TRUST YOUR LIFE TO WHAT YOU TRUST IN?????

Psalm 112:7 EVIL TIDINGS

Ex 33:4 The Evil Tidings of God’s Anger when the people built the golden calf.

I Sam 11:6 when the men of Jabesh were surrounded and sent word to Saul for relief the tidings made Saul angry

II Sam 18 Tidings of Absalom’s death

II KIngs 7:9 Don’t hold good tidings also Is 40:9

Is 52:7 Run to tell good tidings rom 10:15

Is 61:1 Spirit helps preach good tidings

Lu 2:10 Angels brought good tidings

Luke 8:1 Jesus preached good tidings

Ps 112:7 He shall not be afraid of evil tidings: his heart is fixed, trusting in the Lord.

What is Evil tidings? Good news is sometimes bad (hard for rich to enter Heaven. Angels brought glad tidings but soon people wept as babies were slain) Bad news is sometimes Good (Gen 50:20 But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive.)

There are 4 major things people fear to hear about:

1. Disease “In all your afflictions He is afflicted”

2. Disaster “All things work together for good to them …”

3. Debt “My God shall supply all your need by his riches in Glory

4. Death “Christ conquered him that had the power of death”

Afraid it will come??

Afraid when it Comes??

Heart fixed‑ Stable emotionally in spite of physical change

Trusting in the Lord‑ Faith (Mk 4: though boat sink)

WE are to proclaim the Good Tidings of the Gospel

Example of Joseph Gen 45:5 Now therefore be not grieved , nor angry with yourselves, that ye sold me hither: for God did send me before you to perserve life.

Psalm 150: HALLELUJAH

“Praise the Lord” is the same as HALLELUJAH. The Psalmist gives some very important information about our “Praise Lives” in this concluding Psalm:

1. WHEREPraise God in his Sanctuary: praise him in the firmament of his power.

2. WHYPraise him for his mighty acts: praise him according to his excellent greatness.

3‑5 HOWPraise him with the sound of the tumpet: praise him with the psaltery and harp. Praise him with the timbrel and dance: praise him with stringed instruments and organs. Praise him upon the loud cymbals: praise him upon the high sounding cymbals.

6 WHOLet every thing that hath breath praise the Lord. Praise ye the Lord.

Luke 17:11‑19 NO THANKS

Here is a sad and tragic story of Thankless hearts‑ 10 men were destined to a slow death, isolated from their fellow men; by the plague of leprosy. Without Help or Hope they heard that Jesus was going to pass their way so they waited and as He approached they called with all their might to Him to have mercy on them. When Jesus stopped and looked at them I imagine their hearts were aflame with hope and expectation but instead of saying some “magic formula” over them or, simply saying that they were healed, Jesus told them to go to the Priest and let him examine them.

As they journeyed they suddenly found their sores began to heal and fresh flesh came on them. I can imagine the excitement that must have swept thru the group as they realized that their greatest dream was coming true. I believe they must have had a “Hugging Hallelujah” time as they rejoiced in their deliverance.

But as the initial excitement wore off a dilemma presented itself to these men‑ We often condemn the nine for their thankless hearts but fail to appreciate their situation. I can almost see the Samaritan as he says, “Come on, boys. Let’s go thank Jesus for our wonderful healing!”. And everyone may have said, “Yes, let’s go” until they started out and one of them began to slow and then stop. Everyone looked around and asked what was the matter; Didn’t he want to go tell Jesus how thankful he was that he was healed. “Yes,” he says, “but we may need to look at this before we rush off and do something rash. Remember that the Law says we can’t associate with people again until the Priest has pronounced us clean‑ and Jesus did say for us to go to the Priest and let him examine us. Let’s not let this Samaritan, who doesn’t know the Law, lead us to do something wrong”. So nine of them continue on to the Priest, while the lone Samaritan goes back to Jesus and gives glory to God.

This same type of situation faces many of us today. We know it’s the Thanksgiving Season, and we see many things that we need to give God Thanks for; but somehow the everyday situations of life deter us and we find ourselves doing our “duty” instead of thanking our God. I want us today to see some of the reasons we are a people of “No Thanks” instead of Many Thanks; and then I want us to rededicate ourselves to being thankful.

I. THE NEGATIVE NOTIONS

A) Negative Circumstances‑ Why should I thank God for delivering me when God allowed me to get in this situation to begin with [Why do I have leprosy when others are healthy?]. We are faced with many bad circumstances today: Financial Problems, Family Problems, Health Problems. It’s hard to stand and Praise the Lord when you can’t buy what you need for Thanksgiving dinner (and you know Christmas is just around the corner!), when your family is falling apart in front of your eyes or you’re living in a state of “apathetic enemity” where you exist together instead of Live together, or when every day is another day of pain and problems and sometimes you’d give anything just to feel good one day.

A thankful heart, like Paul, has learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content (Phil 4:11). When we can learn that the Grace of God is sufficient for us then we can glory in infirmities (II Cor 12:9) and turn troubles into triumphs‑‑and thanksgiving will be a part of our life instead of a “Put on”.

B) Negative Self‑image‑ I deserve to be isolated from society because I’m not worth anything anyway [Jewish society thought and taught that Samaritans were vastly inferior in every way. I imagine that even in the crowd of ten lepers he was never allowed to forget that HE MIGHT HAVE DESERVED TO BE STRICKEN WITH LEPROSY BECAUSE HE WAS A SAMARITAN]. Many people today fail to be thankful because of: 1. Their Looks‑ Rom 9:20 Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, why hast thou made me thus? Matt 6:27 Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature? Psalm 139:14 I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. According to Isaiah 53:2 Jesus hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him there is no beauty that we should desire him. But men fret instead of thanking God.

2. Their Lot in Life‑ The greatest of Christianity is that it makes us part of the Body of Christ‑ and EVERY MEMBER is important. We need singers, children’s workers, painters, gardeners, carpenters, as well as teachers and secretaries and piano players, etc. to help develop the work of God here.

II. THE THANKFUL TRUTHS

A) Joy does not come from Abundance: Prov 15:16 Better is a little with fear of the lord than great treasure and trouble therewith.

B) The sign of being Spirit filled is a song in your heart and Praise on your lips: Eph 5:20 Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;

C) Lack of Thankfulness begins the downward spiral to depravity. Rom 1:21 Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.

God is not looking for your “Sacrifice”; He wants your Loving Thanks Prov 15:8 The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the Lord: but the prayer of the upright is his delight.

Has Thanks been crowded out of your heart by the circumstances of life. Jesus came to give life and that abundant Life. Do you need to bow at the feet of Jesus and acknowledge what He’s done for you?

Have you ever publicly proclaimed Him as Saviour?

Have you ever Praised Him for a Special Work in your life?

Are you one of the “Nine” that’s healed but not helped? Or are you a Thankful Joyful Christian??

THANK GOD FOR WHAT HE DOES NOT DO

There are “Standout Moments” in everyone’s life. One of these moments happened to me when I was a young boy helping put tin on a new shed Dad was building. Dad ran out of nails and sent me down to get some. As I was returning up the ladder the piece of tin Dad was about to nail slipped and when I stuck my head up over the eve the tin was bearing down on me. I “bobbed” right back down and the tin rubbed the top of my head at it went by. Had I been a half second slower in ducking my head I would have been killed or seriously cut by the tin. That’s one time I Thank God for some things that did not happen to me!!

An “Anonymous” writer pinned a poem that described similar feelings

We thank you, Father, for the Care that did not come to try us,

The burden that we did not bear, the trouble that passed by us,

The task we did not fail to do, The hurts we did not cherish,

The friend who did not prove untrue, The Joy that did not perish.

We thank You for the dart unsped, the bitter word unspoken,

The Grave unmade, the tear unshed, the heart-tie still unbroken

During the Thanksgiving Season we generally praise God for what He HAS done for us. Today I want to look at the other side of the coin and see some of things God DOES NOT DO for us and see why we should be Thankful for those things.

I. I Thank God He DOES NOT LOVE ME LESS When My Circumstances Change. Rom 8:35-39 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

    1. Develop the Proper Attitude toward Problems- Matthew Henry wrote in his diary one day after being robbed, “Let me be thankful first because I was never robbed before; second, although they took my wallet, they did not take my life; third, because, although they took my all, it was not much; and fourth, because it was I who was robbed, not I who robbed.” This is the kind of attitude that Thanksgiving is all about; Thanksgiving comes not from what you have in your pocket but from what you have in your Heart!
    2. Develop the Proper Perspective of our Situation- I thank God at Thanksgiving I’m not a Turkey!! We develop “TUNNEL VISION” instead of TRUSTFUL VISION and see only the Problem instead of our Part in the Plan of God. This brings about Doubt, Despair, and Discouragement instead of Prayer, Praise, and Participation.

I believe that God HAS the answer and God IS the Answer to every problem I have. He may not lessen the pain, or even change the problem, but I can always come back to the focal point of His Love for me and find strength to endure and guidance to prevail. I THANK GOD HE DOES NOT CHANGE EVEN IF CIRCUMSTANCES DO.

 

II. I Thank God He DOES NOT GIVE US THE SPIRIT OF FEAR–II Timothy 1:7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

A) I do not fear LOSING MY SALVATION- I am in the Hand of God (Jn 10:28) and, although I can Walk out on my own, there is no power in Heaven or Earth that can force me out. God attempts to correct my mistakes and He chastens my sins; but my Salvation standing with Him rests, not in my ability or lack thereof, but in the sinless sacrifice of Christ.

B) I do not fear TO SERVE GOD- The “One Talented” man in Matt 25 said he was afraid so he went and hid his talent. Many Christians today are doing the same thing. They seem to fear criticism for Doing something above Condemnation for not using their ability!! The body of Christ today is “crippled” by people more concerned with Pride than Performance. I’d rather make a mistake for God than be Perfect for the devil!!.

III. I Thank God He DOES NOT DEAL WITH ME ACCORDING TO MY SINS-Psalms 103:10 He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities.

A. Dealt with Jesus instead.- Isaiah 53:5-6 But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.

B. An Act of Pure Grace- Eph 2:8,7 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God. That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.

If God would have given me Justice Hell would have been my home. I thank God for His Grace and His Mercy. If God would have saved me and made me an abject slave I still would have needed to Praise Him every day; But God not only saved me, He made me a Child of God with an inheritance in Heaven. Praise the Lord!

IV. I Thank God He DOES NOT APPOINT US TO WRATH–I Thessalonians 5:9 For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ,

The Wrath spoken of here is the Wrath of God that will come upon a Christ rejecting world during the Tribulation. God will “Snatch us” (Rapture) away from this coming destruction. When I read in Revelation about giant Hail stones, water turning to blood, men seeking death and not finding it, and all the other tribulation that will come on a Christ rejecting world I’m more thankful than ever that I’m sheltered in the “ROCK” Jesus.

I’m Thankful (1) God’s Love Doesn’t Change, (2) God has not given me the spirit of fear, (3) God has not dealt with me as my sins deserved, and (4) God has promised I wouldn’t be partaker of the wrath to come. No wonder I enjoy Thanksgiving so much!

How about YOU?? Do you Fear Life because you have rejected His Lordship and Leadership in order to live like you want. Do you fear Death because you have rejected the Salvation given in His Son and as a result are Troubled instead of Thankful?? God’s “Thanksgiving Feast” is ready. He’s waiting on you to accept His invitation.

THANKSGIVING QUIZ

You have probably heard the prayer, “Lord, you have given so much to us, please give us one thing more‑a grateful heart.” Surely thanksgiving should be a major part of the Christian life (In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you 1 Thessalonians 5:18).

Even beaten and in Jail you should still give Praise to God (At midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them Acts 16:25). With that in mind, can you identify these people who are giving thanks?

1. He gave thanks he was not like other men.

2. He took a cup and gave thanks.

3. He was healed and returned to Jesus to give thanks.

4. He knelt and gave thanks three times a day.

5. He gave thanks to God for His “inexpressible gift.”

6. He thanked God for the gifts to build the temple.

7. He thanked God that God’s truth was revealed to babes.

8. She gave thanks when she saw the infant Jesus.

9. They sang thanks to God when the temple foundation was laid.

10. He thanked God from the strangest of all places.

Answers

1. the Pharisee, Luke 18:11

2. Jesus, Luke 22:17

3. A Samaritan leper, Luke 17:12‑16

4. Daniel 6:10

5. Paul, 2 Corinthians 9:15

6. David, I Chronicles 29:9‑13

7. Jesus. Matthew 11:25

8. Anna. Luke 2:36, 38

9. Priests and Levites, Ezra 3:10,11

10. Jonah 2:1, 9

THANKERS WHO THANKED

Someone once prayed, “Lord, you have given so much to us, give us one more thing- a grateful heart.” Can you identify these people who gave Thanks to God (Even if sometimes it was for the wrong reason!)

1. He gave thanks that he was not like other men.

2. He took a cup and gave thanks for his coming death.

3. He was healed and returned to Jesus to give thanks.

4. He knelt and gave thanks three times a day.

5. He gave thanks to God for a blessing so great it was an “unspeakable gift.”

6. He thanked God for supplying the material necessary to build the temple.

7. He thanked God that God’s truth was revealed to babes.

8. He gave thanks when he saw the infant Jesus, knowing it may mean his coming death.

9. They sang thanks to God when the temple foundation was laid.

10. He thanked God from the “belly of hell”.

Answers

1. The Pharisee, Luke 18:11 [Wrong Thanks]

2. Jesus, Luke 22:17 [Trust Thanks]

3. a Samaritan leper, Luke 17:12 16 [Personal Thanks]

4 Daniel 6:10 [Regular Thanks]

5. Paul, 2 Corinthians 9:15 [Inexpressible Thanks]

6 David, I Chronicles 29:9 13 [Supply Thanks]

7. Jesus. Matthew 11:25 [Wisdom Thanks]

8. Simeon (and Anna). Luke 2:25-38 [Life Thanks]

9. Priests and Levites, Ezra 3:10, 11 [Worship Thanks]

10. Jonah 2:1, 9 [Salvation Thanks]

FUTURE BLESSINGS

Thank God for what He has done. Thank God for what He is doing. And Thank God for what He is going to do- The Best is yet to be.

  1. Thank God for Future PROSPERITY- Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper. The ungodly are not so: but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away. Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous. For the LORD knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish. (Psalms 1:1-6).
    Bill Gold, a writer for the “Washington Post”, said, “I think that one of the things I’m most grateful for on Thanksgiving Day is that, when the Lord was deciding who would need help at this season and who would be in a position to give help, He permitted me to be among those who can give.” Itis not what is in your pocket that makes you Thankful, but what is in your heart.
  2. Thank God for Future PLANS- For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you. And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart. (Jeremiah 29:11-13).
  3. Thank God for Future PARDON- And I will cleanse them from all their iniquity, whereby they have sinned against me; and I will pardon all their iniquities, whereby they have sinned, and whereby they have transgressed against me. (Jeremiah 33:8).
    He will turn again, he will have compassion upon us; he will subdue our iniquities; and thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea. (Micah 7:19).
  4. Thank God for a Future PLACE- In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. (John 14:2-3).

And all these blessings shall come on thee, and overtake thee, if thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God (Deuteronomy 28:2).

Psalm 4:3 GOD’S PET

But know that the LORD hath set apart him that is godly for himself: the LORD will hear when I call unto him. (Psa 4:3)

Isn’t this a marvelous statement? It’s almost as if the Lord has made us the “Teacher’s Pet”. Several times in scripture the Lord says Christians are His Peculiar Treasure and in doing so He tells us what His purpose for us is. [The Word “Peculiar” is found 7 times in the Bible. One of these times is about a king’s treasures (Ecc 2:8 I gathered me also silver and gold, and the peculiar treasure of kings and of the provinces: I gat me men singers and women singers, and the delights of the sons of men, as musical instruments, and that of all sorts) but the remaining 6 times are about God choosing us as His “Peculiar People”].

1) God’s Pets are chosen by God: For the LORD hath chosen Jacob unto himself, and Israel for his peculiar treasure. (Ps 135:4).

2) God’s Pets are Examples for God: For thou art an holy people unto the LORD thy God, and the LORD hath chosen thee to be a peculiar people unto himself, above all the nations that are upon the earth. (De 14:2).

3) God’s Pets like to work for God: Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works (Titus 2:14).

4) God’s Pets are obedient to God: De 26:18 And the LORD hath avouched thee this day to be his peculiar people, as he hath promised thee, and that thou shouldest keep all his commandments; If God is always right (and He is) then He is to always be obeyed. A sinner is simply someone who is not living his live in conformity to what God wants. God’s part of the covenant is to give the orders; my part is to obey them!!

How can I learn obedience?? Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered; (Heb 5:8) (Remember that God is refining you into a TREASURE; He can’t allow weaknesses to remain.)

5) God’s Pets Bring Praise to God: But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should show forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light: (1 Pet 2:9)

A) Where we are to show His Praises:

1) In Society: A Chosen generation

2) In “Religion”- a royal priesthood

3) In the World- an holy nation

4) Individually- a peculiar people

B) Why we are to show His Praises: He has called us out of darkness into his marvelous light.

6) God’s Pets have a special relationship with God: Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine: (Exo 19:5).

What are the results of being God’s Peculiar People Pet?? Answered Prayer- But know that the LORD hath set apart him that is godly for himself: the LORD will hear when I call unto him. (Psa 4:3)

Deu 26:11 REJOICE IN EVERY GOOD THING

And thou shalt rejoice in every good thing which the LORD thy God hath given unto thee, and unto thine house, thou, and the Levite, and the stranger that is among you. (Deu 26:11)

THE RULE OF REJOICING: In EVERY GOOD Thing which the LORD HAS GIVEN YOU. And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose (Rom 8:28).

To Rejoice when you are outside of the will and work of God is crazy! This does not say all things work together for good for those who are away from God. How can we KNOW it will be good for a Christian? (1) Personal Experience (2) God’s Character

Suffering in the Will and Work of God is Great but You do not have to Rejoice when Bad People do Bad Things to you outside of God’s Plan and Purpose.

THE RESULTS OF REJOICING

1. God Enjoys our Rejoicing- But thou art holy, O thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel. (Psa 22:3)

2. A Witness is Given- And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them. (Acts 16:25)

3. Rejoicing helps our Health‑ Prov 17:22 A merry heart doeth good like a medicine. Everyone knows that depression and worry sap our strength and make us more likely to become ill. Rejoicing, on the other hand, gives us the energy we need to withstand the stresses of life.

4. Rejoicing helps our Looks‑ Prov 15:13 A merry heart maketh a cheerful countenance: but by sorrow of heart the spirit is broken. What a difference it makes when you have a smile on your face and joy on your lips. Even a “plain person” is suddenly transformed when the light of a smile comes bursting through. And you ladies will be glad to know that smiling develops less wrinkles on your face than frowning!

5. Rejoicing helps our attitude‑ Prov 15:15 He that is of a merry heart hath a continual feast. You know how it is. I complained about the color of my shoes until I met a man with no feet. What a difference it makes in your attitude when you learn to be thankful for what you have instead of grumbling about what you want.

So Rejoice in Every Good Thing the Lord has given you this Thanksgiving. God deserves all the thanks and honor you can give Him; and you’ll be surprised at what it does for YOU.

Psalms 78:4 GODLY REASONS TO REJOICE

I never promised you a Rose Garden, along with the sunshine there has to be a little rain sometimes. So smile for a while and let’s be jolly, life shouldn’t be so melancholy. So come along with me and enjoy life while you can. I never promised you a Rose Garden. Today I want us to “smell the Roses” with God and remember the motto I think needs to be on every refrigerator- “Everybody needs a little bit of petting every now and then”.

Most of the time Thanksgiving seems to be about what God did for US instead of about the God who did for us. Our Scripture shows we need to “Tell the Generations about God’s Goodness”.

We will not hide them from their children, shewing to the generation to come the praises of the LORD, and his strength, and his wonderful works that he hath done (Psalms 78:4).

Our Relationship with the Lord should give us REASONS TO REJOICE: [“Rejoice” in each verse]

  1. BECAUSE GOD IS STILL IN CONTROL- In a world where Morals and Money are used to destroy Culture, Country, and Christianity we can still say, Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice: and let men say among the nations, The LORD reigneth (1 Chr 16:31). God is Not Dead.
  2. BECAUSE GOD WILL TAKE CARE OF US: But let all those that put their trust in thee rejoice: let them ever shout for joy, because thou defendest them: let them also that love thy name be joyful in thee (Psa 5:11). God is on Our Side.
  3. BECAUSE GOD WILL RIGHTLY JUDGE THE WICKED: The righteous shall rejoice when he seeth the vengeance: he shall wash his feet in the blood of the wicked (Psa 58:10). We Win
  4. BECAUSE GOD HAS GIVEN US ANOTHER DAY TO ENJOY: This is the day which the LORD hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it (Psa 118:24). Find a way to enjoy your day.
  5. BECAUSE WE HAVE ACCESS TO THE WORD OF GOD: I rejoice at thy word, as one that findeth great spoil (Psa 119:162). Daily let Scripture be your Delight. Scripture is our FINAL AUTHORITY
  6. BECAUSE OF THE FAMILY GOD HAS GIVEN YOU: Let thy fountain be blessed: and rejoice with the wife of thy youth (Prov 5:18) and CHRISTIAN CHILDREN- The father of the righteous shall greatly rejoice: and he that begetteth a wise child shall have joy of him (Prov 23:24).
  7. BECAUSE YOU HAVE THE PRIVILEGE OF BEING PERSECUTED FOR RIGHTEOUSNESS SAKE: Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you (Mat 5:12). But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy (1 Pet 4:13). Never choose “Likes” over the Lord. Follow God’s Path for you, Regardless.
  8. BECAUSE CHRIST IS BEING PROCLAIMED: What then? notwithstanding, every way, whether in pretence, or in truth, Christ is preached; and I therein do rejoice, yea, and will rejoice. (Phil 1:18)
  9. BECAUSE LOST SHEEP ARE COMING HOME- And when he cometh home, he calleth together his friends and neighbours, saying unto them, Rejoice with me; for I have found my sheep which was lost (Luke 15:6). Lives are being Changed all around the world. Churches are Increasing!
  10. BECAUSE FAITH IN CHRIST BRINGS ABUNDANT LIFE- Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory (1 Pet 1:8). You should be Happy Being Holy!
  11. BECAUSE OUR NAME IS WRITTEN IN HEAVEN: Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven (Luke 10:20). The Greatest Reason to Rejoice: We will one day see Him face to face whom so long we have known heart to heart.

REASONS YOU ARE NOT REJOICING – LUKEWARM LIVING: Wilt thou not revive us again: that thy people may rejoice in thee? (Psa 85:6)

WAY TO GET BACK A REJOICING HEART- SEEK THE LORD: Glory ye in his holy name: let the heart of them rejoice that seek the LORD (1 Chr 16:10).

Joel 2:26 PLENTY OF THANKS

Bill Gold, a writer for the “Washington Post”, said, “I think that one of the things I’m most grateful for on Thanksgiving Day is that, when the Lord was deciding who would need help at this season and who would be in a position to give help, He permitted me to be among the givers.”

We want to look at the “Plenty we have to give Thanks for” today but always remember, It is not what’s in your pocket that makes you Thankful, but what is in your heart.

I. THANKFUL FOR THE PLENTY GOD GIVES IN THE MATERIAL WORLD

1. Plenty of Food: Joel 2:26 And ye shall eat in plenty, and be satisfied, and praise the name of the LORD your God, that hath dealt wondrously with you: and my people shall never be ashamed.

2. Plenty of water: PSA 68:9 Thou, O God, didst send a plentiful rain, whereby thou didst confirm thine inheritance, when it was weary.

3. Plenty of Goods: DEU 28:11 And the LORD shall make thee plenteous in goods, in the fruit of thy body, and in the fruit of thy cattle, and in the fruit of thy ground, in the land which the LORD sware unto thy fathers to give thee.

4. Plenty in production: DEU 30:9 And the LORD thy God will make thee plenteous in every work of thine hand, in the fruit of thy body, and in the fruit of thy cattle, and in the fruit of thy land, for good:

5. Plenty in Store: PRO 3:10 So shall thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy presses shall burst out with new wine.

II. THANKFUL FOR THE PLENTY GOD GIVES IN THE SPIRITUAL

1. Plenty of Mercy: PSA 103:8 The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy.

2. Plentiful Pardon: ISA 55:7 Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.

3. Plentiful Peace: PHI 4:7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

4. Plentiful Redemption: PSA 130:7 Let Israel hope in the LORD: for with the LORD there is mercy, and with him is plenteous redemption.

5. Plentiful Grace: 2CO 9:8 And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work:

6. Plenty for the Future: 1CO 2:9 But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.

THANKSGIVING THANKS

Matthew Henry wrote in his diary one day after being robbed, “Let me be thankful first because I was never robbed before; second, although they took my wallet, they did not take my life; third, because, although they took my all, it was not much; and fourth, because it was I who was robbed, not I who robbed.”

We are Thankful that Christians have Glorious Victory (1CO 15:57 But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 2CO 2:14 Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savour of his knowledge by us in every place), Astonishing Grace (2CO 4:15 For all things are for your sakes, that the abundant grace might through the thanksgiving of many redound to the glory of God), and Bountiful Blessings (2CO 9:11 Being enriched in every thing to all bountifulness, which causeth through us thanksgiving to God).

(Ever Wonder what an atheist does when he feels extremely thankful for something and can’t think who to thank for it??)

The service before Thanksgiving is usually a day of thinking of things for which to be thankful, and then naming some of them and giving reasons why we are thankful. This is not a bad idea, in fact it is a very good one. Today, however, I would like to look at Thanksgiving in a different light.

Thanksgiving is one of the Christian characteristics. A heart that is truly Godly is a heart that is truly thankful. A heart that is not thankful is not truly Godly.

We think of Thanksgiving as something that is just “American.” The day itself is American as far as the naming of it, but to read the Bible is to find “Thanksgiving” as one of the earliest established services; e.g.

LEV 7:11‑13 “And this is the law of the sacrifice of peace offerings, which he shall offer unto the LORD. If he offer it for a thanksgiving, then he shall offer with the sacrifice of thanksgiving unleavened cakes mingled with oil, and unleavened wafers anointed with oil, and cakes mingled with oil, of fine flour, fried. Besides the cakes, he shall offer for his offering leavened bread with the sacrifice of thanksgiving of his peace offerings.”

Louise Barnhill wrote:

“For the wonder of sound

and the ear to receive it…

For the presence of light

and the eye to behold it…

For the breath of a bloom

and a moment to own it…

My thanks to thee, O God!

For the song of a bird

and a dawn to distill it…

For the warmth of a smile

and the power to claim it…

For the richness of joy

and a moment to share it…

My thanks to thee, O God!

For a measure of life

and a chance to redeem it…

For the beauty of love

and a heart to esteem it…

For eternity’s wonder

and a soul to divine it…

My thanks to thee, O God!”

This was her way of expressing her thanks in an outward way.

Then note too: Thankfulness is a constant thing ‑ Everyone was thankful when the little girl was rescued from the well, but these times come rarely; to be truly thankful is to be thankful constantly, even when she is not rescued “In all things.”

What would it take to make you more thankful? Would you be more thankful if you had more? What if you had less? What if half of our congregation had died, would we be able to be thankful today?

The first “Thanksgiving” observed by the Pilgrims in Massachusetts in 1621 was born out of suffering. Many things had gone wrong. Forty‑seven of the original 102 had died. The severe winter weather had been cruel and hard. Sickness and suffering brought a lot of sadness, but they gave thanks to God. What they had lost reminded them of what they still had. Edward Winslow wrote to a friend in England, “By the goodness of God, we are far from want.” So they gathered and thanked God.

So, I say again, Thanksgiving is a constant thing.

God has so created man that thanksgiving is a blessing not only to the one whom you thank, but the one who does the thanking also receives a blessing: e.g. Dr. Norman Vincent Peale wrote of a friend of his named William Stidger ‑ he wrote: William Stidger was, in his time, one of the most distinctive and persuasive preachers in this country. He was a professor of theology and, as that usually implies, a scholar; yet he also had to a marked degree that quality known as the human touch.

At one time Bill Stidger had a nervous breakdown, during which he sat for months in abysmal gloom and mental darkness. I remember very well the description he gave me of this nervous breakdown. He said, “I cared nothing about anything. Everything was hopeless, everything was dark, everything was black, utter despondency.”

And how do you think he emerged from this? By the practice of thanksgiving. One day a friend told him that with God’s help he could bring himself out of his despondency by practicing thanksgiving. And this friend suggested the manner in which he might go about it. “Think,” he said, “of the people who have greatly benefited you in your life and ask yourself the question whether you have ever thanked them.”

“I can think of many right away, but I do not recall having ever thanked one of them.” Stidger said. “Well,” his friend suggested, “why not select one and write that person an affectionate letter of thanks?”

Stidger gave it some thought and he remembered an old school teacher, Miss Smith. He hadn’t communicated with her in years, but he began to think about her. And he remembered the gift she had of being able to inspire. She it was who had given him an appreciation of literature and made him love the great poets. (I never knew a man who could recite quite as much deeply meaningful poetry). So he sat down and wrote her a letter telling her that her influence had been a great blessing to him and that he had never forgotten her. He said that he wanted to thank her for what she had done for him.

Presently he received in reply a letter written in the shaky handwriting of an aged lady. “Dear Willy,” she wrote, addressing him by the nickname used in his boyhood, “When I read your letter I was blinded with tears, for I remember you as a boy and as I think of you now I see you as a little fellow in my class. You have warmed my old heart.” And she continued, “I taught school for fifty years. Yours is the first letter of thanks I ever received from a student, and I shall cherish it until I die.”

This brought a ray of sunshine in to Stidger’s mind and encouraged him to try another letter of appreciation and another and another, until he had written five hundred such letters! In the years that followed, whenever depression began to seize him, he would take out his copies of letters of thanks he had written to people and the happiness he had experienced in doing so would well up in his heart once again.

This is a worthwhile procedure for anyone who wishes to develop joy and satisfaction in life. If you’re a bit down and discouraged right now, why not take the occasion of Thanksgiving Day to thank God and then think of some human being to thank.

Surely there is some one that you can think of to thank; 2TH 2:13 But we are bound to give thanks always to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth.

 

I would like to end today’s sermon with this thought: For the real meaning of the word, Thanksgiving, Christians look to one Person, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Because of Him, Thanksgiving is more than a day on a calendar, or more than a day with “turkey and trimmings.” Because of Him, we cry out with praise and worship, “Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift” (II Cor. 9:15).

Thanksgiving Day owes much to the love, grace and mercy of Him who gave Himself on Calvary. He gave up heaven for earth. He gave Himself into the hands of sinful men that He might give out His unfathomable love to all. He gave Himself for us, that there might be forgiveness for sin. He gave, and gave, and gave, and finally on the Cross He cried out, “It is finished” (John

19:30).

On this day of remembrance, do you know Him personally? His has been the “giving.” Through repentance and faith in Christ’s work on the Cross, you may become Gods child and thereby be able to offer true thanks…giving. He is waiting for your word of thanks by your heartfelt confession, “God be merciful to me a sinner” (Lk.18:13).

Real Thanksgiving is to experience His salvation throughout all the days whatever be their substance or fortune. It is the person transformed by grace divine ‑ who can be truly thankful.

PSA 50:12-15 RONNIE THANKSGIVING SERMON

PSA 50:12-15 If I were hungry, I would not tell thee: for the world is mine, and the fulness thereof. Will I eat the flesh of bulls, or drink the blood of goats? Offer unto God thanksgiving; and pay thy vows unto the most High: And call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me.

Isn’t it great that we have someone to deliver us in the day of trouble? Notice the positive statement “I will deliver thee“, and then notice the result, “thou shalt glorify me“; which will be the thanksgiving offered unto God. God wants us to realize our need of thanking Him.

I. WHAT SHOULD WE BE THANKFUL FOR ?

A. Material (tangible) things: LAM 3:22-23 It is of the LORD’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.

Things we take for granted, like God owes them to us, e.g., a home to live in. But notice:

LUK 9:58 And Jesus said unto him, Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head.

And even with this, there are often complaints because someone else seems to have more. Notice how we should act: 1TI 6:8 And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.

GRACE TO DO WITHOUT

My heart rejoices in God’s will,

Tis ever best – I do not doubt;

He may not give me what I ask,

But He gives me grace to do without!

I blindly ask for what I crave

With haughty heart and will so stout;

He oft denies me what I seek,

But gives me grace to do without!

He makes me love the way He leads,

And every fear is put to rout;

But with my fondest wish denied,

He gives me grace to do without!

Oh blessed, hallowed will of God,

To it I bow with heart devout;

I will abide in all God’s will,

His way is best, I do not doubt.

He may not give me what I ask,

But He gives me grace to do without!

B. Physical (bodily) things: 3JO 1:2 Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.

It’s true that sometimes you may not feel the best, but have you stopped and thanked God that you are not in the condition that many are in; suffering extreme pain? “I felt sorry for myself because I had no shoes; and then I met a man who had no feet.”

When you are discouraged,

Don’t sit down and frown;

Just get a piece of paper

And write your blessings down!

C. Spiritual things: HEB 2:3 How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him;

Notice the blessings we have described here: a. salvation b. promised by God c. preached by redeemed

We should be thankful when we realize how we earn (merit) this salvation; we DON’T earn it: EPH 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:

Not only are we redeemed, but we also have a companion that stands by us and understands our heart’s needs: JOH 14:16 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;

The God of Heaven promised to meet with us when we meet to give Him thanks: MAT 18:20 For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them. In fact, He is always with us: MAT 28:20 …lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.

David must have had some of these truths in mind when he penned: PSA 28:7 The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song will I praise him.

II. HOW SHOULD WE GIVE OUR THANKS ?

A. Thoughts: Some of our most sincere thanks are times when we “Think Him Thanks.”

PSA 94:11 The LORD knoweth the thoughts of man…

PRO 23:7 For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he…

PHI 4:8 …whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

B. Words: This Thanksgiving, why don’t you resolve to tell someone how good your God is?

MAR 5:19 …Jesus …saith unto him, Go home to thy friends, and tell them how great things the Lord hath done for thee, and hath had compassion on thee.

ACT 1:8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.

C. Deeds

PSA 105:1 O give thanks unto the LORD; call upon his name: make known his deeds among the people.

1JO 3:17 But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him?

BECAUSE OF YOU

Is anybody happier

because you passed his way?

Does anyone remember

that you spoke to him today?

Can you say tonight, in parting

with the day that’s slipping fast,

That you helped a single brother

of the many that you passed?

Is a single heart rejoicing

over what you did or said?

Does the man whose hopes were fading

now with courage look ahead?

As you walked this day’s journey,

no matter where you went,

Did you leave a trail of kindness,

or a scar of discontent?

As you close your eyes in slumber,

Do you think that God will say,

“You have earned one more tomorrow,

By the work you did today.”

III. WHEN SHALL WE GIVE OUR THANKS ?

We should give our thanks;

a. NOW: 2CO 9:15 Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift.

PSA 95:2 Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving…

PSA 97:12 Rejoice in the LORD, ye righteous; and give thanks at the remembrance of his holiness.

PSA 100:4 Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.

b. AND FOREVER:

PHI 1:3 I thank my God upon every remembrance of you,

1TH 2:13 For this cause also thank we God without ceasing,

EPH 5:20 Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;

PSA 119:62 At midnight I will rise to give thanks unto thee because of thy righteous judgments.

PSA 30:12 …O LORD my God, I will give thanks unto thee for ever.

c. Now, in closing, the sad part about this joyous time of thanksgiving is that some will never truly “give thanks,” for you see, the only true “thanks-giving” is “thanks-living.” (Sam McCutchen’s Birthday party – “I don’t want your presents, I want your love.”)

Are you thankful for what God has done for you? Enough to give Him your heart and life?

PSA 30:12 To the end that my glory may sing praise to thee, and not be silent. O LORD my God, I will give thanks unto thee for ever.