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Thanksgiving 2014

1 Thessalonians 5:16–18 (NKJV)  16 Rejoice always,   17 pray without ceasing,   18 in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

Washington’s Proclamation about Thanksgiving

WHEREAS, It is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor;

WHEREAS, Both the houses of Congress have, by their joint committee, requested me “to recommend to the people of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer, to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness”!

Now, therefore, I do recommend next, to be devoted by the people of the states to the service of that great and glorious Being, who is the beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be, that we may then all unite in rendering unto Him our sincere and humble thanks for His kind care and protection of the people of this country.    —George Washington

SHALLOW: Thankful for Getting What We Want.

If we don’t move beyond this level, we are in danger of developing:  Entitlement Mentality, Forgetful Spirit, A Discontented Heart

DEEPER: Thankful for Getting What We Don’t Want. 1 Thessalonians 5:16–18

  • Thankfulness Is All Inclusive: “in everything.”
  • Thankfulness Is a Command: “give thanks.”
  • Thankfulness Is God’s Will for Us: “this is the will of God.”
  • Thankfulness Through Our Connection with Christ:
    • We can be thankful when we think about the grace of Jesus.
    • We can be thankful when we see Jesus using our circumstances to further the gospel and glorify Him.
    • We can be thankful when we remember we get to live for Jesus.
    • We can be thankful when we remember that Jesus never leaves us or forsakes us.
    • We can be thankful that Jesus has already won the battle.
    • We can be thankful that our hope and faith are in Christ and not in our religious works or human effort.
    • We can be thankful when we realize of our future destination is a home that Jesus is even now preparing for us.
    • We can be thankful when we think about spending eternity with Jesus.
    • We can be thankful knowing that we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us.

DEEPEST: Gratefulness for Not Getting
What We Deserve.

The idea behind giving thanks in the New Testament is extreme gratitude that God has given us incredible blessings that we don’t deserve.

Matt 5:3 tells us where we were at, and that unable and undeserving, Jesus rescues us (I mention this verse often because it is the basis of our need for a Savior…)

“Poor in spirit” is humility; true humility that is produced from a correct understanding of our predicament and need; a person who rightly understands his dilemma and understands his need for help or rescuing

More Biblical Reasons for Being Thankful

  1. Thanks for Answered Prayer 2 Corinthians 1:11
  2. Thanks for Christian Service 1 Timothy 1:
  3. Thanks for Christian Concern for Others 2 Cor 8:16
  4. Thanks for Christian Giving 2 Corinthians 9:11
  5. Thanks for Civil Authorities 1 Timothy 2:1
  6. Thanks for Converts 1 Thessalonians 2:13
  7. Thanks for Faith and Love Romans 1:8
  8. Thanks for Food Acts 27:35
  9. Thanks for the Goodness of God Psalm 118:
  10. Thanks for Grace in Christ 2 Cor 9:14–15
  11. Thanks for the Power & Reign of God Rev 11:16
  12. Thanks for Rescue from Sin Romans 7:24
  13. Thanks for the Triumph of the Gospel 2 Cor 2:14
  14. Thanks for Victory over Sin and Death 1 Cor 15:56

The Thankful Life

What does a thankful life look like?

Expressing Thanks Is Habit

  1. It’s a good habit. We do it automatically.
  2. We need to form good habits and keep them.
  3. It is no sin to be in the habit of thanking people for the things they do for us.
  4. It is no sin to be in the habit of thanking God at every meal.
  5. Thanksgiving is habit, but it is more than habit…

Expressing Thanks Is Courtesy

  1. We expect it of others and they expect it of us.
  2. That is a valid expectation. It is etiquette. It is good manners.
  3. God expects us to be thankful. Surely He has a right to expect us to extend to Him the same courtesy we commonly extend to people.
  4. To fail to thank God would be rude and thoughtless.
  5. Thanksgiving is courtesy, but it is more than courtesy…

Expressing Thanks Is Worship

  1. It was an integral part of Old Testament worship. The Old Testament is filled with examples of personal thanksgiving and of corporate thanksgiving.
  2. The New Testament is also filled with examples. We can find them in the life of Jesus, in the life of the apostle Paul, and in the life of the church.
  3. Our own contemporary worship experiences highlight thanksgiving. It is in our songs, in our public prayers, in our sermons and in our meditations.
  4. Thanksgiving is worship, but it is more than worship…

Expressing Thanks Is Faith

  1. It is believing that past blessings came from God.
  2. It is believing that present blessings come from God.
  3. It is believing that future blessings will come from God.
  4. Thanksgiving is faith, but it is more than faith…

Expressing Thanks Is Love

  1. Love means we never take our gifts for granted.
  2. Love means we never take the Giver for granted.
  3. Love should be expressed in words.
  4. Love should be expressed in deeds.

Conclusion

  • A thankful heart is essential for true spiritual service.
  • If you are trying to serve the Lord without thankfulness for what He’s done for you, then you are serving in the flesh with improper motives.
  • One who is thankful realizes that God has a cause for everything that happens.
  • One who serves without a focus on God will not find very many things to be thankful for in his life because he is not grateful for the things God has already done for him.

 

1 Thessalonians 5:16–18 (NKJV)  16 Rejoice always,   17 pray without ceasing,   18 in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.