Faithlife Sermons

Let's Give Thanks

Sermon Tone Analysis
View more →

Let’s Give Thanks

Pic of an older guy. to show while I tell the joke about the man in Westwego.
An older man living in Westwego called his daughter living in Atlanta. He proceeded to tell her that he and his wife had decided to get a divorce... even after all these years. He ha had enough - it was over.
The distraught daughter said, "Dad, you can't, you just can't. You and mom love each other... remember? Listen, don't do anything until I get there... promise?"
"OK, I promise" the man said. She hangs up the phone and calls her brother in Denver and tells him everything that's going on. "Boudreaux, You have to help me. I made dad promise that he would not do anything until we got there. You have to come with me and help me." "Ok Sis. I'll go."
Then she calls her dad and says, "Dad, we are coming there tomorrow to help you and mom work out your problems. Promise me you won't do anything until we get there. OK?" "OK"
The older man hangs up the phone, turns to his wife and says, "Well, the kids are coming for Thanksgiving, and we don't have to pay to get them here."
How many of you think that Strategy might work on your kids....?

Thanksgiving is This Thursday

Pic of a Thanksgiving meal or something.
This is a time when families come together, take time away from work and school to celebrate and give thanks to the Lord. This was always my favorite because all of my mom's family would get together. That meant all of my cousins and all the aunts... everybody. It was fun. At Christmas, each family celebrated that together.
Pic of a big family at thanksgiving
Thanksgiving also means getting up in the middle of the night to put a cold turkey into the oven. Then you go back to bed and try to sleep before you have to get up and cook 25 different dishes to go along with the turkey.
On the TV, the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade is playing while you prepare. You hear the different High School Bands, all playing similar songs, marching down the street. You see all the Balloons tethered to the floats. There are thousands lined up along the parade route including my nephew and necie in law.
Then, everyone gathers around the table and the meal begins. Plates and bowls are taken while everyone tries to figure out how much they can get on their plate at one time. Sometimes, we put layers on the late and work our way down.
Then everyone digs in and it gets quite. What took 1/2 a day to prepare is consumed in minutes. Finally the eating ends as everyone loosens their belts to keep them from breaking. You think that you cannot eat another bite until the desserts come out. Pumpkin pie, Pecan Pie, etc. wow. Everyone eats some of each of the desserts ... it's thanksgiving and we all expect to gain a few pounds that day right?
Pic of a pile of dirty dishes
Then the dirty dishes are assembled in the kitchen which begins to look like a war zone. After the dishes are all done and the refrigerator is stuffed past capacity, everyone stretches out and watches Thanksgiving Football. Many of us don't see much of the games because naps are a serious part of the Thanksgiving afternoon.
Everyone is so full that we promise not to eat until next year some time. That promise is broken at some point between games and naps as we all grab a turkey sandwich, another bowl of gumbo or more pie. After the next game or movie and another round of naps, someone will say, "What's for dinner?" and all of the leftovers come out of the refrigerator for round 2.
One again, we eat and then sit down to watch the Dallas Cowboys beat someone. After that game, we grab another round of dessert.
Next we sit around and begin planning out the Black Friday shopping strategy.
At some point, we begin helping our company realize it's time to leave and we go to bed.
That's kind of what Thanksgiving has mutated to in our culture today.

Originally, Thanksgiving was Designed to Give Thanks to God.

Pic of the Pilgrims
The most familiar story is that of the Pilgrims back in 1621 in present day Massachusetts where they settled and gave thanks to ALMIGHTY GOD. Many of those early settlers died trying to make a new life for themselves so to set aside a day to give thanks to the Lord was done with an honest and sincere heart.
Pic of Abe Lincoln
Over 200 years later, Abraham Lincoln declared the last Thursday of every November to be set aside as a National Day of giving Thanks. In 1941, Congress made Thanksgiving a national holiday. The first time a professional football game was broadcast on Thanksgiving was in 1934 on the NBC radio network. the Detroit Lions played the Chicago Bears.

The Pilgrims didn't have much, but they possessed a great gratitude towards God and it was upon that TRUST and THANKFULNESS of God that America was built.

Psalm 103:1–5 NLT
Let all that I am praise the LORD; with my whole heart, I will praise his holy name. Let all that I am praise the LORD; may I never forget the good things he does for me. He forgives all my sins and heals all my diseases. He redeems me from death and crowns me with love and tender mercies. He fills my life with good things. My youth is renewed like the eagle’s!
Maybe you never thought of this, but serving the Lord has benefits. I want to share with you 6 Benefits we can all give thanks for this Thanksgiving Season.

Things to be Thankful For

1. We are thankful for GOD’S FORGIVENESS

Psalm 103:3 NLT
He forgives all my sins and heals all my diseases.

God forgives ALL of our sins.

Not just a few, but all. It doesn't matter how big or how small. He forgives them all. Listen, if it were not for His forgiveness, I would not be here today... many of you would not either. His forgiveness cleanses us form our sins and changes our hearts.
1 Timothy 1:16 NLT
But God had mercy on me so that Christ Jesus could use me as a prime example of his great patience with even the worst sinners. Then others will realize that they, too, can believe in him and receive eternal life.
Paul saw himself as the worst of the worst when it came to sinners.

Nothing you have done or are now doing disqualifies you from receiving God's forgiveness.

Paul says God has GREAT PATIENCE.
How many of you are glad that God had enough patience to forgive you?
What sin has Troubled you for years?
God has enough patience to forgive you just like He did Paul... You might think that you have committed too many sins. Paul committed many sins. He was persecuting and murdering Christians before his conversion. God took a guy like that and transformed his life and made him perhaps the greatest apostle ... all because He loved Paul and had great patience towards him.
God has Great Patience Towards Each of You Today
All you have to do is to ask Jesus for forgiveness. No sin is too tough, too big or too small to be forgiven. No situation is too hopeless... Listen, do you want to be set free?
It's up to you. He will forgive ALL. All you have to do it take the first step.

2. We are Thankful for His HEALING POWER

Psalm 103:3 NLT
He forgives all my sins and heals all my diseases.
He heals all of our diseases. Nothing is too tough for God. No disease He can't heal. There are no cancers, no AIDS, nothing your are born with that He cannot heal... NOTHING is too tough for His power.
The girl in SA that had AIDs who we prayed for and was healed.
I am thankful that we serve a God is is NOT powerless against any disease, illness, deformity, emotional issues or pain... He has power over them all.

3. We are thankful because He Redeems our life from Death

Psalm 103:4 NLT
He redeems me from death and crowns me with love and tender mercies.
What's the pit you are stuck in?
He reaches down and pulls us up above the things we cannot conquer in our lives on our own. He redeems us from a life of despair and depression and lostness. Many people felt hopeless before turning to Jesus and that's why suicide is so prevalent in our society.

Jesus Redeems Our lives from the things that lead to death

Have you had a time in your life where you felt like you had a black cloud of despair is following you around? God can reach down and bring you deliverance and freedom... and for that we can be thankful.

4. We are Thankful Because He Crowns Us with LOVE & COMPASSION

Psalm 103:4 NLT
He redeems me from death and crowns me with love and tender mercies.
He buys us back from death and gives us eternal and abundant life. Here is what waits on us in heaven.
2 Timothy 4:8 NLT
And now the prize awaits me—the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give me on the day of his return. And the prize is not just for me but for all who eagerly look forward to his appearing.
Paul was probably referring to the Laurel wreath the winners in the Roman Athletic games received when he wrote this. It was a symbol of triumph and honor. It could represent the righteousness itself one receives in heaven because there is no more sin, or that is was a reward for righteous living... (what most believe).
God has rewards in heaven waiting on us.
James 1:12 NLT
God blesses those who patiently endure testing and temptation. Afterward they will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.
When we stand through he trials and the test, we are Blessed. We will be rewarded for this both here and in heaven.
1 Peter 5:4 NLT
And when the Great Shepherd appears, you will receive a crown of never-ending glory and honor.
We will receive these crowns or rewards when we see Jesus. But,

God wants each of us to wear the crown of LOVE & COMPASSION

The Lord wants each of us to wear that crown of love and compassion. It's because of the love and compassion of Jesus that we have love and compassion for others. The Lord places in us the ability to love the unlovable.

While other people in our world seek the crown of success, riches, or power; we will receive a much more valuable crown.

5. We are Thankful because He Satisfies Our Desires with Good Things.

I believe that God desires to bring good things into our lives. Too often people see God as a sort of "KILLJOY" of anything fun or of achieving success in our careers, etc.
Psalm 103:5 NLT
He fills my life with good things. My youth is renewed like the eagle’s!
Our passage says He fills our life with good things. He even keeps our youthful energy going like the eagle.

When we are tempted to participate in sin, it's because we forget God has better things for us.

We believe that whatever the sin, the short term pleasure, would be better than the whatever God has in store for us.
Sin brings us nothing but Misery.
Psalm 16:11 NLT
You will show me the way of life, granting me the joy of your presence and the pleasures of living with you forever.
Nehemiah 8:10 NLT
And Nehemiah continued, “Go and celebrate with a feast of rich foods and sweet drinks, and share gifts of food with people who have nothing prepared. This is a sacred day before our Lord. Don’t be dejected and sad, for the joy of the LORD is your strength!”

We get our joy from the Lord and from doing our best to live according to what He wants in our lives.

God has good things in store for each of us, not bad things - good things. When you come to know the Lord and study His character in the scriptures, you will come to know that He only wants good things in your lives. He wants to fill you with Love, Joy, Peace, Patience...
Psalm 103:5 NLT
He fills my life with good things. My youth is renewed like the eagle’s!
He renews our life. Al through history people have tried to find "the fountain of youth." It's a magic pool of water that you can enter or drink and you become younger if you are older or remain young if you are young.
Ponce Deleon Springs - supposed to be a fountain of youth... as legend had it. I jumped in and it made you young because the water was so cold you almost jumped right back out.
No one wants to get old... we all want to stay young. Listen to me, Jesus is the only answer to staying young. He is the one who renews your youth... The outside might age, it will age, but the inside is renewed and you can be like a child in his presence.
The Lord is no respecter of persons. His FAVOR applies to all who call upon him.

During this Thanksgiving Season, lets be thankful for all of his blessings, but let's also be thankful for:

His Forgiveness

His Healing Power

His Redeeming Us from death

His Crowning Us with Love & Compassion

His Satisfying us with Good Things

His Renewing our Life.

Altar time
Related Media
Related Sermons