Faithlife Sermons

A Thanksgiving Sermon / Un Sermón de Acción de Gracias

Sermon  •  Submitted
0 ratings
· 6 views
Notes & Transcripts

Introduction

1 Thes
1 Tesalonicenses 5.18 NIV
give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
1 Tesalonicenses 5.18 NVI
den gracias a Dios en toda situación, porque esta es su voluntad para ustedes en Cristo Jesús.
Thursday of this week if Thanksgiving. It comes every year. For many of us, it comes too soon. All of a sudden the end of the year is upon us.
Thanksgiving is known in the United States as a “holiday”. The origin of that word is a day that was set apart for a special purpose. It is a day that was considered “holy” which simply means set apart.
The original Thanksgiving proclamation by William Bradford in 1623 declared Thursday November 29th as a day for giving God thanks for the abundant harvest, protection from the Native Americans, and protection from disease.
But as all other holidays it has been overtaken by commercialism to the point that many people do not realize its Christian origin. The purpose of Thanksgiving is limited to: eating, feasting, drinking, and the all well known Black Friday deals.
As Christians we gather on the Lord’s Day to consider what it means to give God thanks. We will consider Paul’s words to the Thessalonians under three headings:
God’s command / El mandamiento de Dios:
We must give thanks in all circumstances / Debemos dar gracias en toda situación
Why? / ¿Por qué?
Giving thanks is God’s will / Dar gracias es la voluntad de Dios
How? / ¿Cómo?
In Christ Jesus / En Cristo Jesús

I. God’s command: We must give thanks in all circumstances

I. El mandamiento de Dios: Debemos dar gracias en toda situación

Paul is coming to the end of his first letter to the Thessalonians. He is giving them some final instructions under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit of God.
In v. 16 he calls the people of God to “Rejoice always”.
In v. 17 he calls them to a life of continuous prayer.
Finally, in v. 18 he calls them to “give thanks in all circumstances”.
We must not see these words as a mere suggestion or recommendation.
This is an imperative. This is a commandment from God himself.
Just as we are told to rejoice and pray, we are now commanded to “give thanks”.
Under normal circumstances we would not be commanded to rejoice. It is normal for people to be happy. Rather, it would be unusual for a person to be unhappy, depressed, upset.
We would normally go to such a person and tell them to cheer up, to be joyful, to smile.
In the same way, Paul is inspired by the Holy Spirit to call the Thessalonians to a renewed joy, to pray continuously and to give thanks because they may have:
Sunk into despair and sadness.
Lacked the motivation to pray as they may have been overwhelmed by their hardships and difficulties.
Stopped expressing thankfulness to God as they were preoccupied with the uncertainties and difficulties of daily life. In fact in we read about the their suffering and persecution.
1 Tesalonicenses 2.14 NIV
For you, brothers and sisters, became imitators of God’s churches in Judea, which are in Christ Jesus: You suffered from your own people the same things those churches suffered from the Jews
1 Tesalonicenses 2.14 NVI
Ustedes, hermanos, siguieron el ejemplo de las iglesias de Dios en Cristo Jesús que están en Judea, ya que sufrieron a manos de sus compatriotas lo mismo que sufrieron aquellas iglesias a manos de los judíos.
Some of them were actually grieving recent deaths of loved ones.
1 Tesalonicenses 4.13 NIV
Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope.
1 Tesalonicenses 4.13 NVI
Hermanos, no queremos que ignoren lo que va a pasar con los que ya han muerto, para que no se entristezcan como esos otros que no tienen esperanza.
They were human, just as we, and were being overwhelmed by their circumstances.
Nevertheless, the Apostle Paul calls the people of God to “give thanks in all circumstances”.
This does not mean give God thanks for everything. We are not being commanded by God to give thanks for loosing a loved one, for loosing a job, for receiving a diagnosis of a terminal disease.
We are called to give thanks “in the midst” of any circumstance.
We naturally have a thankful heart in the midst of abundance and prosperity. It is good and right to give thanks to God for all the good things that we receive. There are many good things that God has given his people: life, family, income, health, technology, medicine, religious freedom, a spouse, etc.
It is much more difficult to give thanks to God in difficult circumstances. Difficult circumstances are known for the absence of joy, comfort, prosperity, and health. Difficult circumstances include: sickness, death, tragedy, poverty, etc. These are what our Puritan forefathers called “difficult providences”.
We will all face a difficult providence sooner or later. It is not a matter of “if we will face a difficult providence” but rather “when”.
We will all face the death of a loved one.
We will all face illness.
We will all experience some sort of difficulty as we journey throughout this life.
For this reason, we are being prepared this morning to be ready for when that difficult providence strikes our home/life/family. We are being prepared that even in the midst of that difficult circumstance we will be able to “give thanks” to God.
God has called us out of darkness into life. God has saved our sinful hearts of stone and renewed them to be full of thanksgiving to God no matter the circumstances we may face.

II. Why? Because giving thanks is God’s will!

II. ¿Por qué? ¡Porque dar gracias a Dios es la voluntad de Dios?

We have already mentioned many reasons why we should thank God. But, in this case, Paul gives us a pretty compelling reason! Allow me to illustrate:
We have already mentioned many reasons why we could thank God. But, in this case, Paul gives us a pretty clear reason! Let me illustrate
Giving thanks is God’s will / Dar gracias es la voluntad de Dios
En cierta ocasión un profesor dijo: Por qué debemos evangelizar, si Dios quién es soberano sabe quienes han de ser salvos. Algunos alumnos respondieron:
On one occasion a professor asked his students: Why should we evangelize if God who is sovereign knows who will be saved. Some students replied:
Porque es por medio del evangelio que los hombres conocen la salvación.
Because it is through the gospel that men understand God’s offer of salvation.
Porque el evangelio es el poder de Dios para salvación.
Porque es mediante el evangelismo que los hombres conocen su estado de perdición.
Because the gospel is the power of God for salvation.
Cuando…al final un alumno timidamente levantó la mano y dijo: Profesor...
Because it is through evangelism that men come to understand their sinful state.
When…finally a very timid student raised his hand and said: Because God has commanded us? The professor said: Exactly! And could there be a more compelling reason? It is the creator of the universe who has commanded his people to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
In the same way, the creator of the universe has commanded us to give thanks in all circumstances. It is God’s perfect will for us.
God’s will is perfect. His will is good. All that God wills for his people is for our own good and benefit.
If we are to walk in God’s will, we must be a thankful people.
God’s people live to please not themselves but rather we live to please God. We live to worship his holy name. We live to do his will. For this reason, we are called to obey his will and express our gratitude in the midst of any circumstance we might find ourselves.

III. How? In Christ Jesus!

III. ¿Cómo? ¡En Cristo Jesús!

/¿Cómo?

As we have seen, there are circumstances in life that make it difficult to have an attitude of thanksgiving.
Giving thanks is God’s will / Dar gracias es la voluntad de Dios
It is natural that when we find ourselves in difficult circumstances we are unable to muster the courage to express a word of gratitud and praise to God.
How? / ¿Cómo?
After all, we are human. We are fallible human beings who hurt, who are prone to wander.
In Christ Jesus / En Cristo Jesús
But praise be to God we have not been left to our own devices. We are children of God. It is for this reason that the Apostle Paul explains how it is possible for us to “give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you”…we can do this because of only one reason: it is possible for us to do God’s will as long as we are in Christ Jesus.
Because we are in Christ we are a new creation.
Because we are in Christ we have been born from above.
Because we are in Christ we understand that all the suffering and hurt we can experience in this world - nowhere compares to the incomparable glory and blessing we will have in eternity.
Romanos 8.18 NIV
I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.
Romanos 8.18 NVI
De hecho, considero que en nada se comparan los sufrimientos actuales con la gloria que habrá de revelarse en nosotros.
Because we are in Christ Jesus, and we are indwelt by the Holy Spirit of God we have a supernatural joy that overflows. Our thanksgiving, our joy, our gratitude, our praise to God finds its source in a supernatural being.
There is no human explanation behind a believer’s joy.
There is no rational explanation for a believer’s joy in difficult circumstances.
The only explanation is God.
Helen Keller is quoted as writing:
“For three things I thank God every day of my life: thanks that he has vouchsafed me knowledge of his works; deep thanks that he has set in my darkness the lamp of faith; deep, deepest thanks that I have another life to look forward to—a life joyous with light and flowers and heavenly song.” Helen Keller
“Hay tres cosas por las cuales le doy gracias a Dios todos los días de mi vida: gracias porque él me ha concedido conocer sus obras; profundo agradecimiento de que ha colocado en mi oscuridad la lámpara de la fe; y un agradecimiento aún más profundo de que tengo una vida a la cual anhelo con ansias—una vida llena de gozo con luz, flores y cánticos celestiales.” Helen Keller
“Hay tres cosas por las cuales le doy gracias a Dios todos los días de mi vida: gracias porque él me ha concedido conocer sus obras; profundo agradecimiento de que ha colocado en mi oscuridad la lámpara de la fe; y un agradecimiento aún más profundo de que tengo una vida a la cual anhelo con ansias —una vida llena de gozo con luz, flores y cánticos celestiales.” Helen Keller
Related Media
Related Sermons