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Give Thanks

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Introduction

We are here today and it is the Sunday before Thanksgiving.
What is it....? what is thanksgiving...
It is a day that was set aside for to express our gratitude for God and his blessings, it wasn’t is hundreds of years after that Plymouth colony celebration that it became an official day.
But during the existence of this country many have called for us to stop and give thanks, from George Washington to Franklin Roosevelt, we have been reminded that God has gone much in our land and we are in-debited to God for all his blessings.
Do you view thanksgiving that way?
This week will be a busy one, much will be required of you to get everything in place.
You will watch parades, you will feast and watch ball games, and some will even plan a strategy for their Black Friday madness..
But will you stop and reflect, will you stop and give thanks for all that God has done in you, in your family and in those lives connected to you.....?
I hope you will....
Why?
Because I am reminded that we are nothing without God.
We have nothing, we are nothing and without him there would be no hope at all… so the way I see it… All that we are and have is because of God.
Our words can never express all that is is due Him, our God.
But at least we should do our best to give him praise.
So lets consider that thought this morning...
Give thanks.....
So I am going to build topic of “Thanksgiving” off of several passages so let me begin to share these with you as we walk through this message.

1. Let Your Life Be Shaped by Thankfulness....

Here is a great little thought, which type of person are you; are you a glass half empty type of person or are you a glass half full?
There are both here today, some people think one way and others another and honestly how you think shapes your perspective on life.
One leaves you down-hearted and burdened and the other leaves you hopeful.
And I think God would rather our approach to life be like a glass half full rather than one half empty...
Let me begin by sharing this passage with you.
1 Thessalonians 5:18 ESV
give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
1 Thessalonians 5:17 ESV
pray without ceasing,
1 Thessalonians 5:16 ESV
Rejoice always,
I thn 5;17
1 Thessalonians 5:19 ESV
Do not quench the Spirit.
Think about what is being said here in this passage for a minute.
Paul says, “give thanks in all circumstances...”
Think about that for a minute.... in every circumstance, Paul says we should give thanks.
Now that will make you stop for a minute and say… But God, really? I have gone through this, or that this year… I’m hurting, I’m sad and I do not know what to do…
Lets look at the meaning of the phrase “give thanks” get a better handle what Paul is sharing with us.
The phrase “give thanks” comes from the root word, eucharisteo Eucharist.
That is the word that has commonly been used to refer to Communion, the Lord’s Supper.
During our time of celebrating the Lord’s Supper, we are remembering and expressing our “thanksgiving” for all that God has done on the cross, and what awaits us...
We were a helpless begger, no hope dependent on God and He has provided for us richly in Christ Jesus.
So here in the passage, Paul says give thanks in all circumstances… it refers to the act of giving thanks to God, to be thankful.
And it refers to the act of giving thanks to God, to be thankful.
Now go back to our life circumstance… in light of what God has done for us, can we give thanks no matter what we face here in this temporal realm?
Now go back to our life circumstance… in light of what God has done for us, can we give thanks no matter what we face here in this temporal realm?
Yes....
We owe him much… a debt that could not be paid and He took care of it.
Let me share these words from the Psalmist...
Be thankful regardless your state, if for no other reason than that He is your Creator and Redeemer.
Psalm 107:8–9 ESV
Let them thank the Lord for his steadfast love, for his wondrous works to the children of man! For he satisfies the longing soul, and the hungry soul he fills with good things.
So David shares 4 reasons .. we can give thanks… 1. His steadfast love, 2. His wondrous works, 3. He satisfies the longing soul and 4. He fills the hungry soul of men with good things.
No matter what we deal with here, life and death, woes and heart break, He has done so such for us already, lets hang on to just who God is, and what He has already done.
Let that truth, shape us.
let your life be shaped by thankfulness.
And then secondly, be thankful for each other.

2. Be Thankful that We Do not Walk Alone...

Have you ever considered that truth that we are not alone in our journey through this life.
There are times when we definitely feel alone, but yet we are not. And as a child of God we never will be.... Amen!
So let me throw a couple thoughts your way this morning..
The first is the Holy Spirit, He is the one we are keenly aware off… Jesus told us he would not leave us as orphans, ...
John 14:18 ESV
“I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.
He told the disciples in a little while the world would see Him no more, but they would see Him, and they did… after the resurrection the disciples saw Jesus… many more saw Him as well.
He told the disciples in a little while the world would see Him no more, but they would see Him, and they did… after the resurrection the disciples saw Jesus… many more saw Him as well.
Now we know that 40 days after the resurrection Jesus ascended into heaven (). But He had instructed the disciples to wait in Jerusalem, they were to wait until they had received power.
Acts 1:8 ESV
But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
Acts chapter 2, the Holy Spirit was sent into the world. And here He remains, He is at work and infills each born again believer.
Acts chapter 2, the Holy Spirit was sent into the world. And here He remains, He is at work and infills each born again believer.
The Holy Spirit, God’s Spirit is inside of you, He walks with you each day, the one who is called alongside of you to help you, encourage you and has sealed you until the day of redemption.
The Holy Spirit will not leave you...
So He fills us, seals us, and is our guarantee of the good things to come… He leads us, teaches us and walks alongside of us. What a blessing my friends...
We would be so lonely without the Spirit of the Living God in our lives...
But also consider this, God has placed wonderful godly people alongside of us as well, and for that we should be thankful...
The Second is Godly Believers.... the Saints of God that we walk with in this life.
I want to take a moment and share with you two thoughts that the Apostle Paul shared with those he loved.
Paul was thankful for those who walked with him, labored and supported his work and his life as best they could.... The Philippian church had been faithful in supporting and praying for Paul.
Listen to Paul in
Philippians 1:3 ESV
I thank my God in all my remembrance of you,
I can honestly say that like Paul, I look around remembering the reasons I am thankful for you. Your faith has grown, you bless, pray for and help me as your pastor.
You don’t realize how much that means to me as your pastor, but also as your brother in Christ to know you love me, care for me and pray for me reminds me I am not alone as I walk.
Do you realize there are those around you that feel the same way about you? It is a blessing to have believers around us
But let me share this thought with you as well, be thankful for one another as you remember the work we are doing here and around the world as well.
In Paul shares that thought with the church at Rome. listen to the passage
Romans 1:8 ESV
First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is proclaimed in all the world.
Do you ever stop and consider what your faithfulness in serving, giving and loving does to this community, to this state and to the world around us.
Think about our youth… Upward, The Help Center, and Missions… all that you do is making a difference, and you are doing so together my friends.
We are not alone in the Kingdom work of our God, we are in this together and this is what makes it a true blessings.
Be faithful in thanking the Lord each day for the godly people he has placed in and around your life. They are your brothers and sisters in Christ, your co-laborers in the faith. Give thanks and pray for them always.
But what else can we be thankful for.... How about our Father in Heaven.... This idea could take up a book when we consider all the ways we should be thankful to God for.... but I want to touch on just one of them this morning.

3. Be Thankful for His Inexpressible Gift.....

We have many reasons to be thankful to God our Father..
We could sit here and just begin to talk and share concerning his wondrous ways.
Praise God, from Whom all blessings flow; Praise Him, all creatures here below; Praise Him above, ye heavenly host; Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.
I think of the Doxology that we sing, and perhaps we will sing it today as we get ready to leave.
Consider its words...
Praise God, from Whom all blessings flow; Praise Him, all creatures here below; Praise Him above, ye heavenly host; Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.
The voice of praise is given to God for everything He does and the praise comes from all of creation; man to the heavenly hosts… all praise is due Him. Amen
And while there is much to be thankful, I want us to consider just one thought for the moment.
Philippians 1:3 ESV
I thank my God in all my remembrance of you,
Thank God for his Inexpressible Gift, that is Paul’s message in
2 Corinthians 9:15 ESV
Thanks be to God for his inexpressible gift!
Here at thanksgiving, let your heart be full of praise and joy because of the gift of God: Jesus!
The heavens and the earth praise God for the one who was sent to redeem the world. The one who has conquered death, hell and the grave… the one who has put the devil in his place and sets us free from the penalty of sin.
God sent his Son, His only Son as a sacrifice for sin…listen to
Romans 8:32 ESV
He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?
Think about it again my friends, God sent the Son, the Second Person of the Trinity, allowed Him to be born into flesh as we are… One old preacher once said “he impoverished himself for the benefit of others.
He became poor so that we might be rich in God’s grace.
He became flesh ...yet without sin and took our punishment for sin.
He became flesh ...yet without sin and took our punishment for sin.
yet without sin and took our punishment for sin.
He that knew no sin, became sin for us… to redeem us from the penalty of sin.
The gift of God has might us right once again, he are justified in the presence of God, saved, secure and headed to heaven.
This one generous gift, he bestows on us all the other blessings of God.
oh man, we have a good and loving heavenly Father....
Are you thankful for His great gift? Do you thank him for sending His Son? Do you thank him for your personal salvation, you and I, we were unworthy and He made us worthy!
Jesus did all that for us....
You know last week we talked about Heaven.... I am thankful for his salvation because He has secured my home in the heavens...
Wow, Praise Jesus.
I have touched on just a little of what we can be thankful about .... we have so much more..
Spouses, parents and grandparents, children, the list can go on and on my friends..
If you have a need, come!
But we owe it all to God, and today we will prepare ourself for the Lord’s Supper...
While our deacons are coming up, lets sing the doxology accapella,
Praise God, from Whom all blessings flow;
Praise Him, all creatures here below;
Praise Him above, ye heavenly host;
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.
Thanksgiving is a time we set aside with family and friends
But not everyone has that perspective about Thanksgiving. To often is it considered to be a time of feasting, parades and ball games and of course there is the whole Black Friday madness....
So with all that is happening this week....
What will we do with Thanksgiving?
Thanksgiving I think is more a state of mind
How will we treat the day and what will we do with the time that is given to us…?
Will we direct our attention to self, our wants, desires or will the attention be directed toward God that day..??
Now...
Now hear me here.... Thanksgiving is just a day. The only difference it its purpose, it was set aside for us, Americans to stop and reflect and give thanks to God for his goodness and mercy.
That should happen every day.... we should have time to reflect and give thanks to God for His goodness and mercy.
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