We just need to say Thanks
I heard about a 4 grader who stood up to give a report about the origin of Thanksgiving in a politically correct world, It reads:
The pilgrims came here seeking freedom of you know what.
When they landed, they gave thanks to you know who.
Because of them, we can worship each Sunday, you know where.
Cute but true, as the wealthiest country the most powerful country in the world we have left God out we seem to think we are this way because of something we did.
In just a couple of days we will all sit down to a meal with family and friends and for most of us some real good fellowship and that’s great but do we really know what Thanksgiving is all about, how it all started.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
16 Rejoice always;
17 pray without ceasing;
18 in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
Why do you think God’s Word tells us so often to praise and thank the Lord? Since this appears quite often in the Bible we should stop and think that through.
Obviously the purpose is not to make God greater, or richer or even more powerful! He is already perfect in all those things.
The answer is that praise and thanksgiving do a mighty work in our lives. They set our attitudes right. They open our channels of faith. And they prepare us not only to hear God and respond to Him, but also to experience Him much more deeply.
Let’s face it, we’ve let the devil sneak a negative spirit into our assemblies today. We try to smile and be positive but there is a dark anxiety that lurks in all our shadows.
Never forget that the devil will win every time we let him. But listen to what I’m saying, he has no right to do that, he only has the power to do what we allow him do.
I’m asking you today to do what God says, right here at Thanksgiving time let’s get so caught up in praise and thanking the Lord that the devil can’t get a negative sneer in side-ways! Every time the devil gets us cornered, just start praising Jesus! That’s exactly what 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 says To rejoice always and never stop praying and in everything give thanks.
I would like to do something a little different today and that is to give a history lesson on Thanks giving. So if your ready let’s get started.
The Pilgrims left Plymouth, England, on September 6, 1620. Their destination? The New World. Although filled with uncertainty and peril, it offered both civil and religious liberty.
For over two months, the 102 passengers braved the harsh elements of a vast storm-tossed sea. Finally, with firm purpose and a reliance on Divine Providence, the cry of "Land!" was heard.
Arriving in Massachusetts in late November, the Pilgrims sought a suitable landing place. On December 11, just before disembarking at Plymouth Rock, they signed the "Mayflower Compact" - America's first document of civil government and the first to introduce self-government.
After a prayer service, the Pilgrims began building hasty shelters. However, unprepared for the starvation and sickness of a harsh New England winter, nearly half died before spring. Yet, persevering in prayer, and assisted by helpful Indians, they reaped a bountiful harvest the following summer.
The grateful Pilgrims then declared a three-day feast, starting on December 13, 1621, to thank God and to celebrate with their Indian friends. While this was not the first Thanksgiving in America (thanksgiving services were held in Virginia as early as 1607), it was America's first Thanksgiving Festival.
Pilgrim Edward Winslow described the Pilgrims' Thanksgiving in these words:
"Our harvest being gotten in, our Governor sent four men on fowling [bird hunting] so that we might, after a special manner, rejoice together after we had gathered the fruit of our labors. They four in one day killed as much fowl as... served the company almost a week... Many of the Indians [came] amongst us and... their greatest King, Massasoit, with some ninety men, whom for three days we entertained and feasted; and they went out and killed five deer, which they brought... And although it be not always so plentiful as it was at this time with us, yet BY THE GOODNESS OF GOD WE ARE... FAR FROM WANT."
In 1789, following a proclamation issued by President George Washington, America celebrated its first Day of Thanksgiving to God under its new constitution. That same year, the Protestant Episcopal Church, of which President Washington was a member, announced that the first Thursday in November would become its regular day for giving thanks, "unless another day be appointed by the civil authorities." Yet, despite these early national proclamations, official Thanksgiving observances usually occurred only at the State level.
Much of the credit for the adoption of a later ANNUAL national Thanksgiving Day may be attributed to Mrs. Sarah Joseph Hale, the editor of Godey's Lady's Book. For thirty years, she promoted the idea of a national Thanksgiving Day, contacting President after President until President Abraham Lincoln responded in 1863 by setting aside the last Thursday of November as a national Day of Thanksgiving. Over the next seventy-five years, Presidents followed Lincoln's precedent, annually declaring a national Thanksgiving Day. Then, in 1941, Congress permanently established the fourth Thursday of each November as a national holiday.
Lincoln's original 1863 Thanksgiving Proclamation came - spiritually speaking - at a pivotal point in his life. During the first week of July of that year, the Battle of Gettysburg occurred, resulting in the loss of some 60,000 American lives. Four months later in November, Lincoln delivered his famous "Gettsysburg Address." It was while Lincoln was walking among the thousands of graves there at Gettysburg that he committed his life to Christ. As he explained to a friend:
When I left Springfield [to assume the Presidency] I asked the people to pray for me. I was not a Christian. When I buried my son, the severest trial of my life, I was not a Christian. But when I went to Gettysburg and saw the graves of thousands of our soldiers, I then and there consecrated myself to Christ.
As Americans celebrate Thanksgiving each year, we hope they will retain the original gratefulness to God displayed by the Pilgrims and many other founding fathers , and remember that it is to those early and courageous Pilgrims that they owe not only the traditional Thanksgiving holiday but also the concepts of self-government, the "hard-work" ethic, self-reliant communities, and devout religious faith.
As I close I want you to know that in the feeding of the 5,000, Jesus miracle happened after He gave thanks.
Why did He do this?
He gave thanks because He could see beyond the material to the spiritual. Jesus gave thanks because He could see beyond the bread and fish to the God Who provided the bread and the fish. To Jesus even the smallest morsel of food was not trivial but all points back to its Maker and Giver. This is true not only for bread and fish but every good thing that we might enjoy.
We see so many people today that put a separation between the material and the spiritual. According to these people cars, bicycles, forks and knives, watermelon, steak, turkey, milk, vegetables, game boys, and computers are totally separate from religion, faith, prayer God and worship. They say the only place religion belongs is in a church, There is no place for it in education, in government, in business, even in our personal lives. Religion is Sunday morning stuff.
Even the Babylonians whom Daniel lived with knew better than to believe such foolishness. They believed that all life is religious and worship. All food eaten at all their meals were 1st offered to the Gods. And every meal was dedicated to the worship and the glory of these same Gods. They believed that every thing they did was for the glory of their Gods.
In the words of the Apostle Paul
1 Cor 10:31
31 Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.
I want to ask you do you give God praise in everything you do?
I know the answer to that question, We try but we get caught up in the world and loose sight of the real thing, THE GLORY OF GOD, AND EVERYTHING WE DO, GOOD OR BAD WILL BRING GLORY TO GOD IN THE END.
I’m asking you today to start today not on Thursday but right now, To give God all the Glory for everything in your life, your husband your wife, kids, job, your home, your land, car, family, food, your health, your salvation, His love, mercy and grace. I can go on and on. Come up here and I will pray with you and let’s both thank Him together, If you do not know Jesus as your Lord and Savior come up and take my hand, we will pray for you to receive His grace today.
If your looking for a church home, I’m sure you will agree we are a praying loving God fearing Baptist Church That will love you like Christ. So as the music plays you come today, what ever the reason you come even if it is just to pray you come today.