Giving Thanks – The Thanksgiving Way
Sermon shared by Tom Shepard
Summary: This sermon could be preached at any time of the year but was written for Thanksgiving 2008. It uses 7 verbs from Psalm 100 as an outline.
Series: A Time To Give Thanks
Audience: General adults
Folks if we would start counting all the blessing God has given us – we would never cease counting. Here is a little poem I ran across this week. It’s called:
How to Observe Thanksgiving
It goes like this:
Count your blessings instead of your crosses;
Count your gains instead of your losses.
Count your joys instead of your woes;
Count your friends instead of your foes.
Count your smiles instead of your tears;
Count your courage instead of your fears.
Count your full years instead of your lean;
Count your kind deeds instead of your mean.
Count your health instead of your wealth;
Count on God instead of yourself.
Folks – when all else fails – count on God. He is a friend who will never let you down. He will lead you through dark valleys when you go through times of trouble. He will anoint your head with oil when you need healing. He will prepare a feast before you when it seems that all others have turned their back on you – and He will lead you to tables of plenty. He will give you – exceedingly – abundantly all the things that you need. He is God – and He watches over you. You should get excited about that fact. You should “SHOUT” to the Lord.
The second action the psalmist calls us to is:
2. Thanksgiving Is About SERVICE – (SERVE)
Look at what verse two tells us:
“Serve the LORD with gladness.” Psalm 100:2 (NASV)
The Bible proclaims that one of God’s deepest desires is to have His people serve Him:
"Now, Israel, what does the LORD your God require from you, but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all His ways and love Him, and to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and to keep the LORD’S commandments and His statutes which I am commanding you today for your good?” Deu 10:13 (NASV)
God has always asked His people to serve Him. God told Pharaoh:
"Let My people go, that they may serve Me in the wilderness.” Exodus 7:16 (NASV)
Jesus said we are to make service to God a priority in our lives:
"No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth. Mat 6:24 (NASV)
Who or what we serve shows where our priorities are. I have heard it said:
If we are created, He is the Creator.
If we are sheep, He is our Shepherd.
If we enter His courts, He is our King.
If we serve Him, He is our Master.
But notice that God wants more than just us serving Him – He wants us to serve Him with “gladness”. We should consider it an honor and a privilege to serve Him. We should count it a joy to be able to serve the Lord. He is the King of kings and Lord of lords – to be in His presence would be an honor and a trill. I am sure that in the white house those who serve there are screened and only the best are selected. What an honor it would be to be on the staff of the white house. How much more of an honor it should be for us to serve God – for He who is above all things has called us to enter His presence and serve Him. Should we not serve Him with joy and gladness?
3. Thanksgiving Is About A JOURNEY – (COME)
In the second part verse two it says:
“Come before Him with joyful singing.” Psalm 100:2 (NASV)
Giving thanks to God has never been stationary or static. There is
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