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THANKSGIVING FOR GOD'S HORN OF PLENTY

(128)

Sermon shared by Paul Apple

January 2001
Summary: THE ABUNDANCE OF GODíS POWER AND BLESSING -- BOTH IN NATURE AND IN OUR LIVES -- QUIETS OUR HEART IN AWE AND EXCITES OUR HEART IN PRAISE
Denomination: Independent/Bible
Audience: General adults
Sermon:
BIG IDEA:
THE ABUNDANCE OF GODíS POWER AND BLESSING --
BOTH IN NATURE AND IN OUR LIVES --
QUIETS OUR HEART IN AWE AND EXCITES OUR HEART IN PRAISE

INTRODUCTION:
Thanksgiving is a time for us to step back and to consider how good we really have it.
Especially to give thanks to God for His Abundant Goodness.

God is good because He is the All-Powerful Sovereign of the Universe He is also able to do good and to
shower us with blessings. That combination of blessing and power is the picture we have of God in Psalm 65.
We need to be reminded to focus on giving God thanks because our society presents 2 very real threats to thanksgiving:
1) First: We live in a very negative age -- in a very critical society--where scandal is what grabs our attention... where the expose is the ultimate in journalistic success. Whether itís this weekís can of worms on Sixty Minutes or the latest church split tragedy or the fall of another visible Christian leader, there are always an abundance of negatives that compete for our attention.

2) Secondly: We live in a very prosperous society -- you would think that would be an encouragement to give God thanks, but it actually presents a special trap -- to sit around all fat and happy thinking that we deserve all of this abundance -- to actually complain that we donít have as much as someone else and to forget the goodness of God.

This Psalm also addresses 3 problems in contemporary Christianity:
1) We are too busy to worship -- canít quiet our hearts before the Lord. We have more leisure time but it is so crammed with leisure activities that we have less leisure for quiet meditation.

2) We view God too much on a buddy-buddy basis and have lost a vision for His majesty and His greatness. Yes, Jesus is a friend of sinners, but He is also the Master of the Universe.

3) We are too emotionally inhibited and sophisticated to praise God the way we should.


I. THE BLESSING OF GOD OVERCOMES THE POWER OF SIN AND FULFILLS OUR EVERY LONGING (:1-4)

A. Desperate Sense of Need must be the starting point

(:3a)."iniquities prevail against me" -- you might think that he is talking about the sins of his enemies in opposing him, but the psalmist is really talking about his own sins since he moves on to talk of the blessing of forgiveness; In the case of Israel, personal sin had great consequences for the success of the nation. So there is also an element here
of threat from outside powers. Not only the individual but also the nation needs to experience Godís power of deliverance.

The point of desperation should be the starting point for recovery and thanksgiving rather than for a slide down into despair. But what makes the difference between desperation that leads to despair and desperation that results in thanksgiving and joy?

Casting oneís hope in God
Ps. 38:15 -- no matter how bad it gets, no matter how bad I look in the eyes of others, no matter what enemies might be scheming to do me in, I actively hope in God and am confident that God hears and will answer and will deliver me. I am counting on Godís grace, on
His favor to make the difference.

B. We have a God to turn to who hears our prayers and forgives our sin

Hereís a beautiful characterization of The Sovereign of the Universe: "the one who hears prayer" (:2;3b)
people donít know much about what God is supposed to be like, but
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