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Thanksgiving service

(77)

Sermon shared by Steven Simala Grant

October 2002
Summary: A complete thanksgiving service, weaving Scripture, worship, and reflection around 5 themes: Thanks for God’s Character, Thanks for God’s Creation, Thanks for God’s Redemption, Thanks for God’s blessings, and Our Response.
Denomination: Baptist
Audience: General adults
Sermon:
Thanksgiving Service 2002

Opening Song prior to service
Saturday Here I Am (I Will Always Love Your Name)
Sunday Psalm Of Thanks – Andy Park

Welcome, Call to Worship, and Prayer

Giving Thanks for God’s Character

Saturday Forever (Niels ends by reading Psalm 136.1-3)
Sunday #10 O Worship The King (after which a reader announces the Scripture passage, Psalm 136.1-3, and reads it)

Psalm 136
1 Give thanks to the LORD , for he is good.
His love endures forever.
2 Give thanks to the God of gods.
His love endures forever.
3 Give thanks to the Lord of lords:
His love endures forever.

Thoughts on being thankful for God’s character (Steve)

What would the universe be like if God was not who He claims to be?
If God was not all-powerful, it would feel like the universe was being run by a 14 yr old driving a car without a license.
If God was not all-knowing, we could not trust Him for tomorrow since it would come as a surprise to Him just like it will for us.
If God was not ever-present, the chances of Him being there when we need Him most would be about the same as the chances of having our best friend there at exactly the moment the heart attack starts.
If God was not patient, we would feel like we were standing before an overworked judge at 5:30 on a Friday afternoon who had a clear dislike for our lawyer and could not pronounce “Guilty” and slap the maximum sentence – death – fast enough.
If God was not forgiving, the verdict would never be anything but “Guilty” and we would have exactly no hope for today or for eternity.
If God was not loving, we would be at the whim of a cosmic tyrant in charge of a universe as his plaything, who takes cruel pleasure in inflicting pain on his subjects “just because he can.”
If God was not good, there would be no laughter nor joy, no sunset nor spring, no diversity of food and no color - only shades of gray. There would be no music or beauty or art, no words of hope and life and inspiration, but only insults and profanity.
If God was not Father, we would have no safe, warm, accepting, disciplining arms to run to at the end of the day. We would be alone.
And if God was not Holy, none of the rest would matter since He could not be relied upon to be true to the standard He has set.
But God is all-powerful, and so we thank Him for creating and sustaining the universe and handling every situation with ease. God is all-knowing, and so we relax in the faith that He will not be caught off guard or surprised by what we might have to tell Him. God is ever-present, and so we know that He will never leave us nor forsake us. God is patient, and so we know that no matter how many times we run to Him, crying because we failed and sinned again, He will honor our true repentance. God is forgiving, through the pain of the cross He went as far as He could to offer us a second chance. And a third. And a fourth. And another. God is loving, and so we know that even when we come home covered in mud from head to toe, shivering with cold and making a mess of the nice carpet, His first response will always be “I’m glad you’re home”. God is good, and we see that in every laugh, every leaf, every gift, every bite of food and every note of song and every thoughtful word. God is Father, especially to those of us who have known only Him as Father.
And God is Holy, Holy,
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