Summary: Thanksgiving is the key to the next level.
Luke 18:9-14 KJV
"And he spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others: Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess. And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner. I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.”
A. How Fitting to have a National Day of Thanksgiving!
1. "A good thing to give thanks"(Ps. 92:1)
2. A.W. Tozer: " Thanksgiving has great curative powers."
3. Let us thank our way to spiritual health.
B. But for Many this week of Thanks will beSuperficial.
1. For some a time of praise, for others a pretext
2. For some a spiritual time, for others a superficial time.
C. The Pharisee and His Superficial Thanksgiving.
A. The Pharisee was unaware of His Greatest Need (vs 11-12)
1. "I thank thee that I am not as other men"
2. Started with thanksgiving but the wrong kind.
3. H.A. Ironsides: "This man was not thanking God for what grace had done for him;
he was thanking God for what he himself had done, and that is the wrong attitude."
4. D.L. Moody:" It was a very prayerless prayer. He said a prayer but he didn't pray any."
5. He focused on human efforts: dos and don't s.
5. He needed personal salvation through faith on Christ:
(a) Something he couldn't earn by his good works
(b) He could only receive it as a gift (Eph. 2:8-9)
B. The Pharisee was unconcerned about the Publican (vs 11)
1. "Or even this publican"
2. The difference filled him with pride rather compassion.
3.True thanksgiving produces thankful living
(a) Thankful for salvation? Tell others of Christ
(b) Thankful for provision ?Share it with others.
(c) Thankful for kindness? Pass them on
(d) Thankful for Christian fellowship? Extend fellowship.
(e) Thankful for prayers? Pray for others.
4. This is the spirit of the first Thanksgiving
(a) They shared with one another
(b) They were truly thankful
C. The Pharisee was unchanged when He returned Home(vs 14)
1. True thanksgiving changed us.
2. He went to a good place: the temple
3. He went for a good purpose: to pray
4. He went home unchanged.
5. Millions leave churches unchanged.
6. Don't let this happen to you.
A. The other person in this parable: The Publican (vs 13-14)
1. This man faced his sins and sought forgiveness
2. Nothing superficial about his response
3. "God be merciful to me a sinner"
B. The Publican went home a New Man
1. He went home forgiven: justified(vs14)
2. Now he could be truly thankful
3. How about you?