Summary: This morning I would like to share with you three things we learn about thanksgiving from the Bible.
"A Proper Perspective On Thanksgiving"
Eph 5:19,20; 1 Thess 5:18
The following proclamation was made by Governor Bradford in 1623, 3 years after the Pilgrims settled at Plymouth;
To all ye Pilgrims,
Inasmuch as the great father has given us this year an abundant harvest of Indian corn, wheat, peas, squashes and garden vegetables, and has made the forests to abound with game and the sea with fish and clams, and inasmuch as he has protected us from the raids of the savages, has spared us from pestilence and disease, has granted us freedom to worship God according to the dictates of our own conscience; now I, your magistrate, do proclaim that all ye Pilgrims, with your wives and ye little ones, do gather at ye meeting house, on ye hill, between the hours of 9 and 12 in the day time, on Thursday November ye 29th of the year of our Lord one thousand six hundred and twenty three, and the third year since ye Pilgrims landed on ye Plymouth rock, there to listen to ye pastor and render thanksgiving t ye Almighty God for all His blessings.
This Thursday is Thanksgiving. One day in which we like those early Pilgrims set aside time in our busy schedules to give thanks to God. Now, there is nothing wrong with that but the word of God tells us that this should be a continual, daily, attitude.
Eph. 5:19,20 tells Christians to "Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, ALWAYS giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ."
And I Thes. 5:16-18 says, "Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in
Paul’s main subject here is PRAISE, THANKSGIVING. Notice the other important words in these passages; ALWAYS, CONTINUALLY, and IN ALL CIRCUMSTANCES. It sounds as if Paul is talking about a church service here, especially in Eph. "Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your
heart..." But he isn’t. He is talking about a continual attitude for Christians - an attitude of the heart. How we are to be to each other. But how, you may wonder, can we have this
attitude continually, especially "in all circumstances?" I believe the answer lies in our perspective of thanksgiving. We need the proper perspective.
One young lady wrote home from college,
"Dear Mom: Sorry I haven’t written sooner. My arm really has been broken. I broke it, and my left leg, when I jumped from he second floor of my dormitory...when we had the fire. We were lucky. A young service station attendant saw the blaze and called the Fire Department. They were there in minutes. I was in the hospital for a few days. Paul, the service station attendant, came to see me every day. And because it was taking so long to get our dormitory liveable again, I moved in with him. He has been so nice. I must admit that I am pregnant. Paul and I plan to get married just as soon as he can get a divorce. I hope things are fine at home. I’m doing fine, and will write more when I get the chance. Love,
Your daughter, Susie
P.S. None of the above is true. But I did get a "C" in Sociology and flunked Chemistry. I just wanted you to receive this news in its "Proper Perspective!"
To be thankful in all circumstances, we need a proper perspective of our circumstances and of our God. Only then we will be able to give thanks to the Lord always.
Now, I believe there are at least three attitudes that steal away our gratitude. Three things that keep us from being thankful.
1) One is our pride. This is the attitude that says, "Nobody ever gave me anything, I worked hard for everything I have." For years
you studied hard and now it is finally paying off. With this kind of attitude, we feel that we have no one to thank but ourselves.
2) Another attitude that keeps us from being thankful is a critical spirit or constant complaining. Instead of being grateful, this person will always find something to complain about.
"A lady known as an incurable grumbler constantly complained about everything. At last her preacher thought he had found something about which she would be happy, for her farm crop was the finest for miles around. When he met her, he said with a beaming smile, `You must be very happy Mary. Everyone is saying how healthy your potatoes look this year.’ `True they’re pretty good, but what am I going to do when I need bad ones to feed the pigs.’"