Summary: In preparation for Thanksgiving, let’s think about some things we have to be thankful for.

A Reason to Be Thankful

Romans 8:28-39

SICC 11.24/02 – Morning

I am going to help you out this morning, so listen closely. I don’t know where you are celebrating Thanksgiving, but beware, your host may have read an article in the newspaper, or worse yet in one of those family magazines and she is planning a special Thanksgiving celebration this year. What does that mean? It means you are on the spot. She is going to ask you and everybody else what you are thankful for. Husbands, you can never go wrong saying your thankful for your wife & family. Unless someone has already done it, especially if that person is eloquent. He says something like, “My dear wife. You’re in my heart. You’re in my soul. You’ll be my breath should I grow old. You are my lover. You are my best friend. You’re in my soul.” I know it’s a Rod Stewart song. I’m a preacher not a poet. Anyway suppose somebody gets up and says something like that. You can’t be next and say, “I’m thankful for my wife too. She does a great job washing behind the kids’ ears.” You need to be ready for that moment. You’ll sleep a lot better from now until then if you are ready. Let’s think together this morning of a good reason to be thankful. You don’t want to look like a Jerry Lewis character at a Toastmaster’s convention. What are we going to say?

We can always be thankful for the prosperity we enjoy. No one feels prosperous, but most of us are. Prosperity, at its heart means abundance. To have an abundance means you have to make choices. You have to choose between options. We live in a society where we have choices. The choices of prosperity. Think about meals. We have a myriad of choices when it comes to meals. There are hundreds of restaurants where we can eat. There are hundreds of take-out places. If we want to eat in we can cook a fancy meal, or simply fix sandwiches. One thing we don’t have to worry about is going hungry – unless you make that choice. In many parts of the world there is no choice concerning food. A good meal might consist of one cup of rice and another of warm water. We certainly can be thankful for our prosperity. We are a prosperous people. That prosperity is a blessing that comes from God. Proverbs 28:25 tells us that he who trusts in the Lord will prosper. We are prosperous. Prosperity is a gift from God. Be thankful to God for your prosperity.

Be careful though. Prosperity can be a trap. It can distract you from that which you should be truly thankful for. Solomon also tells us in Proverbs 23: 4-5 that you should “not wear yourself out to get rich; have the wisdom to show restraint. Cast but a glance at riches and the are all gone, for they will surely sprout wings and fly off to the sky like an eagle.” Riches are a blessing from God, but they should not be the focus of our attention. Prosperity is a byproduct of faithful life, and frankly, God’s definition of prosperity may be different from mine. I may not like his. When I think about it, just don’t bring it up.

What else can we be thankful for? Here is one that is certainly in vogue, as it should be. We should be thankful for the great nation we live in. We are truly blessed to be a part of the United States of America. We are the freeest, strongest, and the most compassionate nation in the world. It is good to be an American. In America we can

• worship where, whom, and how we want to

• earn, save, and spend our money how we want to

• live wherever we want to

• travel freely from state to state

• raise our children however we want to

• criticize or protest whomever we want to – even the government or military

In this nation we have

• an abundance of natural resources

• some of the greatest scientific minds in the world

• the greatest medical system in the world

• a great diversity of people who each contributes to the fabric of this nation

Let’s be thankful for the nation we live in. God’s word tells us to pray for our civil authorities. Let’s pray a prayer of Thanksgiving this year for the nation in which we live. As great as it is, it is not the main thing I am thankful for. If It were taken away from me, I would still have something to be thankful for.

I would be thankful for my family. God has truly blessed me with a great family. Two great families actually. My parents raised me with love. They taught me how to love God and be committed to Him. They taught me how to be self-sufficient and survive, even thrive in society. They modeled and continue to model for me a marriage, that weathers the difficulties of time and continues to grow stronger through them.

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David Utley

commented on Nov 11, 2006

A good approach with something to think about.

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