Summary: In this series of messages we focus on cultivating a thankful heart and enemies that present themselves to prevent us from being truly Thankful people. This Message speaks about the enemy of "Entitlement."
Thanksgiving is more than a day!
I have often approached this time of the year with a little bit of remorse with regard to the attention that we I have given to the Subject of thanksgiving.
It seems often times that our thoughts on the matter are often reserved for a day or perhaps a week of reflection, or maybe a special Sunday Emphasis and a few family gatherings.
I have often felt that the blessings of God, the fulfilled promises, the tender mercies, the loving kindness, the grace, the providence of God deserves much more emphasis than just a designated day on our calendar, and I believe that such a subject should demand more emphasis in our Biblical Studies than just a passing glance because it’s “that time of the year.”
The time when we make, for the most part, a very feeble attempt at being thankful for the things we’ve been blessed with.
Let’s face it; in our society today Thanksgiving has little to do with thankfulness for what we have and much more to do with how much more we’re going to get.
We’re going to get the big meals
We’re going to get an extra day off
We’re going to get some time with the family (and nothing wrong with any of these)
We’re going to get a great sale at the store as soon as we can get through with all of this Thanksgiving Stuff!!!
Can I tell you in all honesty that true thanksgiving is:
First of all is not just a day on the Calendar, but a life to be lived; the life of gratitude.
not about getting for ourselves, but giving to the Lord the glory, honor and praise due Him!
“To God be the glory Great things He has done, so loved He this world that He gave us His Son!”
The Benefit of Thanksgiving
I want to challenge you for the next four messages from this pulpit to be a thankful person.
I believe that there are powerful benefits to being a thankful person
If we spent half as much time being thankful for the things we do have as we do worrying about the things we don’t, then our lives would be simplified on many levels.
I can make you a list of things in your life that would be different if we were truly thankful people.
There are many today whose bank accounts would look different if they were truly thankful for the things they have.
There are a sad multitude in our nation whose families and marriages would be very different if they were thankful for what they have been blessed with.
A lack of thanksgiving will bind you, a lack of thankfulness will blind you, a lack of thanksgiving will break you, a lack of thanksgiving will confuse you and cause you to have a skewed vision of what really matters in life. A lack of thanksgiving will cause you to be a poor steward of the things you have been given.
The heart that is thankfull is a heart that is satisfied, a heart that is thankful is a heart that is content before the Lord. A thankful heart is a heart that is at peace.
I want to share with you today the story of a man who endured many things in life, some good some bad, but even though he endured many things the blessing of God was evident on his life even at times when he was very undeserving.
The day finally came when he looked back and realized that He had indeed been blessed by God and it’s from this man’s own account that we learn this first attribute of a thankful heart.
A thankful realizes that it’s not worthy of the kind of blessings it has received.
Genesis 25 tells the story of the birth of this man
His name is Jacob
He is one of a set of twins
Two men who are very diverse in their personalities, physical stature and skill sets.
What happens over the next couple of chapters has the makings of a hollywood production
There’s family favoritism (Isaac the Father loved Esau but Rebekah the mother loved Jacob)
There’s plotting & deceit (Jacob steals his brother’s birthright then he and his mother conspire against Esau, take advantage of Isaac’s failing senses and steal the Patriarchal blessing from Esau)
There’s revenge (Esau vows to kill Jacob.)
Finally Jacob at the instruction of his mother has to flee to a foreign land to escape the hot wrath of his brother.
You read the story for yourself, but what happens over the next 14 years goes something like this:
Jacob is dispatched by his mother to go to a foreign land where some of her relatives live.