Summary: A Thanksgiving sermon:thanking our God, as a Creator, a Savior, and a provider.
A Thankful Heart
Introduction: A college student wrote her mom the following letter: "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!" (sermonillustrations.com)
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.
A devotional from ODB in 1994 shared the concern that thankfulness seems to be a lost art in modern times. Warren Wiersbe illustrated this problem in his commentary on Colossians. He told about a ministerial student in Evanston, Illinois, who was part of a life-saving squad. In 1860, a ship went aground on the shore of Lake Michigan near Evanston, and Edward Spencer waded again and again into the frigid waters to rescue 17 passengers. In the process, his health was permanently damaged. Some years later at his funeral, it was noted that not one of the people he rescued ever thanked him.
Paul warned “This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come for men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, . . .”
Thankless times are perilous times. When our wishes are easier to count than our blessings, I think its time to reflect on all the good that God has done. Giving Thanks should not be relegated to a yearly slogan that we only hear around Thanksgiving Holiday. It must be an attitude of our heart.
I Chronicles 16:34 is the same as the first verse in psalm 136:1 - “Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever.” Three times we are told to give thanks to God in the first three verses.
Transition: we see 3 different aspects of God in whom we are to give thanks. In each description gives a reason to thank him. First we give thanks to God the creator:
Give thanks to God the Creator
“to him who alone does great wonders, his love endures forever. Who spread out the earth upon the waters, his love endures forever. who made the great lights- His love endures forever. the sun to govern the day, His love endures forever. the moon and stars to govern the night; His love endures forever.” Psalm 136:4-9
He does great wonders, he created the kingdom of Heaven and the kingdom of earth and all the universe that is in between. Romans 1:20 says “For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities--his eternal power and divine nature--have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.” His creation itself declares his existence.
He made the great lights:
First the sun to govern the day, the Sun is no doubt the greatest light we know. We can not look directly at it and yet we can not live without it. The sun calls our attention to all that it grows and without it's own light we would never see the beauty of it. We don't worship the sun like some other cultures do. We know the sun governs the day, because God governs the sun.
And even as the sun turns over its authority to the moon the transformation is wonderful. I don't know of anything more poetically beautiful than an Oklahoma sunset. And it is a grace of God that everyone everywhere, the old and the young, the wealthy and the poor, the man on the beach and the man in the prison yard has been given the same beautiful scene every day.
He created the moon and stars to govern the night. Isaiah said “with my soul have I desired thee in the night.” There is something mysterious and compelling about the night. I've walked in the yard and gazed up at the moon and the stars and felt compelled to thank him, if for nothing more than just what I was gazing at. There is something about the calm and quiet of the night that allows you to think and meditate on the Lord. The moon and the stars draw your attention up toward God and to praise him. As great as these lights that govern the day and night are. They are merely created instruments from God to whom we are to be thankful. David said “When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is mankind that you are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them?” Psalm 8:3,4