Summary: A Thanksgiving Sermon from Psalm 105:1-4
A Thanksgiving To-Do List
What are your plans for Thanksgiving?
Many of you plan on doing some cooking, entertaining some family or friends. You’ve got a menu to plan, groceries to buy, dining rooms to decorate. Maybe you’ve already started, or maybe you’ll wait until the last minute, but either way Thanksgiving will be a busy day for you.
Others of us plan on watching some ball games on Thanksgiving, such as watching the Colts beat the Falcons. Maybe you’ll watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving parade on TV, or scan the ads for Black Friday specials.
Even with gas so expensive, I’ve heard there will be a record number of travelers in the air and on the road this Thanksgiving. Maybe you’ll be one. The Crews family will be headed over the river and through the woods to grandma’s house in Ohio to celebrate on Thursday.
No matter how old or young you are, Thanksgiving will most likely be a busy day for you. But with all the other plans and activities, I want to ask you an important question: what are you planning to do with Jesus this Thanksgiving? On your to-do list, is there anything you will do just for Him? I’d like to offer you 4 suggestions for a Thanksgiving to-do list for Jesus. They all come from Psalm 105:1-4.
What can you do for Jesus this Thanksgiving? Well let’s begin with the obvious:
1) Thank Him. Oh, Give thanks unto the Lord!
From the oldest to the youngest, everyone gathered at the table for Thanksgiving Dinner were expressing their praise. When they came to the 5-year-old in the family, he began by expressing his thanks to the turkey, saying although he had not tasted it he knew it would be good. After that he began a more predictable line of credits, thanking his mother for cooking the turkey and his father for buying the turkey. But then he said, "I thank you for the checker at the grocery store who checked out the turkey. I thank you for the grocery store people who put it on the shelf. I thank you for the farmer who made it fat. I thank you for the man who made the feed. I thank you for those who brought the turkey to the store." He traced the turkey all the way from its origin to his plate. And then at the end he solemnly said "Did I leave anybody out?" His 2-year-older brother, said, "God." Without being flustered at all, the 5-year-old said, "I was just about to get to Him."
So many people never get to Him on Thanksgiving. On the one day set aside to give thanks for God’s blessing, millions of people will forget to give thanks to Jesus this Thanksgiving Day.
The psalmist begins his song with a call to everyone: Oh, give thanks unto the Lord!
Do you hear passion in this invitation? Let your heart so overflow with gratitude that you give thanks to the Lord from your heart! He’s not just asking for a dull ritual prayer around the table—he is calling us to fervently and sincerely thank God from the bottom of our hearts. In other words, don’t let your thanks be just a duty, let it be a spontaneous, sincere expression of grateful love for the Lord.
Now you might say Bro. Mike, I just can’t get that excited about Thanksgiving. It’s good to be honest, but let me suggest to you that you can passionately give thanks to the Lord if you are first willing to do some serious thinking.
First, think about how much God has given you. How often do you take a break from your hectic schedule and think about every good and perfect gift your Heavenly Father gives you? So often it’s easier to focus on all you don’t have, all of your problems, what you wish would be different. But what if you took the time—say 15 minutes—to think about all the beautiful, wonderful people and things God has provided for you?
He gave you that spouse who’s seen you at your worse and still loves you. He gave you those kids who think you’re the greatest. He gives you that nice warm home you enjoy on those cold, chilly nights. He gave you that job that pays all your bills. He gave you an appetite to enjoy eating that big meal. He gave you a heart that can love and be loved. He gave you His Son, Jesus, so you can experience abundant, eternal life.
You and I could both play count your many blessings all day, but you get the point. Sure you have problems, and you can’t run away from them. But for just a little while, can you set aside those problems and take time to think of all the blessings God has showered on your life?