Summary: Giving Thanks is about: 1. EXCITEMENT 2. SERVING 3. COMING Before God 4. Getting to KNOW God 5. ENTERING His Gates 6. SACRIFICE 7. BLESSING The Lord
(This is a reworking of a sermon I had written a few years ago. This sermon is designed to preach after Thanksgiving.)
Always Giving Thanks – Even After Thanksgiving
This past week we celebrated in this country – “Thanksgiving”. [Dates can be adjusted to fit the occasion. Example: Two months ago…] For most of us it was a – time of turkey – feasting and football. Across our country parades were held – and black Friday followed. Some stores are now opening late on Thanksgiving Day and I have even heard people use the term “Black Thursday”. The Christmas decorations seem to go up earlier and earlier each year. But Thanksgiving Day should not be the only day of giving thanks. Follow along with me as I read from Psalm 100:
Shout joyfully to the Lord, all the earth. Serve the Lord with gladness; Come before Him with joyful singing. Know that the Lord Himself is God; It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves; We are His people and the sheep of His pasture. Enter His gates with thanksgiving And His courts with praise. Give thanks to Him, bless His name. For the Lord is good; His lovingkindness is everlasting And His faithfulness to all generations. Psalms 100:1-5 (NASB)
It would be good for us to remember that when this psalm was written – there was no such thing as “Thanksgiving” day. This psalm was written long before there were pilgrims in America – long before turkeys were stuff and so were the people eating them. This psalm was written long before there were parades and football games – long before America became a country – but it is plain that this psalm is a psalm of thanksgiving none the less.
You see – thanksgiving does not need to be centered around some special date we set on a calendar. Thanksgiving – will be and has always been a matter of action and of the heart. Most of us would agree that thanksgiving should be a matter of the heart – but is it also a matter of action? Yes – thanksgiving is to be a matter of action too! At least this is what the Bible tells us in Psalm One Hundred. Look at Psalm One Hundred again – and notice all the verbs that are found in it. It is full of action words. Words like:
Shout – Serve – Come – Know – Enter – Give – Bless
All of these words are calling us to do something. To be thankful – not just with in words but also in action. To celebrate thanksgiving – has always been a matter of involvement. God calls us to be actively involved in giving thanks to Him – no matter what the date is on the calendar. In other words – thanksgiving continues on long past the fourth Thursday of November is gone. It is what I need do – on a daily basis. It is a time of giving thanks. Notice that:
1. Giving Thanks Is About EXCITEMENT
Notice what the psalmist tells us in verse one:
“Shout joyfully to the LORD, all the earth.” Psalm 100:1
Folks – God has made us a people of emotion and we should get excited about what God is doing in our lives. But you say, “But God hasn’t been doing anything in my life.” I say, “Open your eyes and see!” He gave you the strength to get out of bed this morning. He gave the clothes that you have that you can put them on. He gave you the transportation to get you here this morning – even if you can in a friend’s car – He provided you a friend that you could ride with. He gave you the beat of your heart. He gave you the breath that is in your lungs. All good gifts have come from Him. Isn’t that enough reason to SHOUT to the Lord? He is the creator – He is the sustainer. He has His eyes on the sparrows and He knows when one of them falls to ground – and He also knows the exact number of hairs on your head. SHOUT to Lord – for He is Lord – He is God – He is mighty – He is magnificent. Shout to the Lord – all the earth!
Folks if we would start counting all the blessing God has given us – we would never cease counting. Here is a little poem I ran across this week. It goes like this:
Count your blessings instead of your crosses;
Count your gains instead of your losses.
Count your joys instead of your woes;
Count your friends instead of your foes.
Count your smiles instead of your tears;
Count your courage instead of your fears.