Summary: Christians should have a proper attitude of Thanksgiving for all the Lord has given us
Richard F. Harsell
11/23/03 Text: Psalm 100
"An Attitude of Gratitude "
One day during the period that Abraham Lincoln served as President of the United States, an elderly lady was ushered into his private office. Lincoln noticed that she carried a covered basket beneath her arm, and he inquired, "What can I do for you Madam?"
Placing the covered basket on the table the lady
replied, "Mr President, I have come here today not to ask any favor for anyone, nor for myself. I simply heard that you were very fond of cookies, and I came here today to present you with a basket-full which I baked just for you!"
As he listened to the lady’s words, tears welled up in the President’s eyes and began running unchecked down his face. He stood speechless for a moment, then said, "My good woman, your thoughtful and unselfish deed moves me. Thousands of people have entered this office since I became President, but you alone are the first to come asking no favor for yourself nor somebody else!"
I wonder, if the Lord doesn’t sometimes feel much the same way as Abraham Lincoln did that day, when He hears the millions of requests and petitions
with which we bombard heaven’s gates on a daily
basis - prayers in which we ask for divine favor or
His intervention into problems which afflict our daily lives.
Yet, amid all those requests for God to meet our every real and imagined need, let’s conside for a
moment how often do we stop and take time to utter a few simple words of thanks for all He has already done for us? A few words of praise for the blessings which He has continually supplied on a day to day basis even without our asking?
I truly believe that many people have the idea that the Lord God is supposed to be some sort of celestial
"sugar-daddy" who exists simply to fulfill our every wish. We sort of expect this as our due, and sad-to-say, seldom pause and take a moment to express appropriate thanks for all He has done.
When I was a kid, I had a playmate named Milton whose grandmother lived two houses down the street from my family. Milton’s parents lived just a few blocks further down the street and as a result, he spent a lot of time at his grandmother’s house.
But the thing I remember most about Milton was that he had more toys than any kid I ever knew. He was the
only son of his grandmother’s only son and the old
lady simply adored him, although he never seemed to notice it or to care at all. She continually lavished him with plenty of spending money and any toy he wanted: all he had to do was ask, or demand, as
he did frequently, and the wanted item appeared like magic.
Sporting equipment, electric trains, toy soldiers, baseball cards, games...you name it....Milton had it
all! Nothing was too expensive or too good for him to have, and I must admit that I thought he was the luckiest kid alive. But there was one drawback in Milton’s character that cancelled out all that he had, because he was a spoiled - disrespectful - unappreciative - smart-mouthed brat!
In spite of all the efforts that his grandmother took to exress her love for him, Milton argued and talked back to her and showed little if any respect, love, or even simple appreciation in return for all she did.
And even as I remember it 45 years later, I think
what a shame it was, both for his grandmother and
for Milton. Like Milton, it’s very easy for us to fall into the same sort of mindset where we take the many blessings which God has bestowed on us for granted and then fail to be properly thankful.
We live in a land of plenty where for the most-part, even the poorest of our people are provided with sufficient food, medical care and shelter.
We are given the opportunity to avail ourselves of an education and to develop our talents to the best of our abilities. We can sleep at night, secure in knowing that there are laws which protect our freedoms and that there are people standing ready to enforce those laws when needed.
We have the best of everything here in America, yet the majority of us seldom stop and consider just how blessed we are.
And I’d pose the question this morning, "Do we have an ’Attitude of Gratitude’ toward our Heavenly Father, or are we a little bit like Milton, and consider all His blessings our just due with little thought of giving thanks in return?
I don’t know if you ever considered it or not, but