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Summary: We see David as an example of thankfulness in this passage. We see his thankfulness shine through.

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An Example of Thanksgiving

A Sermon by CH(CPT) Keith J. Andrews

All Scripture marked ESV: The Holy Bible : English standard version. 2001 (Ps 9:1). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.

Psalm 9:1 says:

1 I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart;

I will recount all of your wonderful deeds. (Ps. 9:1, ESV)

This week I have been involved in teaching a class to the entire Battalion on stress management. Through my research earlier in the week, I uncovered a helpful list of stress management techniques from a blog title zenhabits.net. This list of stress helps that are similar to what we normally think of...identify the stressors, get organized, exercise, eat healthy. But, near the bottom of his list the writer, Leo Babauta, wrote this comment;

Be grateful. This might not be as obvious as some of the others, but developing an attitude of gratitude…is a way of thinking positive, eliminating negative thinking from your life, and thereby reducing stress. Learn to be grateful for what you have, for the people in your life, and see it as a gift. With this sort of outlook on life, stress will go down and happiness will go up. That’s a winning formula. (www.zenhabits.net/2007/06/20-ways-to-eliminate-stress-from-your-life/)

We need to be grateful. Gratefulness brings about stress reduction and positive attitudes. He has a very good point; however, he misses a large elephant in the room, but not pointing people to thank God. This idea of gratefulness toward others, is a good thing—but how much could these results be multiplied by giving thanks to a God who literally made all things possible.

We need to be people who give thanks to God.

The passage we are looking at this morning is a psalm of David

All of the psalms are important, but, for me, when I see a psalm of David—I immediately identify with him. I have read the story about the giant, I have read the stories about his battle with Saul, and I have read the stories about his leadership.

When I read a psalm of David I immediately picture David and his worship of God.

I see a man who walked with God. It has been said “David was a man after God’s own heart”.

And David was thankful.

We see David as an example of thankfulness in this passage. We see his thankfulness shine through because

1. He was intentional

David says, “I will thank you, Lord”. David makes up his mind that he will be thankful. He makes a promise to God that he will thank Him.

David makes an intentional effort to give thanks.

Is this uncommon? No.

As we all have heart the teaching of parents tell us to say, “thank you” to those who give a gift, or make a complement.

Emily Post recognizes “Please” and “Thank You” as the two magic words, and she encourages parents to teach these to their children.

One of the accepted rituals and blessings after a wedding, or a graduation, is the writing of “thank you” notes to express the appreciation of the gift and the thought.

My favorite painter is Norman Rockwell. I love to see his paintings of Americans going about there business.

I saw one Rockwell painting the other day that I believe many have seen. It was a picture of a restaurant, beside a busy street. The restaurant was full. The focal point of this busy restaurant was one particular table. On one end there were two men smoking cigarettes staring at the occupants on the other end of the table.

These men look as if they are hard workers, but they also look rough. There is a sense of emptiness in there hearts as look look to the other end of the table and see an elderly lady.

She has her head bowed and her hands folded. Beside her is her grandson, nicely dressed. He too has his head bowed and his hands folded.

They are saying the blessing before they eat their meal.

We say this blessing as an opportunity to say “thank you” for our food.

The discipline of saying grace is not for the purpose of evangelism. Many times this is encouraged for this purpose. But we should not confuse the two.

We should not be out to show anybody anything through our prayers. We are not there to prove a point; we are there to thank the Lord.

But the discipline of saying grace is important because it is frequent and purposeful and can be habit forming.

But saying grace has to do with the attitude of the heart.

A thankful heart truly grateful for the meal about the be received.

We must be intentional about our thanksgiving to God.

We must take the time.

We must make the effort; and

We must make the habit of thanking Him.

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