Summary: Thanksgiving is a time to reflect on what God has done for us and to show Him An Awesome Appreciaiton for ALL He continues to do in our lives.
(ALL my sermons use illustrations found at www.sermoncentral.com and ALL scripture is NIV unless otherwise noted)
This morning we will sit and have a wonderful Harvest Dinner together, we will eat to our heart’s content and we will be blessed by food and fellowship. But, this is the time of the year, that we have reserved, to give thanks for all we have. I think, personally, we should give thanks everyday for what we have. BUT, I know that what we have to be thankful is all a matter of having the right perspective.
One day a father of a very wealthy family took his son on a trip to the country with the firm purpose of showing his son how poor people live. They spent a couple of days and nights on the farm of what would be considered a very poor family. On their return from their trip, the father asked his son, "How was the trip?" "It was great, Dad." "Did you see how poor people live?" the father asked. "Oh yeah," said the son. "So, tell me, what did you learn from the trip?" asked the father. The son answered: "I saw that we have one dog and they had four. We have a pool that reaches to the middle of our garden and they have a creek that has no end. We have imported lanterns in our garden and they have the stars at night. Our patio reaches to the front yard and they have the whole horizon. We have a small piece of land to live on and they have fields that go beyond our sight. We have servants who serve us, but they serve others. We buy our food, but they grow theirs. We have walls around our property to protect us, they have friends to protect them." The boy’s father was speechless. Then his son added, "Thanks, Dad, for showing me how poor we are."
Isn’t perspective a wonderful thing? Makes you wonder what would happen if we all gave thanks for everything we have, instead of worrying about what we don’t have.
This morning I want to talk about having An Awesome Appreciation for ALL that God has done for us. I want to look at the scripture and see what we should be doing to show how thankful we are for God and what He has done for us. Let’s face it, not everyone shows God the appreciation that God deserves. As a matter of fact many times in the Bible we see people who were less than appreciative. If you have your Bible with you this morning, please turn to the Gospel of Luke, chapter 17: 11-19, I will be reading from the Living Version.
Luke 17:11-19 As they continued onward toward Jerusalem, they reached the border between Galilee and Samaria, 12 and as they entered a village there, ten lepers stood at a distance, 13 crying out, "Jesus, sir, have mercy on us!" 14 He looked at them and said, "Go to the Jewish priest and show him that you are healed!" And as they were going, their leprosy disappeared. 15 One of them came back to Jesus, shouting, "Glory to God, I'm healed!" 16 He fell flat on the ground in front of Jesus, face downward in the dust, thanking him for what he had done. This man was a despised Samaritan. 17 Jesus asked, "Didn't I heal ten men? Where are the nine? 18 Does only this foreigner return to give glory to God?" 19 And Jesus said to the man, "Stand up and go; your faith has made you well." (The Living Version)
Do we show our Appreciation for a loving, gracious and merciful God as we should? As we celebrate Thanksgiving, we need to truly reflect on how we can become a people of Awesome Appreciation. I think that everyone of us here this morning has been blessed by our God, I believe that ALL of us are where we are today, in the greatest country in the world, freely assembling, in worship of the only true God, and we need to show our appreciation of this. So this morning let us look at ways we can show our thanks to God.
I. AWESOME APPRECIATION IS WANTING TO KNOW GOD AS WELL AS HE KNOWS US.
The scripture tells us that God is so completely interested in us, he knows us before we are even formed in the womb, he knows the hairs are on our head, (not too many to count for some of us) He has plans to prosper us and not to harm us. God knows us. In the Gospel of John, as Jesus was calling the 12 to himself, we read: John 1:44-51 Philip, like Andrew and Peter, was from the town of Bethsaida. 45 Philip found Nathanael and told him, "We have found the one Moses wrote about in the Law, and about whom the prophets also wrote-Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph." 46 "Nazareth! Can anything good come from there?" Nathanael asked. "Come and see," said Philip. 47 When Jesus saw Nathanael approaching, he said of him, "Here is a true Israelite, in whom there is nothing false." 48 "How do you know me?" Nathanael asked. Jesus answered, "I saw you while you were still under the fig tree before Philip called you." 49 Then Nathanael declared, "Rabbi, you are the Son of God; you are the King of Israel." 50 Jesus said, "You believe because I told you I saw you under the fig tree. You shall see greater things than that." 51 He then added, "I tell you the truth, you shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man."