Summary: A sermon that discusses the necessity of feeling thankful in our hearts for all that God has done for us. Full text and audio will be placed at www.sermonlist.com
This coming Thursday is Thanksgiving. Families all across this nation will be sitting down to enjoy the abundance of food that the Lord has provided. It is a day we have set aside to focus on how thankful we are for all the many blessings our heavenly Father has given us.
But how can we be thankful if we have not submitted our will to the Lord’s will? How can we show gratitude if we are refusing to let Him into our lives? I think we need to sacrifice something to God before we can give Him our thanks. I think we need to sacrifice our pride and our independence.
When we give up that, we are humbling our hearts, and when we have a humbled heart, God is then able to work His miracles in and around us.
Have you ever taken the time to ponder over what giving thanks really means, or how we should do it?
1 THESSALONIANS 5:18, says,
“... Give thanks in all circumstances.”
We are told to be thankful in everything. That doesn’t mean we are thankful for the bad things that happen, but we are thankful because it is in those bad things we can seek solace in the Lord. Be thankful we serve a God who wants to have that kind of relationship with us.
In PSALM 35:28, it goes on to say,
“My tongue will speak of your righteousness and of your praises all day long.”
None of us thanks in all circumstances for those things God has given us. And I would even go so far as to say that most of us do not praise God all day long, either. But we should for two reasons. First of all, we should because God commanded it, and secondly, we should because no matter how much or how little you have, you have more than most of the people in the world.
Let’s talk about how …
1. GOD GIVES - BECAUSE HE LOVES US
How thankful would you have been if you were among the first pilgrims? There were three boatloads that came over from England to make a home in this new country. On the voyage over, the wind blew them off course and instead of landing in Virginia, they landed in Massachusetts. And they landed just before the onset of winter.
When winter came, it came with a fury, and within a month, half of them were sick. They had the crudest of shelters and very little in the way of supplies. Over half of them died that first winter, sometimes at the rate of two and three a day!
Come springtime, those that were left had next to no supplies left. Thankfully, the Indians showed them how to plant and raise corn. Their first harvest was barely enough to keep everyone fed. The sponsors of their trip refused to send any more supplies and I can imagine that, being human, many of them probably wanted to go back to England.
I guess it is human nature to choose to go back into bad situations rather than go forth into unknown situations. After all, the Israelites did the same thing. Just a matter of weeks after being delivered out of bondage and they were complaining and saying they should just go back to Egypt.
What did the pilgrims have to be thankful for? They had their lives, and because the Indians showed them how to plant and harvest corn, they had enough supplies to get through the second winter. But how was their Thanksgiving different than our day of Thanksgiving?
The pilgrims prayed as if their lives depended on it, we don’t. The pilgrims knew that every thing they had was a direct blessing from our Lord; sometimes we forget that. The pilgrims yearned to give thanks for all they had, and most often we don’t.
I want you to think of some of the blessings that God has given you in your lifetime.
First of all, God has given you the blessing of physical life. He has also given a spiritual blessing, too. He has given you the wisdom to seek Jesus in your life.
The list in both these categories could go on and on, but I want to concentrate on just one blessing for a moment; a blessing that surpasses all the rest in importance to us. God, in His great love for you, gave up His Son so that you might choose to be reconciled back to God.
God is a righteous and holy God. All of us have been given the same chance to follow His rules, and to gain entry into His house we must follow His rules.
So, what else has God done for us? For those of us who try to follow the rules, He let the blood of Jesus pay our fines in full. That is the one blessing that God has given us which is greater than all other blessings combined.