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Summary: During this season of being thankful as Christians it goes beyond a table filled with food and turkey, making thanksgiving a part of our daily life.

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The word thankful means to be glad or relieved about something, and to have a feeling or expressing of gratitude.

How’s your thanksgiving this morning? How’s your joy?

Is life weighing you down with worry? Doubt? Relationships in your life causing problems in your daily walk?

You’re not alone. We have a savior who cares. Blind man healed (John 9)

“I was blind – now I see”; what better reason to celebrate! It is that type of rejoicing and thankfulness that Paul wrote about not only in our reading but through out his epistles.

A thanksgiving that admonishes that we be thankful even in the “low” times

It’s in those low times God helps us to see his hand in our lives it may be in the middle of the storm that we finally realize his sustaining hand.

Jonah 1:17-2:1-2; 7-9

How about Paul’s thorn – 2 Cor. 8-10 – love vs. 10, “even in our weakness, His strength will shine through.”

We are going to have those “gloomy” times but never forget, the Son is still shinning and that He will use those low moments for His glory and to raise us up where He wants us to be.

Isn’t that a pretty good reason to be THANKFUL?

May we always be thankful for others in our lives.

Listen to what Paul wrote to the church in 1 Cor. 12:24-26:

“…God composed the body, having given greater honor to that part which lacks it, that there should be no schism in the body, but that the members should have the same care for one another. And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; or if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it.”

Since 9/11 people in NYC and through out the US for that matter have been very appreciative of Firefighters/Police/Service Men and Women/First Responders – don’t hesitate they just do.

We need to be thankful for the everyday heroes in our lives.

On youth trips – show “thanks” by doing unexpected – stack towels, etc.- bus our own table.

In hopes that going the “extra mile” – not only in deed, but speech - will show Christ to others.

Romans 12:1-2

By living my thankfulness in my care toward others – I am presenting myself, Paul says, as a living sacrifice.

My duty is to beam with characteristics God would want me to have.

What was it Jesus said would be the identifying characteristics of His disciples? “…if you have love one for another.”

It’s not easy I’ll grant you that, but how about this consideration. How easy have you been to love in your life?

Remember those low moments – we all have them.

This past Thursday the thing I enjoyed more than the bounty of food – was the times of reflection. (stories from childhood)

The secret to getting along as a family – what we want to recall – Paul urges us:

“…whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.” Phil. 4:8-9

Difficulty will come. Trials will come. Adversity must be faced. Conflict is inevitable.

Colossians 3:14-17

Thanksgiving that we have a wonderful savior who is always vigilant.

A savior who is standing by God on His throne explaining why – gives us all the reason to look up and smile no matter what comes our way.

As the Hebrew write put it:

“…we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet was without sin. Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” (Heb. 4-15-16)

Need a reason to be joyful – need a reason to be give others undeserved kindness – need a reason to simply trust and not be anxious?

We need only think about the life of Christ – he knew betrayal and loss – he knew hostility at its worst – he knows what it means to trust that the Father knows what’s best.

Ephesians 2:12-13: “remember that at that time you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ.”

This morning if you are not a child of God – you are separated from the blessings Christians share and are excluded as a citizen in heaven.

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