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Summary: "Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!"

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GIVING THANKS

A few days before Thanksgiving, a man in Florida called his son in Toronto. “I hate to ruin your day, Son, but I have some bad news for you. Your mother and I are getting a divorce. Forty-five years of misery is enough.” Frantic, the son called his sister in Vancouver to tell her the shocking news. “I’ll handle this,” the sister said. And she immediately called her parents. “You are not getting a divorce!” she told her father. “We are flying down tomorrow night, so that we can talk some sense into you and Mom. Don’t do anything until we get there!” “All right,” the father agreed. The father hung up the phone and hollered to his wife, “Okay, they’re coming for Thanksgiving…and they’re paying their own way!”

Have you noticed that many people now refer to Thanksgiving Day as “Turkey Day”? Why?

“Although they knew God [through creation], they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him” (Romans 1:21). Mankind refused to give thanks to God for earthly blessings, such as sunshine, rain, and crops. Instead, they “worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator” (v. 25).

Sadly, Thanksgiving has become a day when people worship a created thing (a turkey) rather than the Creator.

Blaise Pascal, the 17th century mathematician and philosopher, said, “Man’s sensitivity to small things, and his insensitivity to the most important things, are surely evidences of a strange disorder.”

Two common attitudes toward thanksgiving:

• Blessings are seen as coming from US, not GOD.

Bart Simpson’s prayer: “Dear God, we paid for this stuff ourselves, so thanks for nothing.”

“You may say to yourself, ‘My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me.’ But remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth” (Deuteronomy 8:17-18).

“Every good and perfect gift is from above” (James 1:17).

“Always give credit where credit is due.”

Governor William Bradford of Massachusetts is believed to have made the first Thanksgiving proclamation three years after the Pilgrims settled at Plymouth:

Inasmuch as the Great Father has given us this year of an abundant harvest of Indian corn, wheat, peas, beans, squashes, and garden vegetables, and has made the forest to abound with game and the sea with fish and clams, and inasmuch as He has spared us from pestilence and disease, has granted us freedom to worship God according to the dictates of our own conscience. Now I, your magistrate, do proclaim that all ye Pilgrims, with your wives and ye little ones, do gather at ye meeting house, on ye hill, between the hours of nine and twelve in the daytime, on Thursday, November 29th, in the year of our Lord One Thousand Six Hundred and Twenty-Three, and the third year since ye Pilgrims landed on ye Pilgrim Rock, there to listen to ye pastor and render thanksgiving to ye Almighty God for all His blessings.

On January 31, 1957, the Canadian Parliament proclaimed: “A Day of General Thanksgiving to Almighty God for the bountiful harvest with which Canada has been blessed…is to be observed on the second Monday in October.”

The tradition of Thanksgiving was born out of the realization that all good things come from God and that He deserves our gratitude.

• PHYSICAL and MATERIAL blessings are valued more than SPIRITUAL blessings.

Life expectancy:

1st century: 20-30 years

Early 20th century: 30-40 years

Present: 65 years (source: wikipedia.org)

Canada: 80.4 years (source: cbc.ca)

Probably most of us don’t consider ourselves wealthy, but according to a website called the Global Rich List:

If your annual income is $10,000, you are richer than 86% of the world’s population.

If your annual income is $30,000, you are richer than 91% of the world’s population.

If your annual income is $60,000, you are richer than 99% of the world’s population.

We should be thankful for physical and material blessings, but we should be more thankful for spiritual blessings.

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ” (Ephesians 1:3).

GOD’S INDESCRIBABLE GIFT

Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift! (2 Corinthians 9:15).

1. God’s gift is the SACRIFICE of His SON.

Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life (John 3:16b).

a. The motive for God’s gift: LOVE.

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son

“For God so loved the world.” The word “so” emphasizes the intensity of God’s love. “For God loved the world so much…” (NLT).

If you wanted to learn the meaning of the word “love,” you might look in a dictionary. [Pick up dictionary] But a dictionary isn’t the best the place to look for a definition of “love.” The Bible says, “God is love” (1 John 4:8, 16). God defines love. If you want to know what love is, you must know who God is and what He has done.

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