Summary: Growing in the area of thankfulness
Building a Life of Thanksgiving
Today we're celebrating the Together We Build giving campaign with our offerings and commitments. This is the day we've waited for, we've prayed for, we've talked about; we've planned about, considered for about 10 weeks. If you're a visitor, you're our guest; I need to give you a word of explanation about our service. This is not going to be a typical service. This is not normal. This is a special day in the life of our church. What we're doing today has never been done on this scale before. Our Build the Wall giving campaign from 2008 pales in comparison to what we're doing this morning.
We believe, at FFWBC, that Building a Life of Thanksgiving involves both Thanks and Giving. Thanks and Giving go together. One of the major emphasis of our service today, we're going to express our thanks to God by giving an offering. If you're a guest with us today we certainly don't expect you to participate with us unless you feel led to. We want you to just sit back and enjoy the service and realize that this is a special day for the FFWBC family.
"Then the people rejoiced, for they offered willingly, because with perfect heart they offered willingly to the Lord: and David the king also rejoiced with great joy."
1. The first key to Building a Life of Thanksgiving is preparation.
a. Submission to God's plan (Solomon....whom God hath chosen) v. 1
b. Sense of proportion (the work is great) v. 1b
c. Singularity of purpose (I have prepared with all my might) v. 2
2. The second key to Building a Life of Thanksgiving is passion.
a. The decisions I make (I have set) v. 3a
b. The devotion I manifest (my affection) v. 3b
c. The designation I (to the house of God) 3c
3. The third key to Building a Life of Thanksgiving is practice.
Psalm 50:14 " 14 Offer unto God thanksgiving; and pay thy vows unto the most High:" 2 Corinthians 9:11 " 11 Being enriched in every thing to all bountifulness, (generosity) which causeth through us thanksgiving to God."
I saw a bumper sticker: "If You Love Jesus, tithe. Anybody can honk."
The Bible says that "thanks" and "giving' go together. Today we're going to do that giving part too. We're going to express our thanks by giving to God. About 350 years ago, a group of people called the Pilgrims, decided to set aside a day in the fall at which they would express thanksgiving to God, bring an offering to God, experience a banquet and joy, and share in fellowship together. Today we know that is called Thanksgiving and we will celebrate it as a national Holiday. But about 3000 years before that, God told His people, the children of Israel, the people who were true believers, I want you to set aside a day in the fall. It was called the Feast of Weeks or the Harvest Festival, at which they would bring an offering to God and express their thanks to God. Today we're just doing, what God told the children of Israel to do 3000 years ago.
Three thousand years ago an entire nation did what we're doing this morning. They came together to give sacrificially to build a place of worship to honor God. They prayed and sacrificed and they gave and it was the largest offering ever. It was an entire nation. In today's terms that offering was about four hundred million dollars given in Jerusalem to build the Temple. After that offering had been given, their leader David prayed a prayer. It's a prayer that I'm sure expresses the hearts of many of us today.
It says this in 1 Chronicles 29 " 13 Now therefore, our God, we thank thee, and praise thy glorious name.
14 But who am I, and what is my people, that we should be able to offer so willingly after this sort? for all things come of thee, and of thine own have we given thee."
When they gave, they didn't give out of grudge. They didn't give out of pressure. They didn't give because somebody forced them too. They didn't give with a reluctant heart. They gave out of gratitude. They gave with thanksgiving. Their giving was the result of their thanks. When you give with gratitude, it becomes an act of worship.
Ten weeks ago when we started this emphasis I said you can expect four things to happen during the next six weeks.
1. You can expect to see some miracles. And we have. We've received hundreds of letters. I've read some of them to you. Things that have happened, miraculous changes in people's lives and situations.
2. You can expect to grow spiritually. Because we're going to challenge you and stretch you, stretch your faith, stretch your commitment, stretch your priorities, your values, what you're willing to sacrifice.