Summary: A Thanksgiving sermon
“COME, YE THANKFUL PEOPLE, COME!” Psalm 118
INTRO – One of the first things we teach our children is to say “Please” and “Thank you.” Teach them to say “please” when they are asking for something. Teach them to say “thank you” when they are receiving something.
Those are 2 good things for us as children of God to learn to say. Our Lord definitely tells us that we can ask Him and should ask Him for different things: His blessings on our lives and families; for the salvation of the lost; for His leadership in our lives; for His wisdom; for the healing of the sick.
- Jesus said, “Ask and it will be given to you. Seek and you will find. Knock and the door will be opened to you.” (Matt. 7:7).
- Jeremiah recorded God’s words in Jer. 33:3 – “Call to me and I will answer you and show you great and mighty things which you do not know.”
- John wrote these words in 1 John 5:14-15 – “And this is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And we know that if He hears us – whatever we ask – we know that we have what we asked of Him.”
Asking is definitely an important aspect of the Christian life.
Saying “thank you” is also an equally important aspect of the Christian life. Ps. 118 is just one of many passages that help us learn to express our gratitude to God for all His many blessings:
- “Give thanks to the Lord, call on His name; make known among the nations what He has done.” – 1 Chron. 16:8
- “Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord; let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation. Let us come before Him with t’giving and extol Him with music and song.” – Ps. 95:1-2
- “Enter His gates with t’giving and His courts with praise; give thanks to Him and praise His name.” – Ps. 100:4
- “But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” – 1 Cor. 15:57
- “Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” – 1 Thess. 5:18
- “Therefore, since we are receiving a k’dom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe.” – Heb. 12:18
Taking the time to stop and say “thank you” is such a healthy thing in our Christian lives. It refreshes us. It renews us. It rejuvenates us. It restores us. That’s why we ought not just take one day out of the year to say thanks. Every day is t’giving day for the Christian!
So I say to you, as hymnwriter Henry Alford said in 1844 when he wrote these words, “Come, Ye Thankful People, Come”, and let’s find some biblical reasons for thankfulness.
I. GOD’S ENDURING LOVE – v. 1-4, 29
A. This is the foundation of it all. If it weren’t for the enduring love of God, you and I would have absolutely nothing to be thankful for.
i. Wouldn’t have our salvation.
ii. Wouldn’t have eternal life.
iii. Wouldn’t have a reason for worship.
iv. Wouldn’t have a reason for life.
B. You and I are sinners deserving death and hell. Yet, b/c of His enduring love for us, we have the promise of eternal life when we place our faith and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ. Do we need a greater reason for thankfulness than that?