Summary: This message is a thanksgiving for unity plus a call to unity in purpose to reach the lost.
Community Thanksgiving Service 2000
I am Thankful to be the speaker
I hope I will be Thankful after the sermon
that I have not embarrassed my church or my self
I am Thankful that we only elect presidents
once every four years
I am Thankful that teenagers will grow up and
that one day they will have children
that will become teenagers of their own
I am Thankful that I am not a turkey this week
I am Thankful that the space available for messages
on T-shirts and bumpers is limited.
I am Thankful that hugs and kisses
do not add weight or cause cancer
I am Thankful that TVs, Radios, & CD players
can be turned off
I am Thankful that God’s love never fails
I am Thankful that we can come together this evening
This unity or like-mindedness is what I want to address this evening.
Obviously we are not like-minded in all areas,
but there is common ground
1 Therefore if there is any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and mercy, 2 fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. 3 Let nothing be done through
selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. 4 Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.
5 Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, 6 who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, 7 but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.
In the New International Version, verse 1 & 2, talks about …
… Being UNITED with Christ
… Being LIKE-MINDED
… Having the SAME LOVE
… Being ONE IN SPIRIT AND PURPOSE
I. We Come Together, LIKEMINDED,
United with Christ
George Barna in an effort to define true Christians for polling purposes came up with common beliefs that we can come together on.
Some of those are:
· We made a personal commitment to Jesus Christ
That is still important in our lives today.
· We believe that when we die we will go to heaven because we have confessed our sins and accepted Jesus Christ as our savior
· We believe that Jesus lived a sinless life
· We know that God is the only all knowing, all powerful, perfect Deity that created the universe and still rules today
· We believe that salvation is only available through the grace of God
· And most importantly, we believe that we each have a personal responsibility to share our beliefs about Christ with non-Christians
Unfortunately, today, only 8% of Americans meet this criteria.
Which makes that last one even more important.
II. We Come Together, LIKEMINDED,
Having the same Love.
Betty Ross of Akron Ohio told a story
about a busload of teens coming into a fast food restaurant. The doors opened and they poured in. A long line formed. Everyone was anxious to order… Everyone except one boy. He took a seat in the back of the restaurant away from everyone else.