Summary: A Thanksgiving sermon which directs the Christian’s focus to what Christ has done through our salvation if we never got another thing.
Central Christian Church
St. Petersburg, Florida
Nov. 27 2002
COUNT IT ALL DUNG
In today’s politically correct environment where you have to be so careful to keep from offending anyone, we might all have to give reports like this fourth grader who reported on the origins of the Thanksgiving holiday. "The pilgrims came here seeking freedom of you know what. When they landed, they gave thanks to you know who. Because of them, we can worship each Sunday, you know where."
I’ve seen a picture of the pilgrims at the first American Thanksgiving. Do you know half of their number died the first year they were here? They had a hard time, and it was a cold winter. Dangers lurked everywhere, but those pilgrims didn’t think of the death of their loved ones and the dangers and the cold weather. You see they had suffered but they were looking at the bigger picture! They didn’t let their suffering obscure the blessings of God. They knew that regardless of what happened to them they were children of the one true God. People who had been washed by the blood, people who had victory and blessed assurance in Christ. They went together, and they thanked the Lord for the blessings they had received.
Every one of us is more blessed than we give God credit.
I want to challenge you tonight to ask you Christians- How do you look at your lives this Thanksgiving?
What kind of Christians are we?
Like the early Pilgrims is our salvation enough for us?
If we never received another thing after we received Christ would that be enough for us? Are we content with what we have been given or do we want more and more?
Do we believe for some warped reason that because we are children of God we deserve the best in this world and also the best in the world to come?
Do we believe we shouldn’t suffer? Have we forgotten about joy when we do?
Have we forgotten that if we join Christ in suffering we will join Him in His resurrection?
Have we like Paul learned what it is to have little, and what it is to have plenty. In any and all circumstances have we learned the secret of being
content and full of peace?
If not, we have not totally grasped the significance of what Christ has done.
The apostle Paul gives us these words:
Finally, my brothers, rejoice in the Lord! For it is we who are the circumcision, we who worship by the Spirit of God, who glory in Christ Jesus, and who put no confidence in the flesh-- though I myself have reasons for such confidence. But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ.
What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ
and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ--the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith.
I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead. (Phil. 3:1-11)
Is this our life?
1. To know Christ
2. To live life with resurrection power or powerless?
3. To know suffering, I mean to embrace suffering like we embrace potlucks?
4. To become like Him
5. And by doing so to somehow attain the resurrection power at the time of our own death.
I HOPE SO! I hope this is our lives!
Paul says everything else in the world I consider rubbish- the Greek word is skubalon. Let me tell you what skubalon is. In Jerusalem they had these narrow roads about buggy width wide they traveled on. On each side was a wall about 2-3’ high. The donkeys, the goats, the sheep all the animals did their stuff in those narrow passage ways.
When it rained the mud and dirt mixed together with the animal excrement and that was skubalon.
Skubalon got in the sandals and between the toes and when you entered a home the bond servant or the slave (the one who had no rights), the lowest of all servants would wash the skubalon from your feet.
Both Paul and Jesus call themselves bond servants, remember it was Jesus who washed the skubalon from the disciple’s feet.
What Paul is saying to us is that the greatest riches the world could ever know compared to Christ, compared to salvation he considered dung, manure, excrement.