Summary: A Thanksgiving holiday message teaching thanksgiving as a way of life
(adapted from a message by Darryl Dash entitled The Ultimate Lifestyle: Living Gratefully)
SPECIAL DAY: THANKSGIVING
TEXT: HEBREWS 12:28
TITLE: “DEVELOPING A LIFE OF GRATITUDE”
INTRODUCTION: A. An older fellow came into the post office with a post card in his hand. He
approached the postal employee behind the counter and said, “Sir, could you please
address this post card for me?” The employee gladly did so.
The older fellow then asked the postal employee if he could write a short message
on the post card for him. The employee agreed to do so. Then the older fellow asked
if he would sign it for him, too.
When he was finished, the postal employee asked, “Is there anything else I can do
for you?” The old fellow thought about it for a minute and then said, “Yes. At the
end could you just put, ‘P.S. Please excuse the sloppy handwriting?’”
--People are not naturally grateful
B. Some reasons for a lack of gratitude:
1. One of the reasons we struggle with gratitude is the pace of our life
a. We’re in too big of a hurry to be grateful
b. We’re so accustomed to being on the run that we never stop long enough to
recognize just how blessed we are.
2. Another reason for a lack of gratitude is that we’re too consumer oriented
--We approach life as if it’s a big shopping trip in which the name of the game is
3. The reason that we’re so busy and given to consumerism is that we take everything
--We forget to show gratitude to God for all that he has given us
C. Characteristics of ungrateful people:
1. Ungrateful people are never satisfied
a. No matter what happens, it’s never good enough for them.
--They’re always waiting on something bigger and better
b. Is. 1:3 – God says, “Even the animals – the donkey and the ox- know their owner
and appreciate his care, but not my people Israel. No matter what I do for them,
they still do not understand.”
2. Ungrateful people are always stressed out
a. The reason they’re so stressed out is that they’re ungrateful
b. People who are ungrateful believe that they’ve done it all themselves
1). If you believe you’ve done it all yourself in the past then you probably
believe that it’s all up to you in the future.
--You don’t need people. You don’t need God. You just carry the load
2). The result is a stressed-out life
c. Deut. 8:10 – “When you have eaten and are satisfied, praise the LORD your
God for the good land he has given you.”
3. Ungrateful people have no joy
a. If ungrateful people are never satisfied and they’re always stressed out, the
result is going to be a lack of joy
b. Prov. 10:28 – “The prospect of the righteous is joy, but the hopes of the wicked
come to nothing.”
D. Heb. 12:28 – “Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let
us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe.”
--How do you develop a life of gratitude and “so worship God acceptably”?
1. When the economy isn’t good
2. When things aren’t going your way
3. When our nation is at war
4. The Bible gives us three keys to developing a life of gratitude
I. RECOGNIZE THAT EVERYTHING IS A GIFT FROM GOD
A. The first key to developing a life of gratitude is to remember who gave us what we have in the first place
1. We’re very good at getting
--But we quickly forget who gave us everything we have
2. Have you ever gone to McDonalds with your kids or grandkids?
a. You let them order the meal they want. You pay for it. Then when you sit down at a table and reach
out and take one of their fries, what do they say? They say, “Hey! Those are my fries!”
b. Who made it possible for your kids or grandkids to be able to have them in the first place?
--But those fries are now “they’re fries!”
3. Likewise, we have a tendency to forget that everything we have isn’t really ours – it’s really God’s.
--He just allows us to use it
4. The Bible is very clear in its teaching on this very subject
a. 1 Chron. 29:16 – “O LORD our God, as for all this abundance … it comes from your hand, and all
of it belongs to you.”
b. Acts 17:28 – “In him we live and move and have our being.”
--Even every breath we take is a gift from God
B. How do we remember that God is the source of everything?
1. First way is to establish a relationship with Him