Summary: How to give thanks
With the help of an outline by David DeWitt but my illustrations.
DO WE GIVE THANKS BECAUSE GOD LOVES US? 1 CH 16:34
Snoopy is outside, lying on top of his doghouse, smells that aroma, & he is thinking, “It’s Thanksgiving Day. Everybody eats turkey on Thanksgiving Day.” So he lies there, watching the back door, eagerly awaiting his Thanksgiving dinner. Finally, the door opens & here comes Charlie Brown with a bowl of dog food, & he puts it on the ground. Snoopy gets off his house & stares at the dog food with a forlorn look on his face. And he thinks, “Just because I’m a dog, I have to eat dog food on Thanksgiving Day.” Then the next square shows him looking at the dog food more intently, & he is thinking, “It could be worse. I could be the turkey.”
Most of us take a great deal in life for granted. Most of us complain more than we thank. Most of us are more often displeased with something than grateful. Most of us live out of our abundance and not our need. Most of us are far less thankful than we should be. There are 138 passages of scripture that deal with the subject of being thankful. God places a high emphasis on being thankful and so should the church.
A Sunday School teacher asked her class if they knew the difference between kindness and loving-kindness. One little girl said she knew the difference. She told the teacher that kindness is like when you ask your mother for some toast and she gives it to you, but loving-kindness is when you ask your mother for some toast and she gives it to you with butter and jam on it. And that’s the way God is. God, in his loving kindness, is an exceedingly generous giver. He doesn’t just give you some blessings, but He gives some ’blessings’ with some butter and jam on it. It was Thanksgiving season in the nursing home. The small resident population was gathered about their humble Thanksgiving table, and the director asked each in turn to express one thing for which they were thankful. One little old lady in her turn said, ’I thank the Lord for two perfectly good teeth, one in my upper jaw and one in my lower jaw that match so that I can chew my food.’
We see this statement in O. T. over and over, “Give thanks to the LORD for He is good and His love endures forever.” It appears 45 separate times. So do you spend your time giving thanks?
We see a pattern in this: Give thanks-- Give thanks to the LORD-- Give thanks for God’s Goodness - God is good in His care. - Give thanks for God’s love.
1. WE ARE TO GIVE THANKS.
The word we translate as thanks in English means much more in Hebrew. The word means, "To make public acknowledgment." This is the same word that we get our English word confess. This comes in two manners: we are to confess the name of God, publicly proclaiming His name and confessing our sins.
Giving thanks is an act of showing thankfulness toward God for His abundant blessings. When we confess the name of God, we are telling of all that He has done for us. When we confess our sins to God we are telling of all we have done against Him. Both take tremendous courage and humility.
Do not think of what you do not have; Instead, appreciate what you have and can still have? Do not think of things lost; Instead, value what you still have and may yet find. Do not cry over spilled milk; Instead, rejoice in what was left. Do not think of what you are not; Instead, be humble with what you are and can still become. Do not think of what others say you are; Instead, concern yourself with what you affirm to be. Do not think of the hours and days past; Instead, look eagerly to times that are yet to come. Do not think of what you failed to do; Instead, think of those that you were able to do and can still best do. Do not think of mistakes committed; Instead, count the things you did right. Do not think much of the pain you have caused; Instead, plan for ways to make amends. Do not think of the sufferings you now bear; Instead, look to the comfort when relief draws near. Do not consume yourself with thoughts of what could have been; Instead, marvel at what has become and will become. Do not be anxious to attain greater happiness; Instead, content yourself with the little things which bring you bliss. Do not aspire to fill your cup at once; Instead, have the patience to do it little by little. And if by chance you fail, do not fret over the empty part on top; Instead, celebrate the space filled up. Do not condemn nature when it is at its worst; Instead, think of the times when it was at its best. Do not blame luck for things you miss; Instead, learn from things in which you have been remiss. Nor should you curse luck or others for life’s misfortunes; Instead, accept them as part of life. I say then, Live fully, die a little, Learn much but question less. Have just enough but give much more, Be contented each time to crave much less. Doubt less and affirm a lot, Understand more, and be understood less. Worry a little but hope you must, Accept all, resist the least. For all things happen, In due time they must. By P. E. Calleja