Summary: Christians can do Thanksgiving right
Intro: Out of the many nations of the world, America is one of only a few that celebrates Thanksgiving Day. In most nations there is not a day set apart to offer thanks. This thought hit me, it is because we were established as a Christian nation, and Christians have the most to be thankful for. Psalms 100 is very familiar to us, and today I would like to look at four points from this beautiful Psalm, and title my message, Doing Thanksgiving Right
Doing Thanksgiving Right
Before we look at four points in doing Thanksgiving right, let’s see how Thanksgiving can be done wrong. Seeing it as just a day off from work is not the point, seeing it as a day to eat turkey is not the point, seeing it as a day of offering Thanks to God is the point.
I. Thanksgiving is about being a joyful person—v.1 when I met Lauri years ago she was a 2nd grade school teacher and sometimes I would stop by while her kids were outside during recess time. One thing about 2nd grade recess were the giggles. It is so much fun to be around little children running and playing and having fun. God loves giggles, He wants us to be joyful. I believe the reason Thanksgiving is a Christian day is that we have so much to be happy about: our sins washed away, a new life in Jesus Christ, a hope for eternity.
· The joy of the Lord is our strength—as a Christian joy is a big part of our life. In this world there will be a lot of things that can pull people down, but as a Christian, having the Lord in our lives brings great joy.
· Doctor Dale Robbins writes: I use to think people complained because they had problems, but have found people have problems because they complain. Complaining never makes a situation better, and generally makes it worse. It amplifies discontentment, discord and frustration. Psalms 77:3- I complained and my spirit was over-whelmed.
Ill) if you look hard enough, there is always a bright side to everything. Snoopy was complaining about being a dog on Thanksgiving because everyone was eating turkey. Finally, he saw the good side of it all, at least I’m not the turkey.
II. Thanksgiving is about Worshipping God—v.2 come before His presence with singing. The reason Christians are the only ones who can do Thanksgiving right is because it is all about Worshipping God.
The story of the 10 lepers being cleansed and only one returning to worship the Lord is a picture of our world. Jesus said, were there not nine others cleansed? Today we want to be the one, the one who stops to Thank God, Worship Him.
· We have all read stories of thanklessness, but this week I read a story of one man who was a great swimmer who rescued 17 people. Later he was interviewed as a hero and was asked to comment on the entire event. He said, what amazed me the most is that no one said thank you.
Doing Thanksgiving right is about Worship. As a Christian you can
Do thanksgiving every day by having a heart of worship. Revelation
4:11 states, “ and for thy pleasure we are created, thou art worthy oh
Lord.” We are created to worship God.
III. Thanksgiving is about Knowing God—v.3 we are His people and the sheep of His pasture. The reason Christians are the only ones who can do Thanksgiving right is because we know God and God knows us.
Ill) if you have ever been to a professional golf tournament you have stood behind the ropes. The players are on the course and a rope separates you from them. An old clip of Jack Nicklaus that he said is one of his most memorable events in his career, was when his young son Jackie ran out on the course during a major championship and jumped into his outstretched arms. To everyone else Jack was the golfer, but for Jackie he was dad.
This knowing God is personal not professional, it is relational not theological. For anyone to do Thanksgiving right they must know God in Spirit and know God in Truth.
IV. Thanksgiving is about saying Thank You—v.4 This seems like such a simple point but it is so simple we miss it. Just like Christmas has become X-Mas, Thanksgiving will be missed if we don’t offer thanks to God.
Ill) on a crowded New York City bus a man got up and offered his seat to a lady, she was so over-whelmed by the kindness she passed out, when she came too she said thank you to the man, and he passed out. It is so sad that the offering of Thanks has become an oddity in our world.