Summary: A LIFESTYLE OF WORSHIP INCLUDES GIVING THANKS!
ENTER HIS GATES: A CALL TO THANKSGIVING
NOVEMBER 24, 2002
INTRODUCTION: THANKSGIVING LIST
Here is a list of things housewives are most thankful for:
"For automatic dishwashers because they make it possible for us to get out of the kitchen before the family comes back in for their after-dinner snacks.
For husbands who attack small repair jobs around the house because they usually make them big enough to call in the professionals.
For children who put away their things & clean up after themselves. They’re such a joy you hate to see them go home to their own parents.
For teenagers because they give parents an opportunity to learn a second language.
For Smoke alarms because they let you know when the turkey’s “done."
SOURCE: Melvin Newland, Minister, Central Christian Church, Brownsville, Tx.
Bishop Gerland Kennedy of California tells the true story of a shipwreck off the coast of Evanston, Ill. many years ago. The students of Northwestern University came to the rescue. One student, Edward Spenser, personally saved the lives of 17 persons that day. Years later a reporter was writing a follow up story on the event, and went to interview the now elderly Spenser. When asked what was the one thing that stood out about the incident in his mind; Spenser replied: “I remember that of the seventeen people I saved that day, not one of them ever thanked me.”
Staff, www.eSermons.com, October, 2001
TRANSITION THOUGHT: It’s that time of year again! The Holidays are here! Mine started even earlier with the Primetimers coming to dinner. We are called to be givers of thanks, and annually at our Thanksgiving with the Primetimers, we pause and share for what we are thankful. It seems so strange that we have to be reminded to give thanks, but this is specifically what our text for the day calls for. This text was thought to be the beginning hymn for a thanksgiving service in which a procession of worshippers would sing as they entered the temple. It was a call to worship and more importantly a call to give thanks.
THESIS SENTENCE: A LIFESTYLE OF WORSHIP INCLUDES GIVING THANKS!
TRANSITION THOUGHT CONTINUED: As I was thinking of this day, a collage of text came to mind. The first was the story found in Luke 17: 11-19. The story tells of Jesus healing Ten Lepers. All ten asked Jesus to heal them. All ten were healed by Jesus. But of the ten who were healed, only a foreigner, a Samaritan came back to give God praise in a loud voice! “He threw himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him—and he was a Samaritan (verse 16).”
The reason this text came to my mind was the reality of our failure to remember to Give thanks for all God has done for us. Maybe I shouldn’t say our failure, but MINE!! Two weeks ago a group of pastors meet in Bessemer City to begin a program call the Leadership Development Journey.
There will be many groups meeting, but I was in this one. Our facilitator, Rev. Buddy Rampey asked us to share our testimony of how we had arrived at were we are in our Journey with Jesus. As I recounted for the group what had brought me to this place of service for our King, I was overwhelmed at what Jesus had done for me. I started to get so emotional; I thought I would cry. At that moment I was reminded again of just how much I have to be thankful for and the main issue was that Jesus had saved me from a lifestyle that was leading me straight to HELL!! Sometimes I get so focused on the forest, I forget the trees!
Are you like me and have become one of the NINE? “Jesus asked, ‘Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner (verse 17)?’”
One other text also came to mind, it is probably one of my favorite scriptures. I learned it when I first got saved, because on Sunday nights my pastor used to states, “Let the redeemed of the Lord say so (Psalm 107!” The Psalmist states, “Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever. Let the redeemed of the Lord say this – those he redeemed from the hand of the fore, those he gathered from the lands, from the east and west, from north and south. Some wandered in desert wastelands, finding no way to a city were they could settle. They were hungry and thirsty, and their lives ebbed away. Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress. He led them by a straight way to a city where they could settle. Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for men, for he satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things (verses 1-9).”