Summary: We don’t really give thanks anymore. That should not be. We have a lot for which to be thankful.

-We have much for which to be thankful

oWe have some pretty good jobs

oThe rest of the world is going through a financial crisis – we are relatively unaffected

oPeople are being laid off – we still have a means to support ourselves and our families

oDoesn’t mean the job is always easy

oEven that is good

oAs my football coach used to say, “If it were easy, everyone would be doing it.”

oEven if the pay isn’t great or the work or the hours, at least you have the respect of so many in the civilian world who are really in awe of what we do

oYou have the respect of the vast majority of America’s citizens

oYou can be filled with pride knowing that you’ve served your country well

-The problem is, we aren’t always very thankful

-We’d rather complain about what we don’t have or whine about ways that it could be better

-We used to say in the Army that it is a soldier’s right to complain. I haven’t heard that in the Air Force yet.

-However, God would rather we just accept that gifts that He gives us and give Him a gracious thank you

-A lot of times God gives us His very best and we turn up our noses at it

-We see the stuff that others have and think that the grass is greener on their side of the fence

-It’s funny how Thanksgiving has kind of lost some of its meaning for us

-We live in the most prosperous country in the world and a lot of people don’t even really take the time to give thanks on a holiday called Thanksgiving

-Some of us don’t even call it Thanksgiving anymore

-We’ve replaced it with Turkey Day

-In many ways, Thanksgiving has become another hollow and meaningless holiday for which we get a day or two off

-It’s as if the tryptofan has permanently affected us.

-It has so calmed us that we’re almost numb to everything around us

-We have to wake up and see the blessings that God has placed in our lives {PAUSE}

-You’ve all purchased an item that you were sure was going to give you great joy and fulfillment only for the sheen and glitter to wear off in a few minutes or days or weeks

-But eventually the newness always wears off. Why?

-Because God has placed a void in our lives that we try to fill with all sorts of things.

-However, it can only be filled with Him

-That’s why the Apostle Paul in the Bible writes, “I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength.

-All we have to do is look around the world and see people who have a lot less than we do and are a lot happier

-One of the indicators of this, I think, is charitable giving

-When you understand that everything you have is a gift from God than you are more likely to help those that haven’t been blessed with as much

-Do you know during what our country has had the greatest per capita giving?

-It was during the Great Depression.

-Our per capita giving pales in comparison to the mid 1930s even though salaries have increased dramatically and unemployment has dropped significantly

-I think that demonstrates that we just aren’t very thankful sometimes{PAUSE}

-However, because of God’s great love for us, He forgives us for the times when we aren’t very thankful.

-He invites us to turn to Him with our mistakes.

-The Apostle John writes, “If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us but if we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”

-So are forgiven people, what does God want us to do.

-The Apostle Paul writes, “I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone— for kings and all those in authority,”

-So give thanks for your leaders and for all of our elected officials, even if you don’t agree with them on fundamental issues.

-Pray for them that God would give to them wisdom to make sound decisions and lead wisely.

-And there are real benefits for doing so.

-The text says, “that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God.”

-If our leaders make good decisions it benefits us all and for that we can truly give thanks.

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