Summary: This sermon could be preached at any time of the year but was written for Thanksgiving 2008. It uses 7 verbs from Psalm 100 as an outline.
Giving Thanks – The Thanksgiving Way
Today as we approach Thanksgiving I want us to look at:
A Psalm for Thanksgiving
It is Psalm One Hundred in your Bibles. I will be using the New American Standard Translation of the Scriptures today – because I like the way it reads and my outline will be based on seven verbs found in that translation. Let’s look at Psalm One Hundred together:
“Shout joyfully to the LORD, all the earth. Serve the LORD with gladness; Come before Him with joyful singing. Know that the LORD Himself is God; It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves; We are His people and the sheep of His pasture. Enter His gates with thanksgiving And His courts with praise. Give thanks to Him, bless His name. For the LORD is good; His lovingkindness is everlasting And His faithfulness to all generations.” Psalm 100:1-5 (NASV)
It would be good for us to remember that when this psalm was written – there was no such thing as “Thanksgiving” day. This psalm was written long before there were pilgrims in America – long before turkeys with stuffing were served across our nation as a main dish – long before there were parades and football games – long before America became was settled and became a country – but it is plain that this psalm is a psalm of thanksgiving none the less.
You see – thanksgiving does not need to be centered around some special date we set on a calendar. Thanksgiving – will be and has always been a matter of action and of the heart. Most of us would agree that thanksgiving should be a matter of the heart – but is it also a matter of action? Yes – thanksgiving is to be a matter of action too! At least this is what the Bible tells us in Psalm One Hundred. Look at Psalm One Hundred again – and notice all the action words found in it.
Shout – Serve – Come – Know – Enter – Give – Bless
To be thankful – to celebrate thanksgiving – has always been a matter of our involvement. God calls us to be actively involved in thanksgiving. In fact, you cannot be thankful without being involved in thanksgiving. In other words – thanksgiving is a verb not a noun. It is what you do – not a day you put on a calendar and label it “Thanksgiving Day”.
Let’s look at the first action God calls us to – as we give thanks:
1. Thanksgiving Is About EXCITEMENT – (SHOUT)
Notice what the psalmist tells us in verse one:
“Shout joyfully to the LORD, all the earth.” Psalm 100:1 (NASV)
Folks – God has made us a people of emotion and we should get excited about what God is doing in our lives. But you say, “But God hasn’t been doing anything in my life.” I say, “Open your eyes and see what God is doing!” He gave you the strength to get out of bed this morning. He gave the clothes that you have that you can put them on and wear them to church. He gave you the transportation to get you here this morning – even if you came in a friend’s car – He provided you a friend that you could ride with. He gave you the beat of your heart. He gave you the breath that is in your lungs. All good gifts have come from Him. Isn’t that enough reason to SHOUT to the Lord? He is the creator – He is the sustainer. He has His eyes on the sparrow and He knows when one of them falls to ground – and He also knows the exact number of hairs on your head. SHOUT to Lord – for He is Lord – He is God – He is mighty – He is magnificent.
Folks if we would start counting all the blessing God has given us – we would never cease counting. Here is a little poem I ran across this week. It’s called:
How to Observe Thanksgiving
It goes like this:
Count your blessings instead of your crosses;
Count your gains instead of your losses.
Count your joys instead of your woes;
Count your friends instead of your foes.
Count your smiles instead of your tears;
Count your courage instead of your fears.
Count your full years instead of your lean;
Count your kind deeds instead of your mean.
Count your health instead of your wealth;
Count on God instead of yourself.
Folks – when all else fails – count on God. He is a friend who will never let you down. He will lead you through dark valleys when you go through times of trouble. He will anoint your head with oil when you need healing. He will prepare a feast before you when it seems that all others have turned their back on you – and He will lead you to tables of plenty. He will give you – exceedingly – abundantly all the things that you need. He is God – and He watches over you. You should get excited about that fact. You should “SHOUT” to the Lord.