Summary: A sermon preached during the Thanksgiving season although it is always applicable.
Giving Thanks Always
PSALM 136: 1-4 O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever. O give thanks unto the God of gods: for his mercy endureth for ever. O give thanks to the Lord of lords: for his mercy endureth for ever. To him who alone doeth great wonders: for his mercy endureth for ever.
People don’t typically think of Thanksgiving as a religious holiday but when you consider the name “Thanks – Giving” you have to ask, who are you giving thanks to? Not only that but where does the term holiday come from? Well, it comes from the term “Holy – Day”. We of course know that the Pilgrims were deeply religious and they did their best to obey the teachings of Scripture.
If you were to believe the narrative that secularist are pushing today you would think that the Pilgrims didn’t care at all about God and they were only giving thanks to the Indians! They may have been thankful for their initial cooperation but ultimately the early settlers gave thanks and praise to God and this coming Thursday so will we!
Of all the things you are thankful for what would be at the top of your list? Would material things be on the top of your list? Certainly, we are thankful for the necessities of life – food, clothing, shelter etc. But I think we understand that it is the immaterial that matters most of all. Just as the Spirit gives life to the body (and not the other way around) so do the immaterial things of this world supersede the material.
What are you most thankful for? We are going to focus on 4 general topics here this morning – those things we are thankful for
Faith, Family, Fellowship & Flag
Faith – Hebrews 11:1 says that “Faith is the substance of things hoped for the evidence of things not seen”. Faith is not something that can be tested in a laboratory, it isn’t something that you can hold in your hand but when you have it you know it, and one of the best ways to know it is to put your faith into action!
The Bible says in James chapter 2 that Faith without works is dead! Now Faith and works are obviously NOT the same thing but what James is saying is that one follows the other. If you truly have faith you will have works, but if you don’t have works then you don’t really have saving faith.
I got news for the people who would say “I have faith because I believe in God!” That’s not the issue! Adam and Eve believed in God, they spoke with God, they knew full well that He existed but when God gave them His Word – (not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil for the day you eat of it you shall surely die), did they believe Gods Word? Did they exercise faith? They believed God existed but they didn’t believe what He said – they lacked faith because their actions didn’t conform to Gods word.
As Christians, our actions need to be in line with our profession. James 2:14-16 What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, “Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,” but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit?
Last week we had the folks here from the Springfield Rescue Mission and we heard 1st hand the wonderful things that God is doing in Springfield. How is God working? He is working through his people! It’s not that God needs us rather He is pleased to use us. We took an offering for them and it added up to around $1300-1400. That is faith in action, why? Because it required people to do something. Imagine if the folks at the Mission were to keep all the money, keep all the food, keep all the clothing and tell the people who were on the streets – we’ll pray for you, but don’t ask us to help you out! What good is that? Or what good is it if we say we care about others but we are not even willing to lift one finger to help out?
Faith is the substance of things hoped for the evidence of things not seen” - We are thankful for the living faith that God has given to His people and although it cannot be held, weighed or measured the evidence of faith can be seen when we put it into action and there is no better time of year to do that then the holiday season.