Summary: The Lord God is worthy of a harvest festival of thanksgiving. It has been pointed out by many that “Thanksgiving” is the offering of thanks and it is not complete until there is giving.
Turn Your Bibles to Psalm 100:1-5
Title: Harvest Festival of Thanksgiving
Theme: Biblical Expressions of Thanksgiving to God
Introduction: Psalm 100 is the grand finale of that cluster of psalms that begin in Psalm 94. The psalmist calls on all the Earth to come to God and shout for joy. Nations are to recognize who the Lord is and ascribe to Him the glory due His Name. (Psalm 96:7) At different times in this cluster of hymns all those who know the Lord are given an invitation to submit expressions of thanksgiving out of a heart response of joy and gratitude for His covenant promises. (The Expositors Bible Commentary, Thru the Bible)
Psalm 100:1-5 says, “Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth. Worship the LORD with gladness; come before Him with joyful songs. Know that the LORD is God. It is He who made us, and we are His; we are His people, the sheep of His pasture. Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise; give thanks to Him and praise His name. For the LORD is good and His love endures forever; His faithfulness continues through all generations. (Psalm 100:1-5) Pray!
Proposition: I would propose to you that the Lord God is worthy of a harvest festival of thanksgiving. It has been pointed out by many that “Thanksgiving” is the offering of thanks and it is not complete until there is giving. If you are a Christian, God has called you to Christ. Jesus paid the ultimate price for your salvation and reconciliation to God, and the Holy Spirit is the one person who is working in your sanctification process.
Interrogative Sentence: Just what are four Biblical expressions of thanksgiving that can be offered to the Triune God?
Transitional Sentence: Our first outward expression is singing. Psalm 147:7 says, “Sing to the Lord with thanksgiving; make music to our God on the harp.” (Psalm 147:7) Ephesians 5:19 says, “Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord…” (Ephesians 5:19)
“Sing” (anah) here is an answer of response to the goodness of God. (The Complete Word Study Dictionary of the Old Testament; The Treasury of David) It can be done to music because it helps prepare the spiritual heart to grow and mature in its relationship with the Lord.
Singing is a sure way of becoming aware of God’s presence. This singing must begin in the heart by listening to and learning the songs of praise that the Holy Spirit has and is inspiring music ministers to write. Therefore, it is necessary that you make time to listen to Christian music on a regular basis.
Some say that I can’t sing. That may be true. However, all Christians can appreciate music to the Lord and they must allow the Holy Spirit to place that melody and the words sung deep within their heart. People who are joyful in the Lord are Christians who enjoy Christian music and participate in Christian singing. There is a melody within their heart and it is lived out for all to see.
Christianity is a singing faith and according to Rick Warren, throughout history there are more songs written about Jesus than anything else. Thus Christians have a wide selection of music to select from.
Because of all the problems and wrong attitudes surrounding the song service, many church attendees are not participating as they should. Singing unto the Lord is a very good way of getting Christians minds off of themselves, and laying all their present life situations and problems aside so they can focus on Jesus. Singing unto the God and about His great works renews their strength, recharges their spiritual hearts and restores those moments of intimacy with the Lord. When Christ becomes the heart focus, then faith arises and the peace of God is allowed to replace non-belief, bitterness and self-reliance.
Pastor Ron Cox knew the power of singing unto the Lord. His wife suffered for seventeen years with a crippling illness. He had seen God bring healing upon healing in the church he oversees for the Lord Jesus. Yet, his wife suffered. He would go to the rest home early every morning to spend time with her. He would drive to his office drained.
June Creel, his long term secretary of 20 plus years told me how Pastor Cox would spend hours listening to Christian music and prayerfully reading the Word of God. It was during these times the Holy Spirit of God would come and reassure him of God’s love, provision and protection. Pastor Ron would come out of those times of listening to and singing along with those music tapes restored, strengthened and recharged for the day’s labor.
Pastor Rick Warren tells of a Christian psychologist who would councel people who battled depression. The first question the psychologist would ask his patients was, “Have you listened to and sung along with Christian music today?” Then he would ask, “Have you been to church this week and in a right heart, participated in singing praises to God?”