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Summary: Thankfulness is so much more than a comparison of our own situation to someone else’s. Thankfulness is so much more than having enough food to eat, a nice, warm home to live in, good health, or financial security, because each of those circumstances can b

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TITLE: IN EVERYTHING GIVE THANKS

SCRIPTURE: I THESSALONIANS 5:18

(bishop@perfectedpraisewc.org)

In just a few short days we will gather in this sanctuary and then around the family table in celebration of THANKSGIVING DAY. I have noticed an INTERESTING and DISTURBING trend the past few years, people have begun to refer to Thanksgiving by another name, Hear those around us give another greeting of - HAPPY TURKEY DAY. I have always found this name a bit peculiar. There's a reason—a tragic reason—for the name change. When people sit down before the great feast on Thanksgiving Day, they still sense that they ought to bow their heads and give thanks.

• Yet people today would rather forget God as the Benefactor of their thanks

• They would like to suppress the feeling on Thanksgiving that God deserves their gratitude

• So, they are trying to discard the name Thanksgiving and to forsake the traditions on this holiday which kept God at the center

I can remember raising our children with some of the same principles as my parents raised me and my siblings. Whenever we were out and family or friends would give the kids a piece of candy, we would look at the children and ask them - WHAT DO YOU SAY? They look up and they know the proper response should be to say THANK-YOU. We had to teach our children THANKFULNESS. Most in this room have learned to say thank you to people who helped us along the way - but we have NOT LEARNED THE SECRET OF THANKFULNESS TO GOD.

For me, giving thanks is an acknowledgment that I am not the center of the universe. That certainly is true when I give thanks to God, but it is also true when I am genuinely grateful to another human being or to a group of human beings. To give thanks is to acknowledge that I HAVE RECEIVED SOMETHING I VALUE - and when I thank another person, I recognize that person as being significant. Therefore, I am not the self-sufficient, solitary center of the universe, a realization that seems to escape some people in our contemporary culture.

Why are so many ungrateful to God for His blessings? The fundamental reason is that we are too prosperous. This is not a new issue. Remember with me, after the exodus from Egypt, God told the nation of Israel that He was leading them to a desirable land already prepared for their habitation. It would be a land overflowing with milk and honey - a land filled with strong cities that others had built - and with vineyards and with olive groves that others had planted. So, after occupying the land, they could expect a life of prosperity.

• But God warned them that with prosperity would come the danger of forgetting God

• They would be tempted to look around at their wealth and say to themselves, "By our hands, by our labor, we have achieved this, we have built a good life for ourselves."

• They would take credit for what God had given them

The same mentality exists in America today. Even in the midst of a Recession - We enjoy unprecedented prosperity - and yet we fail to recognize that its source is God.


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