Summary: Our holiday experiences have become a routine just like Israel’s feast and festivals. God has come to hate these celebrations because of our lack of true remembrance.
I. What’s giving Thanks all about
A. The pilgrims did it
1. In 1621, the pilgrims celebrated the first harvest at Plymouth
2. To them, it was a religious holiday celebrating all that God gave them
The Pilgrim Proclamation of 1623
Inasmuch as the great Father has given us this year an abundant harvest of Indian corn, wheat, beans, squashes, and garden vegetables, and has made the forests to abound with game and the sea with fish and clams, and inasmuch as He has protected us from the ravages of the savages, has spared us from pestilence and disease, has granted us freedom to worship God according to the dictates of our own conscience; now, I, your magistrate, do proclaim that all ye Pilgrims, with your wives and little ones, do gather at ye meeting house, on ye hill, between the hours of 9 and 12 in the day time, on Thursday, November ye 29th of the year of our Lord one thousand six hundred and twenty-three, and the third year since ye Pilgrims landed on ye Pilgrim Rock, there to listen to ye pastor, and render thanksgiving to ye Almighty God for all His blessings.
William Bradford, GOVERNOR OF THE PLYMOUTH COLONY, 1623
B. Giving thanks to God
1. Giving Thanks was an act of worship in the Old Testament
a. People were expected to give their sacrifice with and attitude of Thanksgiving
b. Thanksgiving is a natural element of the Christian Experience
i. What are the first words out of most people’s mouth when they pray? “Dear Lord, THANK YOU for this day…”
ii. We give thanks for our salvation, the material things God has given us, our talents, our food
2. The book of Psalms is filled with scriptures referring to Thanksgiving.
a. When Thanksgiving is mentioned in the Bible, it is usually followed by a command to praise and worship God – Psalm 100:4
b. Thanksgiving and Worship go hand in hand
3. Keep in mind that we were created to worship God. If that’s the case we must also give Him thanks.
II. The interesting thing is that God doesn’t need our Thanksgiving or praise – Psalm 50:7-15
A. He owns it all
B. God doesn’t even need us
III. We have become complacent in our Thanks to Him
A. Our “reasons for the seasons” have changed
B. God doesn’t want false Thanksgiving or praise
1. The Israelites sacrifices and festivals became “tradition.”
2. People were going through the motion
C. Have we forgotten how to worship and praise God?
IV. What do we do about it?
A. The Heart of Worship
When the music fades
All is stripped away
And I simply come
Longing just to bring
Something that’s of worth
That will bless Your heart
I’ll bring You more than a song
For a song in itself
Is not what You have required
You search much deeper within
Through the way things appear
You’re looking into my heart
I’m coming back to the heart of worship
And it’s all about You,
It’s all about You, Jesus
I’m sorry, Lord, for the thing I’ve made it
When it’s all about You,
It’s all about You, Jesus
King of endless worth
No one could express
How much You deserve
Though I’m weak and poor
All I have is Yours
Every single breath
B. It’s time we take our relationship with God more seriously
1. Are you engaged in our Worship services
a. Worship is a verb
b. The only time in the Bible that worship isn’t active is when Jacob leans on his staff – Genesis 47:31
2. Our weekly worship service should be the culmination of a weeks worth of personal worship
3. We have reason to worship God
a. He’s given us life, freedom…everything
b. Let’s not take the cost of our salvation to lightly
C. When was the last time you had a REAL encounter with God?
1. Can you remember a time when God touched your heart in a way that excited you about your faith?
2. Are you complacent in your faith and relationship with God?
If you have not definite plans for worship on prayer meeting night and next Sunday, reconsider your conversion.