Summary: In this message we will talk about the power of chasing after a life of gratitude.
Living A Life Of Gratitude
Max Lucado – in his book ‘In the Eye of The Storm’ writes… …
An old man walks down a Florida beach.
The sun is setting like a huge orange ball on the distant horizon. The ocean waves are gently slapping the soft white sand. The smell of salt water stings the air.
The beach is nearly empty. There is no sun to entice the sunbathers. Not enough light for the fisherman. So, aside from a few joggers and strollers, this old guy is alone.
As he walks down the beach, in his bony hand he is carrying a bucket… It’s a bucket of shrimp. But the shrimp is not for him and it’s not for the fish. NO – it’s for the sea gulls.
He carries this bucket to an isolated pier cast in gold by the setting sun. He walks slowly to the end of the pier. It’s Friday night and the time has come for the weekly ritual.
He stands and waits.
And in just a few seconds the sky becomes a mass of dancing dots. The evening silence gives way to the loud sounds of screeching of birds. Seagulls are everywhere.
They fill the sky, they cover the pier… You see - they are on a journey to meet the old man.
AND - for almost an hour… this bushy- browed, shoulder-bent old man stands on the pier, surrounded by the birds of the sea, until the bucket of shrimp is completely gone.
AND - even after the food is gone, his feathered friends still linger. They linger as if they’re attracted to more than just food. They walk on the pier. And they all (the old man and hundreds of seas gulls) share a moment together.
Can you picture the scene…?
OKAY now I want you to file that scene away for awhile. We will open it up again at the end of our conversation….
MGCC – welcome to week seven of THE CHASE, going after the life we were created to live.
THIS WEEK - our entire nation will celebrate Thanksgiving.
AND – it is something we have been doing since President George Washington put ink to paper on October 3rd 1789… at the nation’s capital, located at the time in New York City.
HERE – is an excerpt from that Presidential Proclamation.
Whereas it is the duty of all Nations to ACKNOWLEDGE the providence of ALMIGHTY GOD, to OBEY HIS WILL, to be GRATEFUL for HIS BENEFITS, and HUMBLY to implore HIS protection and favor-- and whereas both Houses of Congress have by their joint Committee requested me to recommend to the People of the United States a day of PUBLIC THANKSGIVING AND PRAYER…
Now therefore I do recommend and assign Thursday the 26th day of November next TO BE DEVOTED by the People of these States TO THE SERVICE OF THAT GREAT AND GLORIOUS BEING, who is the BENEFICENT AUTHOR OF ALL THE GOOD that was, that is, or that will be-- That we may then all unite in rendering unto HIM our sincere and humble thanks--for HIS KIND CARE AND PROTECTION of the People of this Country…
and also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to THE GREAT LORD AND RULER OF NATIONS and beseech HIM TO PARDON our national and other transgressions-- TO ENABLE us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually-- TO RENDER OUR NATIONAL GOVERNMENT A BLESSING TO ALL THE PEOPLE…
Given under my hand at the City of New York the third day of October in the year of our Lord 1789.
That’s pretty awesome stuff…
It sure would be great to leaders in Washington today who genuinely felt the same way…
BUT LISTEN - Thanksgiving is not a concept born in America.
INSTEAD - giving thanks is an idea born in the hearts of God’s people thousands of years ago… I MEAN – it (expressing thanks) is all over the bible from Genesis to Revelation.
IN - the gospels we see Jesus giving thanks to the Father 15 times… AND - we are told in Scripture that we are to…
Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; His love endures forever
be overflowing with thankfulness
always give thanks to God
give thanks in all circumstances and
to present all our requests to God with thanksgiving..
QUESTION - do you know what 2 guys in Scripture talked about thanking God more than anyone else? One guy is from the OT and the other is from the NT…
David (~ 35 times) and Paul (~ 50 times).
YEAH – I don’t know but maybe this… is part of the reason why they were able to accomplish so much for God.