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Summary: Thanksgiving Message for 2013

Is anyone here familiar with the writings of Rudyard Kipling? He is best known for writing RikiTikiTavi and the Jungle Book. At one time Kipling was one of the most popular writers in the world. In fact, his writings were so popular that he was getting ten shillings per word. If you translate into our money and our time that would be well over $100 a word.

There was a group of college students who heard about Kipling¡¦s earning per word and for some reason they were put off by it. So as a joke they gathered ten shillings and sent it to Kipling. Sarcastically, they stated that they knew how much he earned per word and asked for his best word. Kipling politely answered their request with just one word: thanks.

Different ways to say thank you

Danke ¡V German meaning Thank you often paired with schoen which means thank you kindly

Merci ¡V French for Thank you

Arigato ¡V Japanese

Mahalo ¡V Hawaiian for

Gracias ¡V Spanish

16 Be joyful always; 17 pray continually; 18 give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

We make Thanksgiving Day about family. How many of you are planning to travel to spend time with family? How many of you are having family come in? Either we travel to the family or the family is invited to come join us. We get together with those we love and maybe those we haven¡¦t seen in a long time.

We make Thanksgiving Day about food. We spend large amounts of time preparing food and our special items that make the meal special. The world might come to an end if the meal was missing our favorite cranberry sauce or casserole that we love. Then we sit down to a big meal and gorge ourselves with turkey and Pumpkin pie.

We make Thanksgiving Day about entertainment. We turn on the television early so we can watch those wonderful parades in New York, Philadelphia or Chicago. We then are ready to spend the afternoon watching football or some other sporting event. We might have a heart attack if we missed that all important football game. Then when evening comes we watch some concert or some television special.

The word thanksgiving literally means to give thanks. This means that we show our gratitude for the things that we are blessed with. The real question on our minds is not whether we should be thankful but who we need to be thankful to. The Hebrew word for thanks means to make public. When was the last time that you publically thanked God for His blessings?

Thesis: Thanksgiving is the product of an inward experience that results in an upward focus and an outward expression.

Powerpoint slide to further define

Inward Experience „³ Upward Focus „³ Outward Expression

Old Testament Understanding of Thanks

Paul makes it clear that the issue of giving thanks is not a matter of mere words but instead is an issue of understanding. The Hebrew word for thanks is yaddah. The Hebrew language has no word for that simply means thanks. The word we translate as thanks in English means much more in Hebrew. The word yadah means, "to make public acknowledgment." This is the same word that we get our English word confess. This comes in two manners: confessing the name of God, publicly proclaiming His name and confessing our sins.

Giving thanks is an act of humbling ourselves before God and showing gratitude toward God for His bountiful blessings. When we confess the name of God, we are telling of all that He has done for us. When we confess our sins to God we are telling of all we have done against Him. Both take tremendous courage and humility.

New Testament Understanding of Thanks

The Greek word for thanks is eucharisto, which is where we derive one of the terms for communion, the Eucharist. The meaning is to have an attitude and a demonstration of thanks for what God has done. There is more than just saying thanks, there is a display of thanks by the way we live and how we follow Christ.

The early church had three concerns when it came to giving thanks to God.

We are to give thanks for the body and blood of Christ

We are to give thanks for the blessings we are given through Christ

We are to give thanks for those who come to know Christ

Being Thankful is an attitude (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18)

Paul closes his letter to the Thessalonians with three clear practices to help personal and spiritual growth. Each day we should experience joy, peace and thanks.

When we have a personal relationship with Jesus; there is a joy that nothing can take away. We experience that joy on a daily basis. Prayer is the means we continue the relationship with God. Prayer becomes our point of connection with Christ. Through prayer, we speak with God and experience His divine presence. Paul finishes these three needed behaviors with thanksgiving. We need to live with a daily attitude of thankfulness because of all the blessings that God gives us.

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