Summary: A message for the Thanksgiving Season or to assist in being Thankful
REASONS TO BE THANKFUL
* Here we are beginning the week which holds that day called “Thanksgiving.” As I said last year, maybe we have it backward. Instead of being thankful one day each year, perhaps we should have one day a year to be a complainer and tag the other 350+ day for thanks.
* There are all kinds of things to be thankful for, because thankfulness is in the eye of the beholder. One evening the members of a eighth grade class was asked to give a one-sentence prayer of thanks for something good that happened in the previous week. Most gave typical responses: "Thanks that we’re here together," "Thanks for the hunting trip," etc. Then one boy said, "Thank you that I was sick Friday so I didn’t have to go to school."
* The first “Thanksgiving Day” was reportedly celebrated by the Pilgrim in the 1600’s, but it wasn’t until Abraham Lincoln that the proclamation which made the 4th Thursday of November an official holiday.
* Yet, my question is this; Are we thankful? If so for what?
* It is my belief that the Apostle Paul has much to teach us about being thankful. It is written on every page of His epistles. Turn with me to Ephesians 1 & let see six reasons to be THANKFUL. I AM THANKFUL FOR;
1) HIS SOVEREIGNTY – Let’s begin by thinking about who the Apostle Paul considered God to be.
* He begins by calling Him “God”, “theos”, the supreme divinity with divine authority. One of the first reasons to be “thankful” is the fact that God is indeed THE God and not just a god. It gets better.
* It is THIS God who created, blessed, chose, adopted, loved, and planned for you. Think about it; the God of the universe knows and loves you.
* Stuart Hamblen wrote these words; “how big is God? How big and wide His vast domain. To try to tell, these lips can only start. He big enough to rule this mighty universe, but small enough to live within my heart.” What a reason to be “thankful.”
* In His sovereignty He knows the beginning from the end because He is the beginning and the end, the first and the last, the Alpha and Omega. He is the same yesterday today and forever.
* He is the pillar of fire in Exodus and the fourth person in the fire in Daniel. He is the cloud which leads the Hebrews towards their promised home and He comes in clouds of Glory in Revelation to lead all His to their promised home. He gives the Law in the Old Testament and fulfills the Law in the New Testament. He is both the Lion of Judah and the Lamb of Glory. And He knows you by name.
* What a reason to be thankful. He is sovereign God.
2) HIS SON – All that we are or will ever hope to be is centered in Jesus, God’s one and only Son. On a day like this, many expect the preacher to get up and preach a message about “thankfulness” that is highly sentimental. “Be thankful for your mom, dad, sisters, brothers, grandparents, etc” and yes we should be thankful for every one of these, but I submit that our true “thankfulness” should be governed by the spiritual and eternal more than the temporal.
* During Christmas time it is said that Jesus is the reason for the season, in fact, there was a Christmas musical written several years ago which carried this title. Truth is, Jesus is the reason for every season. He is the reason to be thankful, grateful, gracious, and loving. Years ago, Myron Lefever wrote that great song “Without Him” which asks the question, “Without Him, where would I be?”
* The reason Jesus is so important and the reason to be thankful is”
3) HIS SALVATION - For some of us, this is confusing because we think it is OUR Salvation and not His. This is one of the fallacies in our modern day thinking. Salvation is of the Lord, by the Lord, from the Lord, and through the Lord.
* He designed it, He initiates it, He empowers it, and provides it. He offers us a way to be saved from the penalty of sin. That is, His salvation is offer to you and me to escape the place of eternal punishment. It is in HIM, that we find all that is needed in our Life. We can be redeemed & forgiven according to the riches of His grace.
* Talk about a picture; take the “riches of His grace.” Think about this; grace is our receiving what we don’t deserve. When we receive forgiveness of our sins we are redeemed through His blood. So, that punishment we should receive is totally taken away because Jesus has nailed it to a cross and offers us His Salvation. Have you received this gift from Him?