Summary: We can learn to express thanks to God regardless of the circumstances. Our hearts should overflow with gratitude to the One who made us and knows us by name.
Spilling Over with Gratitude
Colossians 2:6-7 6 Now that you have welcomed the Anointed One, Jesus the Lord, into your lives, continue to journey with Him and allow Him to shape your lives.
7 Let your roots grow down deeply in Him, and let Him build you up on a firm foundation. Be strong in the faith, just as you were taught, and always spill over with thankfulness. (The Voice Bible)
Intro: Back during the dark days of 1929, a group of ministers in the Northeast gathered to discuss how they should conduct their Thanksgiving Sunday services. Things were about as bad as they could get, with no sign of relief. The bread lines were depressingly long, the stock market had plummeted, and the term Great Depression seemed an apt description for the mood of the country. The ministers thought they should only lightly touch upon the subject Thanksgiving in deference to the human misery all about them. After all, what was there to be thankful for? But one pastor rallied the group. This was not the time, he suggested, to give mere passing mention to Thanksgiving, just the opposite. This was the time for the nation to get matters in perspective and thank God for blessings always present, but perhaps suppressed due to intense hardship.
-This pastor was onto something. The most intense moments of thankfulness are not found in times of plenty, but when difficulties abound. Think of the Pilgrims that first Thanksgiving. With half of their number dead, they were men without a country, but still they were grateful to God. Their gratitude was not for something but in something. It was that same sense of gratitude that led Abraham Lincoln to formally establish the first Thanksgiving Day in the midst of national civil war, when the list of casualties seemed to have no end and the very nation struggled for survival.
-Perhaps in your own life, right now, you are facing hard times. You are experiencing your own personal Great Depression (or Civil – or not so civil – War). Why should you be thankful on this day? Well, among other reasons, we must learn to be thankful or we become bitter. We must learn to be thankful or we will become discouraged. We must learn to be thankful or we will grow arrogant and self-satisfied. In Rom. 1, Paul describes man’s downward fall away from God. One of the problems he listed was that they knew about God, but they were not thankful. We must do better than that! We can learn to express thanks to God regardless of the circumstances. Our hearts should overflow with gratitude to the One who made us and knows us by name. Psalm 100 gives us some great guidelines on how to give thanks to God. Let’s look at it together.
Psalm 100 A psalm. For giving thanks. Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth. 2 Worship the LORD with gladness; come before him with joyful songs. 3 Know that the LORD is God. It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture. 4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. 5 For the LORD is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.
Prop: The life of every Christian should overflow with thanksgiving, regardless of the circumstances of life.
Interrogative: How is this possible?
TS: Let’s talk about that and what it means to overflow or spill over with thanks as we look more closely at the 100th Psalm.
I. Willing Expressions of Gratitude
A. Shout for Joy (1) [Joyful shouts]
-What is it about shouting that appeals to children? As parents, we spend a lot of time teaching our kids to sit down and shut up. However, the Bible says an awful lot about standing up and shouting out loud. Now I know that there is a right time for everything, but perhaps we need to reconsider what is appropriate in our expressions of praise and thanks to God. The biggest question should not necessarily be, “What makes me feel the most comfortable?” The question should be, “What will please God the most?” Now, the volume of sound alone is not what impresses God. God is concerned with the volume of the heart. When you thank God for what He has done and praise Him for who He is, how much of your heart do you use to express that praise? If we only thank God when we remember to pray before our meals, then it is possible that we are not using much of the volume of our heart. Paul told the Thessalonians to give thanks in every circumstance, because this was God’s will for them. To overflow with thankfulness means to thank God with all of our hearts every chance we get.