Summary: God wants us to live every day with an attitude of gratitude, and we have so many reasons to be grateful.
Sermon by: Rick Crandall
McClendon Baptist Church - Nov. 25, 2007
*You may have been at JC Penney or Kohl’s at 4 a.m. last Friday for Christmas shopping -- Or you may have been yelling at your TV Friday night as LSU lost in triple-overtime. -- But let’s not rush off from Thanksgiving too fast. God wants us to live every day with an attitude of gratitude, and we have so many reasons to be grateful.
*Like the man who said: -This Thanksgiving I’m thankful.
-That there are only 24 hours available each day for TV programming.
-That teenagers ultimately will have children who will become teenagers.
-That I’m not a turkey.
-That houses still cost more than cars.
-That snow covers un-raked leaves.
-That hugs and kisses don’t add weight or cause cancer.
-That [computers and cell phones and MP3 Players and TV’s and video games] can be turned off -- But no one can turn off the moon and stars.
-No one but God that is. (1)
*We have tremendous reasons to be thankful. “Rarely has any people enjoyed greater prosperity than we are now enjoying. For this we render heartfelt and solemn thanks to the Giver of Good; and we seek to praise Him -- not by words only -- but by deeds, by the way in which we do our duty to ourselves and to our fellow men.” President Teddy Roosevelt said that on Thanksgiving in 1902, but those words are truer than ever today. We must thank God. And this part of His Word helps us see why. (2)
1. First: Thank God for always being reliable.
*Our God is always reliable! As we see in vs. 1, “Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever.” His mercy endures how long? Forever!
*The worst lemon I ever bought had a 12,000 mile warranty -- And the clutch went out at 12,050 miles! God will never break down or wear out on you. We may not understand what He is doing in our lives, but even when we are going through the tough times, He is ever faithful.
-In 1 Corin 1:9, “God is FAITHFUL, by whom you were called into the fellowship of His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.”
-In 1 Corin 10:13, “No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is FAITHFUL, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.”
-In 1 Thess 5:23-24, “May the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls you is FAITHFUL, who also will do it.”
-In 1 John 1:8-9, “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is FAITHFUL and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
-And in Rev 1:5-6, Jesus is “The FAITHFUL witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler over the kings of the earth. To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood, and has made us kings and priests to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen!”
*Our God is faithful forever. Catherine Marshall tells how God confirmed His faithfulness to a friend named Marge. One day Marge was sitting on the runway in a plane headed to Cleveland. As she settled into her seat, Marge noticed something unusual. On one side of the airplane a sunset filled the whole sky with glorious color -- But out of the window on her side, all Marge could see was a dark, threatening sky.
*As the plane’s engines began to roar, the Lord planted this thought in Marge’s heart: “You have noticed the windows. Your life too, will contain some happy, beautiful times, but also some dark shadows. You see, it doesn’t matter which window you look through; this plane is still going to Cleveland. So it is in your life. You can focus on the bad things, or you can focus on the bright things, but I’m in charge either way, and your final destination isn’t determined by what you see or feel along the way.” (3)
*Child of God: You may be going through the darkest night of your life, but God is faithfully taking you home.
2. Thank God for always being reliable. -- And for His wonderful redemption.
*In vs. 2&3, “Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, Whom He has redeemed from the hand of the enemy, And gathered out of the lands, From the east and from the west, From the north and from the south.” These verses have a crucial, historical application to the Jewish people. Three thousand years ago, God promised to gather them from all over the world back into the Promised Land of Israel. And in the last 100 years we have seen this ancient promise being miraculously fulfilled. But these verses have an even greater application to those who trust in the cross of Jesus Christ. I am talking about an eternal, spiritual application, as believers are redeemed by the blood of the Lamb.