Summary: Why and how we should offer thanks to God.
Thank You God Ps. 18:1-3
INTRO.: Thanksgiving story.
Usually think of the first Thanksgiving as the time a year later when the Pilgrims and Indians got together for a feast. Maybe it was the second. I imagine there was a lot of Thanksgiving while the ship lay anchored in the harbor at Cape Cod. "They were not a little joyful." Being committed Christians, they no doubt were praising God.
Today’s celebration of Thanksgiving includes turkey, stuffing, pumpkin pies, and football. All that’s fun. But, let’s mot allow the food, fun, family, and football obscure the real meaning, which is giving thanks to Almighty God.
Today, we want to consider why we should give thanks to God and how we offer thanks.
I. Why? Psalm 18:1-3
A. The word "we" is used nine times to describe David’s God:
1. Emphasizes personal relationship with God. David was grateful for this.
2. The only reason he had it was because God made Himself available to David.
3. Are we thankful God has given us opportunity for a personal relationship with him?
B. "I love You, O Lord, my strength." David’s second reason for praising God:
1. Need to learn to rely on God’s power in life’s struggles.
2. If we rely on our own power, we are like the 10 spies who said, "We were like grasshoppers." Grasshoppers seldom win any battles.
3. II Cor. 12:9 - When we depend on God, we are strong.
C. "The Lord is my rock."
1. Describes a great crag upon which one can stand and be safe from his enemies.
2. Like a rock jetty extending out into the sea where waves beat against it but can’t reach those upon it/
3. We are safe in Jesus: Rom. 8:38, 39
D. God is my fortress:
1. In early days of our country, a whole system of forts scattered over the plains provided protection to settlers and travelers.
2. Once inside the barrier, one was safe from his enemies. It was very difficult with the weapons of the day to breech those barriers.
3. Our God provides a barrier between us and the world, the flesh, and the Devil. We should be thankful that God is a refuge for us.
E. God is our Deliverer:
1. David had been delivered many times: from a lion and a bear, from Goliath, from King Saul, the Philistines, etc. Ps. 18:17
2. God is able to deliver us from sin, guilt, and death. He wants to do so.
3. Sometimes the troubled waters of life surround and threaten to drown us. Then God reaches down and pulls us up. V. 16
4. ILLUS.: The story of Joe.
II. How shall we express our gratitude to God?
A. Remember the story of the ten lepers in Lk. 17:12-18
1. These were men who had no hope, no homes, Np friends, nothing until they met Jesus.
2. When Jesus healed them, only one came back to thank Him, and he was a Samaritan.
3. 10% - the percentage hasn’t changed very much to this day. Most people are ungrateful to God for His blessings.
4. Rom. 12:1, 2 - This is the foundation. The way to start.
B. Some practical suggestions for saying thank you to God.:
1. We say thank you when we strive to be more like God than like the world.
2. When we spend time with Him. Craving and studying His Word. Spend time in the Word and prayer.
3. When we praise and worship Him publicly: Ps. 52:6
4. When we forgive others as He forgave us.
5. When we are servants. Jesus did not come to be served, but to serve and give His life a ransom for others. When we serve our fellow man, or His Church.
6. When we share the Gospel of salvation with others rather than keeping it to ourselves.
7. When we reach out to the needy and hurting around us with a helping hand. "Inasmuch . . ."
8. When we give our best as He gave His best. Time, talent, treasure.
9. When we deny ourselves in favor of God. Serve and worship even when it’s inconvenient. Even when there’s a good football game on TV. In the Lord’s house, praying, visiting the sick, etc., even when there are other things you would rather do.
CONC.: God has done so much for us, we should be eternally grateful to Him and give ourselves in surrender to His will.