Summary: A sermon for the end of the year to help people fix their eyes on Christ so they can be thankful people because thankful people are happy people.
I read a news story once of a woman who was getting ready to jump off a 44 story building in New York City.
Witnesses said that she did not look like the type of person who would do such a thing. She was very distinguished and well dressed.
All the attempts made by the police to get the woman off the ledge had failed.
One of the officers asked if he could call his pastor in to see if he could help. When the pastor arrived, he asked permission to go to the ledge and talk to the woman.
As the pastor neared the edge the woman screamed, “Don’t come any closer or I’ll jump!”
The pastor took a step back and then said, “I am sorry that you believe no one loves you.”
This got the woman’s attention and it got the attention of the police. That was something that you don’t usually say to a person who is threatening suicide.
The woman took a step towards the pastor and said, “My grandchildren love me and so does my children. My whole family loves me! I have 8 wonderful grandchildren and they love me.”
The pastor took a step towards the woman and said, “Well then, you must be very poor, maybe that is why you want to take your own life.”
The woman who was a little overweight said, “Do I look like I go without any meals? We live in a very nice apartment. I’m not poor.”
The pastor took another step closer to her and was now 3 feet from her when he asked, “Then why do you want to kill yourself? I don’t understand.”
The woman thought for a moment and then said, “You know, I don’t really remember.”
The story ends with the pastor and the woman walking towards the elevator as she shows him pictures of her grandchildren. Eventually this woman becomes a volunteer on the city’s suicide hotline, helping others choose life.
What did the pastor do to help this woman?
He helped her get her eyes off her problems and onto the many ways that God had blessed her.
She learned a valuable lesson that day. She learned that thankful people are happy people.
If you don’t learn anything else today, I hope you learn this valuable lesson. Thankful people are happy people.
Open my eyes so I can see Your truth.
Open my ears so I can hear Your voice.
Open my mind so I can understand Your Word.
And open my heart so I may receive all that You want me to receive.
I can hardly believe that 2010 is nearly gone!
The next time we get together as a church it will be 2011!
I said at the beginning of 2010 that this year would be a year of untold potential. That could have meant a multitude of things. To be sure, 2010 was an interesting year.
There were many good things that happened and there were some not so good things that happened, but through it all God remained constant.
Sometimes people lose sight of all that God is doing for us, in us and around us. We lose sight because we get so caught up in our own lives that we miss God’s activities. When we miss God’s activities we tend to be less thankful.
I want you to turn your attention to Psalm 95. We are not told who wrote this Psalm but as we read it I think you will understand that the person who wrote it had the right idea. This person was a happy person. They understood as they wrote this psalm that thankful people are happy people.
READ Psalm 95:1-7a
1 Come, let us sing for joy to the LORD; let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation. 2 Let us come before him with thanksgiving and extol him with music and song. 3 For the LORD is the great God, the great King above all gods. 4 In his hand are the depths of the earth, and the mountain peaks belong to him. 5 The sea is his, for he made it, and his hands formed the dry land. 6 Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the LORD our Maker; 7 for he is our God and we are the people of his pasture, the flock under his care. Psalm 95:1-7a NIV
The author of this Psalm did not allow his own situations to change his decision to be thankful to God for all that God has done and for all that God is going to do.
That is good for the author of Psalm 95 but what about us?
We all have a lot going on in our lives right?