Summary: How do we show God that we are truly thankful people?


• SLIDE #1

• Did you get enough to eat over the Thanksgiving holiday? My scale said GET OFF!

• As I reflect on the issue of be thankful I want to share a few things I am thankful for.

• I am thankful that there are not twice as many congressmen and half as many doctors.

• I am thankful that the space available for messages on T-shirts and bumpers is limited.

• I am thankful for low-carb candy, cookies, ice cream, etc…

• I am most thankful that I am not a TURKEY!

• This has been a tough year for many in this country as well as around the world. The first Thanksgiving was celebrated during some difficult times.

• Most of the people that came over from England had died, it was a tough time, yet the people in the Plymouth Colony in1621 took time to give thanks and to share what they had with one another.

• William Bradford in his address in 1621 said that we should give thanks to God for what He has done for us even in the midst of the difficulties they faced.

• In 1863, Abraham Lincoln, in the midst of the Civil War established the recognition of a day of thanks.

• On the day of thanksgiving, to whom do we give thanks? Abe Lincoln said we should give thanks to God. It has seemed to me fit and proper that [the gifts of God] should be solemnly, reverently, and gratefully acknowledged with one heart and one voice by the whole American people. I do, therefore, invite my fellow citizens . . . to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next as a day of thanksgiving and praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the heavens. -Thanksgiving proclamation, 1863 Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865)

• Over the past three weeks we have been looking over some reasons we can celebrate, three things we can be thankful to the Lord for.

• Now today we are going to finish our series by looking answering the question, HOW do I show God that I am truly thankful for what He has done?

• Is it good enough to say that we are thankful once a year? I am glad that we have a national recognition of Thanksgiving, but if we are truly thankful to God for what He has done for us, how do we express it?

Hebrews 13:15-16 gives us the answer to that question.

• The context of this passage is a contrast between the Old Covenant people and the way they offered sacrifices and thanks to God and the way that the Christian is can offer sacrifices and thanksgiving to God.

• In the Old Testament, people did these things through prescribed rituals and festivals whereas in the New Covenant, we do not need a ritual or festival to express our gratitude towards God.

• I want us to look at three ways that we can express to God that we are truly thankful for what He has done and what He will do for us.

• Let us begin with verse 15

• SLIDE #2

Hebrews 13:15 (ESV) Through him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name.

• SLIDE #3


I. Thankful people express thankfulness with their words.

• One of the ways that we can express our thankfulness to God is by our words. This is a way that most people express their thankfulness.

• This is the easiest way to express thankfulness. Words do not cost us anything.

• The thing about words though is that they SHOULD mean something.

• What we say, the words we speak should come from the heart.

• When we tell our spouse that we love them, we should mean it.

• Jesus reminds us that what we say actually does reveal what is in our heart. Jesus puts it is strong terms as He chastises the religious leaders of the day.

• SLIDE #4

Matthew 12:34 (ESV) 34 You brood of vipers! How can you speak good, when you are evil? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.

• WE will not be true to our words of thankfulness if our attitude is not one of thankfulness.

• SLIDE #5

Colossians 4:2 (ESV) Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving.

• The Hebrew writer tells us to CONTINUALLY offer up a sacrifice of praise to God.

• A sacrifice of praise was an extra offering given to the Lord on top of other sacrifices (Lev 7:11-25).

• This expression is used a few times in the OT to indicate a particular category of literal sacrifice (e.g., 2 Chron. 29:31), but it also becomes a figure of speech for a grateful heart (e.g., Ps. 50:14, 23). This continual sacrifice is to be made through Jesus (lit., “him”), and it is further defined as the fruit of lips that confess his name.

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