Summary: Are we thank full if we aren’t giving thanks? We must allow thanks to move out of our minds into our mouth and hands.
Thanks . . .Giving
Pt. 1 - Targeted Thanks
?The Word says that confession is an important part of our Christian life. So, we are going to practice this right now. How many of you have already put up a Christmas Tree at home? OK, how many of you have put up Christmas Trees at home?
We are now going to have altar time for deliverance.
It seems to me that in the last few years, in particular, that we, due to the rush of the stores to push Christmas earlier, have begun to skip right over Thanksgiving. I want us to pause or at least slow down long enough to recognize that as believers we should be involved in Thanks . . . Giving. Now, please don't misunderstand me. I am not talking about a holiday and turkeys and family get togethers. I am saying as believers we should be thanks . . . givers.
In fact, on the second Sunday of this year, I declared that we should be thank full. I said we should be the most thank full people on the planet. However, in this season I want to now tell you that it isn't enough to be thank full if we are not also thanks giving.
I know I am corny but hang with me. I noticed that it is Thanksgiving not thanks keeping. (SLIDE 2) Could it be that it is really only authentic thanks when it is combined with giving? Before you get too nervous I am not talking necessarily about giving in relationship to money. I am just questioning whether it is really thanks if it isn’t expressed. If we don’t give thanks, then isn’t it just thanks thoughts? So, I am convinced that there are really no benefits to being thank full if you don’t practice thanks . . . giving. How would anyone know that we are thank full if our thank fullness doesn’t translate and spill over into thanks giving?
So, in this season I want us to learn to participate in thanks . . . giving. But I also want to get very specific because I think for this to happen we must learn to practice targeted thanks. Otherwise, we have a tendency to say a lot of "thank yous" and cast around the word thanks without really expressing or communicating in meaningful ways or to the right recipient. So, let me suggest that there are two targets that we should aim our thanks towards both of which are modeled for us in Scripture.
Our thanks must be targeted!
Target 1 - God
I know it is obvious but we should give thanks (thanks give) to God. It is concerning to me that we not only have the ability to but a propensity to come into the presence of the God of the universe, the One who not only created us but provided for our salvation and redemption, and then blesses us even beyond that and we practice thankskeeping rather than thanks giving. In His presence we play. In His presence we yawn. We day dream. We distract. We nod off. We become bored. We turn the attention to us. We close our mouth. We refuse to raise our heads or our hands. We keep our thanks and rocks cry out!
We must intentionally and purposely and even sacrificially target God with thanks! We are instructed to give thanks!
1 Chronicles 16:34 (ESV) - Oh, give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever!
Psalm 66:8 - Give honor and thanks to God, O people, and let all hear how great He is!
Psalm 100:4 (ESV) - Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name!
Thanks is the means by which we are to enter His
presence. How would church be different if you entered
giving thanks? How would worship services change if
you intentionally entered with thanks?
Psalm 107:22 - Let them also offer sacrifices of thanksgiving, And tell of His works with joyful singing.
Colossians 4:2 - Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it with an attitude of thanksgiving; (So thanks giving should invade and be the underlying theme of our prayers!)
Paul illustrates this posture perfectly. Look how often he targeted God with thanks (and this is a small selection of the examples - One man has called Paul the “The Thankful Apostle”):
God be thanked (Romans 6:17).
I thank God (Romans 7:25).
Thanks be unto God (II Corinthians 9:15).
We give thanks to God (Colossians 1:3).
Giving thanks unto the Father (Colossians 1:12).
We thank God without ceasing (I Thessalonians 2:13).
I thank Christ Jesus our Lord (I Timothy 1:12).
I thank God (II Timothy 1:3).