Summary: An INWARD look, an OUTWARD look, and an UPWARD look will help us gain a new understanding of true Thankfulness. Link included to formatted text and PowerPoint Presentation.

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Thanksgiving: Three Ways to Look at It

Psalm 95:1-11

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Rudyard Kipling, author of “The Jungle Book”, at one time was so popular that his writings were getting ten shillings per word. [about $10!] A few college students, however didn’t appreciate Kipling’s writings; they facetiously sent him a letter enclosing ten shillings. It read, "Please, send us your best word." They got back a letter from Kipling, "Thanks."

An Upward Look Should Make Us Thankful.

An Outward Look Should Make Us Thankful.

An Inward Look Should Make Us Thankful.

1. An Upward Look Should Make Us Thankful.

A. An Upward Look Brings Thanks for the Power of God.

v. 1 It’s time we develop a habit of thanking God, not just thanksgiving, but thanksliving!

Harriet was an atheist. One morning she & a Christian lady-friend stepped out into the glories of a beautiful fall morning. As Harriet saw the brilliant sun peaking through the haze, & the frost on the meadow, & the brightly colored leaves making their way lazily to the ground, she was filled with the beauty & said, "I am so thankful. I’m just so grateful for it all." And her believing friend asked, "Grateful to whom, my dear?"

Yes, we should develop a habit of thanking God…He created us for His glory and so we should give Him the glory!

A man was lost and walking in the desert for about five days…he comes to the home of a preacher. Tired and weak, he crawls up to the house and collapses on the doorstep. The preacher takes him in and nurses him back to health. Feeling better, the man asks the preacher for directions to the nearest town. The preacher tells him the directions, and offers to lend him his horse to make it. The preacher says, "However, there is a special thing about this horse. You have to say ’Thank God’ to make it go and ’Amen’ to make it stop."

Anxious to get to town, the man says, "Sure, okay" and gets on the horse. He says, "Thank God" and sho ’nuff, the horse starts walking. A bit later he says louder, "Thank God, thank God," and the horse starts trotting. Feeling really brave, the man say, "Thank God! Thank God! THANK GOD!" and the horse is soon up to a full run!

About then he realizes he’s heading for a huge cliff and yells "Whoa!" But the horse doesn’t even slow! It’s coming up REAL QUICK and he’s doing everything he can to make the horse stop. "Whoa, stop, hold on!" Finally he remembers "AMEN!!!"

The horse stops a mere two inches from the cliff’s edge, almost throwing him over its head. The man, panting and heart racing, wipes the sweat from his face and leans back in the saddle. Gasping for air he says w/ relief, "Thank God."


B. An Upward Look Brings Thanks for the Plans of God.

v. 4-5

Jeremiah 29:11

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.

C. An Upward Look Brings Thanks for the Presence of God.

v. 2, 6, 7 We can come, and kneel…we’re in His hand! [no pluck!]

Psalm 46:1

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.

We can come into His presence anytime!

H.A. Ironside in a crowded restaurant: Just as Ironside was about to begin his meal, a man approached and asked if he could join him. Ironside invited him to have a seat.

Then, as was his custom, Ironside bowed his head in prayer. When he opened his eyes, the other man asked, "Do you have a headache?" Ironside replied, "No, I don’t." The other man asked, "Well, is there something wrong with your food?" Ironside replied, "No, I was simply thanking God as I always do before I eat." The man said, "Oh, you’re one of those, are you? … I never give thanks. I earn my money by the sweat of my brow and I don’t have to give thanks to anybody when I eat. I just start right in!" Ironside said, "Yes, you’re just

like my dog. That’s what he does too!" [headache prayers]

An Upward Look Brings Thanks for the Power of God.

An Upward Look Brings Thanks for the Plans of God.

An Upward Look Brings Thanks for the Presence of God.

2. An Outward Look Should Make Us Thankful.

A. An Outward Look at Supplies Make Me Thankful.


I am really content — until I start looking through the Sears catalogue.

I liked my car — until I saw the new Dodge Magnum.

I am satisfied with my clothes — until I stroll through the Mall.

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Talk about it...

James Newell

commented on Nov 24, 2006

Jerry, I enjoy your sermons. You powerpoints are also awesome. Who is your powerpoint whiz and/or where do you get your stuff. It is so good. Thanks and God bless your ministry and your family.

Brian Vickers

commented on Nov 21, 2007

A good and challenging word to us all. Thanks for taking the time to share!

Galen Andrews

commented on Nov 13, 2013

Another great sermon idea. Thanks for all you do in helping to move God's word forward!!!

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