Summary: That is why a Thanksgiving message like this is so important. We need this reminder. We need it because it forces us to "add it all up" & recognize where all these things we enjoy actually come from. (PowerPoints Available - #296)
MELVIN M. NEWLAND, MINISTER
RIDGE CHAPEL, KANSAS, OK
(PowerPoints used with this message are available for free. Just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and request #296.)
ILL. An elderly lady was well-known for her faith, & for her boldness in talking about it. Each morning she would go out on her front porch & greet the new day by shouting, "PRAISE THE LORD! Thank you, Lord, for another beautiful Day!"
Next door lived a man who didn't believe in God, & who got so angry at her daily praises & prayers that he began shouting back, "There ain't no Lord! There ain't no God!"
But his angry shouts didn't intimidate her, & she kept on greeting each day with her praises & prayers. And each morning he continued responding to her.
Then hard times came upon the elderly lady, & she prayed for God to send her some help. She stood on her porch & prayed, "PRAISE THE LORD. You have been so good to me. But right now, God, I'm having a hard time. Please Lord, send me some food!"
The next morning the lady went out on her porch & saw a large bag of groceries sitting there. She shouted, "PRAISE THE LORD."
Her neighbor jumped out from behind a bush & shouted, "I told you there was no God. I bought those groceries, God didn't."
The lady started clapping her hands & said, "PRAISE THE LORD! God not only sent me groceries, but He made the devil pay for them. Thank you, Lord!"
Truly, God works in mysterious ways His wonders to perform!
In 1 Corinthians 4:7 the Apostle Paul wrote something that I think we need to consider. He wrote, “For who makes you different from anyone else? What do you have that you did not receive? And if you did receive it, why do you boast as though you did not?”
ILL. The young man was feeling very proud of himself. As a brand-new college graduate he had taken the C.P.A. Exams & passed with flying colors. Now he was a full-fledged Certified Public Accountant.
His father had been an immigrant to the U.S., & now owned his own little business. Filled with his newly acquired knowledge & with his self-importance, the young man began to criticize his father’s way of keeping books.
He said, “Dad, you don’t even know how much profit you’ve made. Over here in this drawer are your accounts receivable. Over there are your receipts, & you keep all your money locked up in your safe. You don’t have any idea how much you’ve made.”
The father answered, “Son, when I came to this country the only thing I owned was a pair of pants. Now your brother is a doctor, your sister is an art teacher, & you are a C.P.A. Your mother & I own our home. We have a car, & we own this little business. Now add that up, subtract the pants, & all the rest is profit.”
Add it up, folks. That’s exactly what we need to do, too. Add it all up. We came into this world with nothing but the eternal soul that God gave us. Every-thing else is profit.
ILL. The story is told of a poor man who was given a loaf of bread. He thanked the baker, but the baker said, “Don’t thank me. Thank the miller who made the flour.” So he thanked the miller, but the miller said, “Don’t thank me. Thank the farmer who planted the wheat.”
So he thanked the farmer. But the farmer said, “Don’t thank me. Thank the Lord. He gave the sunshine & rain & fertility to the soil, & that’s why you have bread to eat.”
You see, regardless of how sophisticated, how advanced we may be, we still can’t create a kernel of corn or wheat. That has to come from God. God gives us the things we need in order to live on this planet.
PROP. That is why a message like this is so important. We need this reminder. We need it because it forces us to add it all up & recognize where all these things we enjoy actually come from.
I. SOME HAVE A CONFUSED ATTITUDE
The sad thing is that some people have a confused attitude about their blessings because their priorities are all mixed up.
ILL. One day a man discovered that a friend had betrayed him. Greatly hurt by that, he went to the man & said,
“Don’t you remember who picked you up when you were in the gutter? Don’t you remember who bailed you out of jail & loaned you money when you needed it? Don’t you remember who gave you your first job?”
The man replied, “Yes, you did. But what have you done for me lately?”