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Summary: God in His goodness keeps on blessing us with abundance far beyond what we need or deserve. In addition to our material blessings, we as Christians receive so many spiritual blessings. How can we best express our gratitude as we think about all God has

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SERMON

BY BRO. SETH A. ARYEE

LOCAL PREACHER, BETHANY METHODIST CHURCH, DZORWULU, ACCRA-GHANA

THEME: THANKSGIVING – “FOR ALL THY GIFTS, WE BLESS THEE, LORD”

MALACHI 1: 6-14

2 CORINTHIANS 9: 5-11

TEXT: “AND IF YE OFFER THE BLIND FOR SACRIFICE, IS IT NOT EVIL? [MALACHI 1:8]

Today is a day for THANKSGIVING and THANKFULNESS unto the Lord for all His mercies showered on us throughout the year. Although, we need to be thankful moment by moment for God’s gracious offer of His only begotten Son to deliver us from our manifold sins, today is reserved specially for the Church and us as individuals to express our appreciation to the Good Lord during this Annual Harvest and Thanksgiving Service

Too often we take God’s blessings for granted until they are taken from us. Then we recognise how important even the most common gifts of God really are

"Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits" (Psalm 103:2). Because God’s goodness is as constant as the sun, we are in danger of forgetting what He showers on us each day. If we count our blessings one by one, we will never get finished. As you sit in Church this morning, I wish you could list ten gifts God has given you throughout the year and something will happen to your hearts. So the hymn writer articulates the goodness of the Lord as: "For all Thy gifts, we bless Thee Lord. But chiefly for our heavenly food. Thy pardoning grace, Thy quickening word. These prompt our son, that God is good" (Methodist Hymn Book No. 968)

Yes, God is good all the time, and all the time, God is good. These should prompt us always to give thanks to the Lord. If we pause to think about the abundance that God has showered on us, we all discover many reasons to express our gratitude to Him

But to give thanks for every situation is sometimes very difficult. When our bodies are wracked by pain, or we have just learned that we have a physical problem for which there is no cure, or we have lost our job, or a cherished relationship has been broken, we don’t feel grateful. But we can learn to thank God because He gives us strength when we feel weak. As believers, we can be grateful that through such experiences God is accomplishing what is best for us

One way of expressing thankfulness to God is the reason why we are gathered here this morning - to offer the first fruits of our lives. The Word of God clearly teaches us that if we do not respond to God’s gracious gifts by acknowledging the heavenly Benefactor, our ungratefulness will only ensure our final doom and misery (Romans 2:4-10)

No doubt, some of us keep struggling all by ourselves to make it in life without success. Today, I want to challenge you to test the Lord and see whether He will not open the windows of heaven and pour such blessings upon you" (Malachi 3:10)

God in His goodness keeps on blessing us with abundance far beyond what we need or deserve. In addition to our material blessings, we as Christians receive so many spiritual blessings. How can we best express our gratitude as we think about all God has given to us? First, by maintaining a thankful spirit in everything we do. Then by giving liberally and cheerfully of our time, treasure, and talent - "WHEN I REMEMBER WHAT THE LORD HAS DONE, I WILL NEVER FORGET ANY MORE"

Let us look at Hebrews 11:4: "By faith, Abel offered to God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain". God accepted Abel’s sacrifice because he offered a more excellent sacrifice. On the other hand, God did not accept the sacrifice of Cain. The difference between the sacrifices of Abel and Cain was FAITH. Thus, if we also want our sacrifice to be accepted by God we must necessarily recognise the element of faith

Our sacrifices should not be the routine type. Since we have been making our offering to God as a routine, we are not concerned of the value and magnitude of the offer. In fact, very little faith is exercised in our routine sacrifices

If our sacrifice should continue to be a memorial before God, there must be faith accompanying our offering. Let us examine Genesis 4:1-7 to determine how both Cain and Abel offered their individual sacrifices to the Lord. The Bible tells us that Cain was a farmer, tilling the land whilst Abel was a shepherd, tending the sheep. Both professions were noble in the eyes of the Lord. We are further told that when the two sacrificed to the Lord, Cain brought an offering of the fruit of the ground to the Lord and Abel brought the first born of his flock and of their fat

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