Summary: Thanksgiving is more than just one day a year.
November 30, 2008
Text: Psalm 100:1-5
Title: Thanksgiving – One day at a Time
I’m looking around the congregation, and you can correct me if I’m wrong, but everyone’s faces look a little fuller than they did last week. Turkey, Turkey and more Turkey! But you know, that’s all right. I like turkey. I could eat it every day. I’m thankful for turkey.
The day before Thanksgiving one of the teachers at the elementary school asked the students to write a paragraph on what they were thankful for this Thanksgiving. Little Joey thought and thought and there was no way he could come up with a whole paragraph. His teacher gave him a break since it was the last day of school and a holiday to boot, so she said that he could just write one sentence.
After much thought Joey came up with this gem. “I’m thankful that I am not a turkey on Thanksgiving.”
When we stop and think about everything that we are blessed with we can only be thankful. I love what the apostle Paul had to say about that. Philippians 4:11, I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 12I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13I can do everything through him who gives me strength.
Thanksgiving is a time of the year that should bring us to the place where realize that everything that we have comes from one source – God! When we confess Him with our mouths and believe Him with our hearts we come to the proper attitude that we need to have in order to worship.
Ecclesiastes 3:1, There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven:
It is time for the church to worship God the way He alone deserves to be worshipped.
Lord, open my eyes to see and my ears to hear what the Spirit is saying to the church.
I. A TIME TO SHOUT. 1 Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth. How are you supposed to worship? With a shout! The phrase "shout for joy" in this verse is actually a single word (ruwa) in the Hebrew, and it can carry a number of meanings. It is most frequently translated simply "shout," as when the army of Joshua surrounding Jericho shouted, and the walls fell down (Joshua 6:20). Here it is translated in the KJV as "Make a joyful noise” which is kind of a watered down translation. It can refer to a shout of alarm, or shout of triumph, as well as a shout of joy, but it always refers to a loud shout. In fact, it comes from a root meaning "to split"--a noise that would split eardrums or shatter glass. Now why would God want us to shout to Him? I mean He knows our thoughts. He isn’t hard hearing like me. He doesn’t have to turn His hearing aids up. First, we aren’t just shouting for the sake of making noise. We are shouting for joy because our God is our creator. Our God is our savior. Our God is our redeemer. Our God is our deliverer. Our God is our Father. Our God is everything we need Him to be. As a matter of fact the word “LORD” (all caps) is the Hebrew word we know as “Yahweh” or “I AM”. It can also be translated, as “I will be what I will be.” So we shout for joy to the One who loves us beyond all understanding. And who is called to do the shouting? “All the earth”! In the same way that all the earth was subjected to sin and corruption at the fall of man, all of creation was redeemed with the death and resurrection of Jesus and will be restored with the second coming and the creation of a new heaven and new earth. Our shouting doesn’t make God hear us better. It tells the world who our God is. Worship involves shouting. Hallelujah!
II. A TIME TO SING 2 Worship the LORD with gladness; it is interesting to compare the different translations of the bible as we study. The same word translated “worship” in the NIV is “serve” in the KJV. What a beautiful description of what true worship is. Worship isn’t something that just comes out of your mouths, even though you are told to “shout with joy to the LORD.” True worship is seen in a lifestyle of service to Him. Notice that I didn’t say a life but a lifestyle. The English word worship comes from the old English Worth – ship, meaning something or someone who is worthy of worship. So we worship Him with gladness. We don’t worship or serve Him under compulsion or obligation. We are not forced to worship. We do so out of love for Him. When our lifestyle says that we serve the One true God it also says that we do so with gladness. He has made me glad, He has made me glad, I will rejoice for He has made me glad… come before him with joyful songs. Do you see a pattern here? Shout with JOY! Worship with gladness! Come with Joyful songs. Why do we sing songs of praise and worship? Have you ever noticed that in our church services singing doesn’t have priority over the word and the word doesn’t have priority over the singing. That is because the two go hand in hand. 1) Music engages us intellectually. So many of our songs are the word of God put to music. “I will enter His gates with thanksgiving in my heart…” Not only the words but our songs contain the principles of the word of God. “We fall down, we lay our crowns at the feet of Jesus…” It is great to memorize the songs we sing and not to be too dependent on books or screens. When you memorize you are quoting scripture2) Music engages us emotionally. It is the language of emotions in nearly every culture in the world. Fast songs in a major key (Days of Elijah) normally invoke joy and celebration. Slow songs in a minor key (Take me in to the holy of holies…” are more meditational and help us enter in to the presence of God. 3) Music engages us spiritually. Have you ever noticed that it is during the time of worship before the preaching of the word that the Lord speaks to us with prophecy or tongues and interpretation? Why does it happen that way? Because when we enter into corporate worship our spirits are being prepared to receive a word from the Lord – whether it is spiritual gifts or through the preaching. Come before the LORD with joyful songs.