Summary: Thanksgiving Message
Thanksgiving or Thankskeeping
Gratefulness and thanksgiving stem from a clear focus on the goodness of God. Without a fundamental focus on the goodness of God, there can be no consistent meaningful gratitude in the heart of man or thankfulness from the mouth of man.
The appreciation of God’s goodness in man’s mind
determines the intensity of gratitude in man’s heart
and the frequency of thanksgiving from man’s mouth.
To the degree that man perceives God’s wonderful acts of goodness and kindness, he will express gratitude back to God as well as to those through whom God works. To the degree that man focuses on himself and his abilities and achievements, he will be more likely to keep his thanks than give it. There will be complaining about circumstances, forgetfulness about God and proud, self-centered attitudes. Thanksgiving begins in the mind. Thanksgiving is the natural result of meditation on the source of all that we have.
When we focus on himself -- we practice thankskeeping When we focus on God and His goodness – we will practice thanksgiving. I. WHEN MAN FOCUSES ON HIMSELF...
A. Man Forgets God
1. He forgets God’s gracious Provision Deut 8:1-20
Keep on Obeying
Remember God’s Goodness
1--He provided for spiritual needs 2-3
2--He provided physical needs 3-4
3--He provided needed discipline 5-6
4--He provided abundant blessing 7-10
Beware of forgetfulness
They are warned to keep a proper perspective on their life. Humility and obedience bring blessing. Prosperity comes from the hand of God not the ingenuity of man. It is God who gives the power to even make wealth. When we become proud and trust in our own devices and think that our great skill has brought us wealth we will find bitter disappointment. When we fail to realize that even my physical strength and skills come from God, we will face disillusionment. We forget God when we focus on ourselves.
It is like trying to focus on two objects standing opposite one another.
You cannot view them both at the same time. You must turn away from the one in order to see the other. When we entertain the notion that I alone am responsible for what I have, then why should I thank God? What did He have to do with it?
When we are satisfied and comfortable…
How soon we forget all that God continues to do to keep this universe moving.
How soon we forget that nothing lives without God.
We take for granted the power and love necessary to keep man from annihilating himself. Why do we have to lose something before we appreciate it? When we focus on ourselves we will forget God.
2. He Forgets His Own Perversion Deut 9:1-29
How quick we are to snatch the credit for God’s blessing. We think that God has blessed us because we are so wonderful. When God marvelously provides our needs, we think, if not say, "God has been gracious to honor my hard work and faithfulness." We must be careful to recognize that if we have any skill or talent or God accomplishes anything through us it is always on the basis of PURE GRACE. He utilizes most anything to accomplish His will. He even used a donkey to get His point across to Baalam. He can raise up rocks to cry out his praise.
When man focuses on Himself he forgets God. He forgets God’s provision, he forgets his own perversion. In this state, man not only forgets God but often faults God.
B. Man Faults God Deut 1:26-33
When we focus on ourselves, all we can see is our pain. We don’t see growth, we don’t see God’s working or kingdom or sense His presence. All we see is that we are uncomfortable and we want to be free from our pain no matter what. We want God’s promise, but we want the promise without the pain or struggle. When things seem bad all we can see is the present gloom and not the promised glory. As long as we focus on our gain and not God’s glory we will tend to accuse God rather than appreciate His work in our life. How could God be so heartless? How could God allow such evil? The result of such unbelief and ingratitude was 40 years of wilderness wandering. God gets blamed further when it all began with my stubborn failure to believe God.
C. Man Fights God Rom 1:21; 2 Tim 3:2
This failure to honor God as God and thank him as he deserves is the first step toward a life of godless misery and destruction of our society. Satan’s biggest lie to us is that God really isn’t that good because if he was, he would have_______ or he wouldn’t have allowed _________. Whenever Satan can get us to focus on ourselves rather than God he scores another touchdown. Even in the face of such refusal by men to acknowledge His goodness, God in His grace still demonstrates His goodness in spite of it all. Luk 6:35 The more we focus on ourselves and on our agenda, the less we will find for which we should be thankful to God and we trade blessing for bitterness.