Summary: Here is the attitude and action of Thanksgiving.
INTRO.- It’s Thanksgiving and the kids are coming home. ARE THEY NOW?
ILL.- The day before Thanksgiving an elderly man in Phoenix called his son in New York and said to him, "I hate to ruin your day, but I have to tell you that your mother and I are divorcing; 45 years of misery is enough. We’re sick of each other, and so you call your sister in Chicago and tell her."
Frantic, the son called his sister, who exploded on the phone. "They are not getting divorced," she shouted. "I’ll take care of this."
She called Phoenix immediately, and said to her father. "You are NOT getting divorced. Don’t you do a single thing until I get there. I’m calling my brother back, and we’ll both be there tomorrow. Until then, don’t do a thing, DO YOU HEAR ME?"
The man hung up his phone and turned to his wife. "Okay, honey. The kids are coming for Thanksgiving and paying for their own flights."
Thanksgiving is a great family time. It’s when most families get together to eat, share, laugh, have a good time, and demonstrate love to one another. I VOTE FOR LOVING ONE ANOTHER!
Some people are fortunate enough to be with their family members on Thanksgiving. If so, thank God. Some don’t get to spend time with their family members on Thanksgiving, still, we must be thankful. IT IS ALWAYS RIGHT TO BE THANKFUL! We are blessed.
ILL.- I saw an article about Arnold Schwarzenegger. It was entitled, “Arnold’s Toys.” Arnold is not only worth $800 million dollars, he also loves his toys and he has plenty. He smokes $4000 cigars, wears shoes that cost as much as $5000 a pair, wears $3000 Italian suits and has a $12.5 million Gulfstream Jet. Arnold and family cruise in style on a $4.5 million 88 foot yacht. He also has a great fondness for Hummers (autos) which run anywhere from $50,000 to $100,000. He has nine of them, estimated to be worth $1 million. The first one he purchased at a cost of $117,000.
When we hear about people like Arnold most of us tend to become somewhat envious and would like to have more; more money and more material toys. BUT WE ARE RICH!
I Tim. 6:17-19 “Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.”
WE ARE THE RICH OF THIS WORLD and we should not be arrogant about it.
ILL.- The guest speaker had just returned from a tour with the Peace Corps. He was troubled about the apathy of American church members. On this particular night he was late to an Atlanta, GA, church. After the opening hymns had been sung he marched to the platform. He hadn’t changed clothes after ten hours of work on the farm. Clumps of mud and manure clung to his clothes and boots. The aroma filled the church. The people began to whisper. His sermon was short.
He said, “You act shocked as though I were a costumed clown. But you are wearing the costumes. Seventy-five percent of the world is dressed like me. Half of the world went to bed hungry tonight. You stuffed yourselves, fed the dog, and still threw away a good meal.
“Something is wrong with a country that lets grain rot in the silos while bodies rot away in other nations. What’s more, you do not care. When I leave tonight, I will be remembered as the misfit. You will not think of yourselves as the strange ones. But you are. And the strangest thing of all is that you do not even realize it. Just by being an American, I am one of the richest people on this planet. The rest of the world wants what we’ve got…and we’re not going to give it to them.”
Brothers and sisters, we are rich in America, far richer than we realize. WE ARE ABUNDANTLY BLESSED.
PROP.- Our text in I Thess. 5:16-18 gives us some of the attitude and action of Thanksgiving, which should be a part of our lives.
1- Be joyful
2- Give thanks
I. BE JOYFUL
V. 16 “Be joyful always.” A thankful person is a joyful person and a joyful person is generally a thankful person.
ILL.- The story is told of two old friends bumped into one another on the street one day. One of them looked forlorn, almost on the verge of tears. His friend asked, "What has the world done to you, my old friend?"