Summary: 8 things we need to know
Scripture: Psalm 100; 145
Introduction: Thanksgiving is the day when we pause to reflect, remember, and respect the abundant blessings that God has bestowed upon us. Millions will use this special day, which has been appointed as Thanksgiving Day, as a day of indulgence, intemperance, and ingratitude, not respecting their Creator, conscience, or country. Thanksgiving is the act of rendering praise and thanksgiving; this praise and thanksgiving may take the form of private prayer or public proclamation as one articulates his appreciation for the blessings he enjoys. Thanksgiving is more than a day; it should be the disposition which all Christians should display every day, the attitude which should daily characterize those who are disciplined and devoted Disciples of Christ.
1. Christians Thank God for His Goodness (Jer. 33:11). God’s goodness leads men to repentance (Rom. 2:4). Thankfulness for God’s goodness is always in order. The Psalms abound with references to God’s goodness.
2. Christians Thank God for His Greatness (Ps. 48:1; 145:3; 147:5). David declared God’s greatness when he said, "Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised in the city of our God, in His holy mountain" (Ps. 48:1). In Psalm 145:3, God’s greatness is described by the words "Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised; and His greatness is unsearchable" (NKJV). Psalm 147:5 declares, "Great is our LORD, and mighty in power; His understanding is infinite" (NKJV). The greatness of God’s person, power, and provisions should bring praise and thanksgiving from the heart of the Christian. Are you?
3. Christians Thank God for His Grace (1 Cor. 1:4). Grace is defined as unmerited or undeserved favor. Grace cannot be earned, but it can be experienced and enjoyed. Christians live by God’s grace, learn by God’s grace, labor by God’s grace, look for His coming by grace, and manifest loyalty by God’s grace. Believers are saved, schooled, sanctified, secured, and satisfied by God’s grace. The truth of God’s grace should cause praise and thanksgiving.
4. Christians Thank God for His Gospel (2 Cor. 8:18). The gospel is God’s Good News regarding the salvation provided for sinful people. In this verse, Paul gives an example of a brother whose praise is in the gospel. Paul elsewhere acknowledges preaching the gospel that is the power of God to salvation for all who believe
(Rom. 1:16). He is assured of the power of the gospel to change the lives of all who believe. The gospel, which brings the news of salvation for fallen mankind, should provoke thankfulness and praise for every Christian.
5. Christians Thank God for His Guidance (Ps. 67:4 NIV). We have no reason to fret or worry, for the Lord guides the nations! The writer of Proverbs declares, "Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths" (Prov. 3:5, 6). David declared "The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD, and He delights in his way" (Ps. 37:23 NKJV). The Christian can be assured of and should be thankful for the Lord’s personal, practical, positive, and providential guidance.