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Summary: 2008 Thanksgiving Message

This morning, I want us to begin with reading Psalm 136 responsively by having you read the phrase ‘His faithful love endures for ever,’ where it appears.

Please stand, as you are able, as we read Psalm 136 responsively.

(Slide 1)

Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good!

His faithful love endures forever.

2 Give thanks to the God of gods.

His faithful love endures forever.

3 Give thanks to the Lord of lords.

His faithful love endures forever.

(Slide 2)

4 Give thanks to him who alone does mighty miracles.

His faithful love endures forever.

5 Give thanks to him who made the heavens so skillfully.

His faithful love endures forever.

6 Give thanks to him who placed the earth on the water.

His faithful love endures forever.

(Slide 3)

7 Give thanks to him who made the heavenly lights—

His faithful love endures forever.

8 the sun to rule the day,

His faithful love endures forever.

9 and the moon and stars to rule the night.

His faithful love endures forever.

(Slide 4)

10 Give thanks to him who killed the firstborn of Egypt.

His faithful love endures forever.

11 He brought Israel out of Egypt.

His faithful love endures forever.

12 He acted with a strong hand and powerful arm.

His faithful love endures forever.

(Slide 5)

13 Give thanks to him who parted the Red Sea.

His faithful love endures forever.

14 He led Israel safely through,

His faithful love endures forever.

15 but he hurled Pharaoh and his army into the sea.

His faithful love endures forever.

(Slide 6)

16 Give thanks to him who led his people through the wilderness.

His faithful love endures forever.

17 Give thanks to him who struck down mighty kings.

His faithful love endures forever.

18 He killed powerful kings—

His faithful love endures forever.

(Slide 7)

19 Sihon king of the Amorites,

His faithful love endures forever.

20 and Og king of Bashan.

His faithful love endures forever.

21 God gave the land of these kings as an inheritance—

His faithful love endures forever.

22 a special possession to his servant Israel.

His faithful love endures forever.

(Slide 8)

23 He remembered our utter weakness.

His faithful love endures forever.

24 He saved us from our enemies.

His faithful love endures forever.

25 He gives food to every living thing.

His faithful love endures forever.

26 Give thanks to the God of heaven.

His faithful love endures forever.

(You may be seated.)

In this Psalm, the people at worship are reminded of three things (Slide 9): God’s faithful and enduring love through His acts of deliverance, His provision for their needs, and His character that includes grace and mercy.

Ponder that list for a moment… Look at it… read a couple of times, slowly…read it again… Does it hold true for us? Does it hold true for you? You bet it does!

These are challenging times to be thankful. Some of us here are out of work. Some of us are frustrated with our work. Some of us are concerned about the direction of our country. Some of us are concerned about our families. Some of us are just plain tired.

The practice gratitude and thanksgiving is helpful to us today. The late Irving Berlin wrote:

(Slide 10)

Got no check books, got no banks.

Still I’d like to express my thanks-

I got the sun in the mornin’

And the moon at night.

(Irving Berlin, “I Got the Sun in the Mornin’” 1946)

Now Mr. Berlin has a point here. However, we have something more that the sun and the moon! We have the Lord! We have a God who knows what we need and He takes good care of us. We know, believe, and trust in the One who made the sun and the moon, the morning and the night.

(Slide 11) Please take out a pencil or pen and your bulletin. Now, write down three concerns that you currently have. They can be occupational, personal, financial, or something else.

(Slide 11a) Now, for each situation, write down how God might be present in those concerns right now.

It may not be easy to see how God might be present, so the question becomes, (Slide 12) ‘Do I believe that God will be present in these concerns and that His good will is accomplished?’ (Not will be but already ‘is’?)

This is faith at work, this is, as we read in Hebrews 11:1, ‘the confident assurance that what we hope for is going to happen. It is the evidence of things we cannot yet see.’

In a recent column, Gordon MacDonald shared the story of a message sent by the leader of the French Army in World War One, General Foch. The message, sent to his superiors, said, ‘Hard pressed on my right. My center is yielding. Impossible to maneuver. Situation excellent. I attack.’

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