Summary: True thanksgiving is a life of daily thanks-living? So where is Thanksliving applied in the Word?
When I think about thanksgiving I generally think about 3 things (preachers ALWAYS think in 3’s)….Family, Food, and Football! WHAT? I’m serious….when I think of that 4th Thursday in November, that’s the first things that pop in there! It’s traditionally a day of being thankful for the stuff we have!
And that’s world’s perspective of thanksgiving. It is limited to an once a year event and to those things that are tangible.
True thanksgiving is a life of daily thanks-living? So where is Thanksliving applied in the Word?
I want to take time out to remember a few ways we can apply thanksliving in our daily life.
I. Rejoice always, (1 Thessalonians 5:16)
A. Rejoicing isn’t always about being happy! It’s about being joyful! People are naturally happy on some occasions. Birthdays, Anniversaries, heading to Disney World are all things that make us happy! Joy is not natural, but rather supernatural.
B. It’s like the song, I’m trading my sorrows.” It is through Him I am joy-filled! Paul says it like this in Philippians 4:11-13
C. I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I 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. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.
D. Christian’s joy is not dependent on circumstances. It comes from what Christ has done. It’s constant – doesn’t fade away! God’s joy is
E. Lesson for the church
1. Be joyful! Be able to allow yourself to praise the Lord in good times, and
not so good times!
2. Through Continual prayer - Which takes me to the next point…..
II. Pray without ceasing, (1 Thessalonians 5:17)
A. Why is it important?
1. It’s the only way to cultivate a joyful attitude in times of trial.
2. Isn’t it interesting that before Paul mentions contentment in
Philippians he says, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every
situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your
requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all
understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
3. Doesn’t mean we should be on our knees 24/7!!! But our hearts should
be willing to be in constantly recurring prayer, growing out of a
dependence on God.
4. That means lifting your heart to God whether words are uttered or not.
and to allow the Holy Spirit’s leading in all situations.
5. We know that prayer is not only a way to communicate, it is a weapon
used in Spiritual warfare. Ephesians 6:18 reads, “And pray in the Spirit
on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in
mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.
D. Lesson for the church
1. Prayer is our most powerful but the most unused resource.
2. Often, we use prayer to manipulate God and easily give up when
God doesn’t answer the way we feel is right.
3. The primary purpose of prayer is NOT to change ourselves, NOT to
change our situations, but to respond back to our Creator. It seems
basic, but that’s what it’s all about—building your relationship with
God. EXAMPLE: WIFE AND HUSBAND.
4. Now joy and continual prayer paves the way for giving thanks…
III. Give thanks… (1 Thessalonians 5:18)
A. Great men of God thanked him in their worse situations
1. Ex. 1: "Leave me thus. He who strengthens me to endure the flames will
also enable me to stand firm at the stake without being fastened with
nails.", Polycarp while being burnt at the stake!!!
2. Ex. 2: "May I become agreeable bread to the Lord." Ignatius of Antioch,
while being devoured by two Lions!!!
B. Why should I give thanks?
1. Everything you have, your family, job, house, finances, friends…they are
all blessings given to you by the Lord. All those experiences you gain,
all that is good, and even some of those things that can test you…He is
present in them! Problems are a temporary parts to God’s larger plan
for our spiritual well being.
2. Is it really that important to be thankful. Romans 1:21-23 reads, “For
although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave
thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts
were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools
and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look
like a mortal human being and birds and animals and reptiles.
C. Lesson for the Church