Summary: Sermon series about gratitude as a way of life.
Last week we talked about being GR8ing or GR8ful where I laid out the need for having an attitude of gratitude, the science to back up the fact that gratitude leads to a better life, We looked at some of the Scriptures that command us to be thankful, grateful, such as 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (NLT) “Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.” We looked at examples of ingratitude, and we looked at some tremendous examples of gratitude. We even did a gratitude dance. How many of you were not here last week? Well, we need to do it again then, don’t we?
Today, we are going to look at some practical aspects of how to live this out and I am going to challenge you to "30 Days of ThanksLIVING". Let's start a new habit, a new way of life.
Thanksgiving is a wonderful holiday idea. The following proclamation was made by Governor Bradford in 1623, 3 years after the Pilgrims settled at Plymouth;
"To all ye Pilgrims, Inasmuch as the great Father has given us this year an abundant harvest of Indian corn, wheat, peas, squashes and garden vegetables, and has made the forests to abound with game and the sea with fish and clams, and inasmuch as He has protected us from the raids of the savages, has spared us from pestilence and disease, has granted us freedom to worship God according to the dictates of our own conscience; now I, your magistrate, do proclaim that all ye Pilgrims, with your wives and ye little ones, do gather at ye meeting house, on ye hill, between the hours of 9 and 12 in the day time, on Thursday November ye 29th of the year of our Lord one thousand six hundred and twenty three, and the third year since ye Pilgrims landed on ye Plymouth rock, there to listen to ye pastor and render thanksgiving t ye Almighty God for all His blessings."
H.U. Westermayer said "The Pilgrims made seven times more graves than huts. No Americans have been more impoverished than these who, nevertheless, set aside a day of thanksgiving."
Thanksgiving Day is a distinctive holiday. It doesn't commemorate a battle or anyone's birthday or anniversary. It is simply a day set aside to express our nation's thanks to our nation's God.
In 1789, George Washington made this public proclamation. (Now I will read only a little part of it, but I want you to see the strong & absolute acknowledgment of the fact of God, & of our nation’s dependence upon Him.)
"By the President of the United States of America. A proclamation: Whereas, it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, & humbly to implore His protection & favor, and
"Whereas, Both Houses of Congress" (Did you hear that, "Both Houses of Congress?") When is the last time “both houses of Congress” have agreed on anything? "have by their joint committee requested me `to recommend to the people of the United States a day of Public Thanksgiving & Prayer, to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many signal favors of Almighty God. . .’
"Now, Therefore I do recommend & assign Thursday, the 26th day of November next, to be devoted by the People of these States to the service of that great & glorious Being who is the beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be. . ."
THANKSGIVING ... One day in which we, like those early Pilgrims, set aside time in our busy schedules to give thanks to God.
Do you think our forefathers had the current way we celebrate Thanksgiving in mind when it began. That it would be about football or getting ready for Black Friday or now Black Thursday or gorging ourselves till we are more stuffed than the turkey? I wonder what they would wish for us? Well, we may not find out the answer to that question but I did find a clip of what Mom's wish for Thanksgiving. Ladies, see if you can relate at all.
Video Clip - "What Mom's Wish for Thanksgiving"
As we discussed last week, though, Thanksgiving needs to become ThanksLIVING, developing an attitude of gratitude. So how do you develop the habits of ThanksLIVING? Listen to parts of several Scriptures that I have already read during this series of messages on Gratitude and ThanksLIVING.
"Be thankful in all circumstances"
"always be thankful."
"thank Him for all He has done"
"give thanks for everything to God"
"let there be thankfulness to God"
The point - Recognize WHO you should thank and thank HIM ALWAYS! Let's look at an example from Luke 17:11-19 (Read)