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Summary: A Thanksgiving sermon.

PSALM 100:1-5

“The Basis of Our Thanksgiving”

By: Rev. Kenneth Sauer, Pastor of Parkview United Methodist Church, Newport News, VA

The 100th Psalm was written for the people of Israel.

God had basically said to them, “When you come into the promised land, and settle down in your warm homes, and you have plenty to eat…

…don’t forget Me…

…I led you out of the wilderness and I brought you into a land flowing with milk and honey.”

But it doesn’t take very long to realize that the people of Israel needed a reminder…

…and I’m afraid that we need one too.

And maybe God had us in mind, too, when this Psalm was written.

Did we notice to whom it is addressed?

The first verse says that it’s addressed to “all the earth,” and the last verse says that it includes “all generations.”

The importance of thanksgiving is so deep and so wide that it applies to every person of every generation who has ever lived!

Webster’s New World Dictionary defines the word thanksgiving as “a formal public expression of thanks to God.”

And there is something about giving thanks together to God that breaks down barriers between people and brings about a unity.

Psalm 100 is a hymn that was sung while entering the temple, and it probably was done in connection with a thanksgiving ceremony.

Let’s look at what the 100th Psalm emphasizes…

...let’s just scan the Psalm…

…in verse 1 we find the name of the Lord…

…in verse 2 we find the name of the Lord…

…in verse 3 we find the name of the Lord…

…In verse 4 it says, “Enter His gates with thanksgiving.”….

….and in verse 5 we see, “For the Lord is good and His love endures forever; His faithfulness continues through all generations.”

…This is the basis for our thanksgiving—The LORD!!!

Alex Haley, the author of “Roots,” had an unusual picture hanging on his office wall.

It was a picture of a turtle on top of a fence post.

When asked, “Why is that there?”…

…Alex Haley answered, “Every time I write something significant, every time I read my words and think that they are wonderful….

…and I begin to feel proud of myself…

…I look down at the turtle on top of the fence post and remember that he didn’t get there on his own.

He had help.”

How many of us have had help?

Where did this help come from?

Where would we be without the help of the Lord?…

…without the goodness of the Lord?…

…without the love of the Lord?…

…without the faithfulness of the Lord?

I know I would be a mess.

I’d of caused all kinds of problems for myself.

I grew up in the MTV generation…

…we used to watch the videos on MTV every chance we got…

…and we used to idolize the rock stars…

…and we used to hang on every word they spoke and sang.

Their message was basically, party hard, engage in all the most inappropriate acts you can, do drugs, drink…

…Do whatever it takes…

…whether you have to lie, cheat, steal or kill…in order to get your way!

Now if kids were to follow those wonderful words of wisdom…

…into adulthood

…not only would their lives be a mess…

…but, they would be headed straight for hell!

And we see the faces of those who did ultimately act on the false teachings of the MTV Generation….

…we see them on the street corners…

…we see them in our prisons…

…we see them on the news—drug busts, drunk driving deaths, drive-by-shootings….

…and we have seen too many of their faces in the obituaries…

…MTV has suited Satan very well.

Psalm 100 is filled with commands….

…let’s look at verse 1: “Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth.”

This really is a slice of heaven isn’t it?

There is nothing more healthy for the soul, more cleansing for the mind, …there is nothing that makes a human being more happy than utterly and completely praising the Lord!!!

In her classic autobiography The Hiding Place, Corrie Ten Boom tells of a time when she and her sister were forced to take off all their clothes during Nazi inspections at a death camp.

Corrie stood in line feeling forsaken and defiled.

Suddenly, she remembered that Jesus had hung naked on the cross.

Struck with wonder and worship during that seemingly forsaken moment, Corrie leaned forward and whispered to her sister: “Betsie, they took His clothes too.”

Betsie gasped and said, “Oh, Corrie, and I never thanked Him.”


Thanksgiving doesn’t require bounty—just recognition of what our Savior has done for us!

It is so easy for us to say, “Woe is me!”

It is so easy for many of us to curse God…

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Ted Baker

commented on Nov 25, 2006

Pastor Sauer, Thanks to you for your thoughtful research into this Psalm. I appreciate your thoughts. As a chaplain to folks in health-care settings, I am often looking for helps in bringing a message that uplifts and encourages. We serve a great God, don't we!

Lee Pettis

commented on Nov 21, 2009

Simple, direct and uplifting sermon

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