Summary: A sermon discussing essential components of a Thankful heart.

November 20, 2005


Text: Col. 1:3-14 (focus on vs. 12)

Well, it is certainly hard to fathom today, but Thanksgiving is once again upon us. It doesn’t seem like a year could have come and gone since we celebrated our first Thanksgiving in our freshly completed sanctuary, does it?

But are you not still thankful for the blessing it has been to us over that time?


We, as a congregation, have been blessed in so many ways, have we not?


I want to address the idea of the Ingredients of Thanksgiving this morning.

Now I’m certain that most of you have traditions or traditional foods that make Thanksgiving Thanksgiving at your house…for your family.

For all of us or at least most of us turkey is traditional. Now at our family gathering there is always also a roast or a ham, BUT IT WOULD NOT BE THANKSGIVING WITHOUT TURKEY.

Maybe some of you ladies, or even some of you men, have specific recipes for the stuffing or the desserts that have become a family Thanksgiving trademark.

For most of us here today, there are components or ingredients to our family celebrations that, if forgotten, would most certainly change the mood, if not remove some or all, of what Thanksgiving has meant to your family.

What I want us each to consider today is that

-even as there are necessary ingredients essential to your family celebrations of Thanksgiving


-There are those things that are SPIRITUALLY ESSENTIAL for Thanksgiving to truly be Thanksgiving.

In the passage we read together, Paul is expressing his thanksgiving for the companionship the Christians of Colossie have afforded him. This whole 1st chapter of Colossians is an expression of Paul’s joy and thanksgiving. But vs. 12 has contained within it 3 necessary ingredients to true thanksgiving. Instructions the Apostle is giving to the church and, indeed, to us today. Those three essential ingredients are:

1. An appropriate attitude

2. The acknowledged agent

3. The acceptance of abundance


It’s Thanksgiving Day and the aroma of roast turkey fills Charlie Brown’s house. Snoopy, outside, lying on top of his doghouse, smells that aroma, and he is thinking, “It’s Thanksgiving Day. Everybody eats turkey on Thanksgiving Day.” So he lies there, watching the back door, eagerly awaiting his Thanksgiving dinner.

Finally, the door opens and here comes Charlie Brown with a bowl of dog food, and he puts it on the ground. Snoopy gets off his house and stares at the dog food with a forlorn look on his face. And he thinks, “Just because I’m a dog, I have to eat dog food on Thanksgiving Day.”

Then the next square shows him looking at the dog food more intently, and he is thinking, “It could be worse. I could be the turkey.”

(Melvin Newland – Sermon Central)

I’ve been following with great dismay the letters to the editor in the Wichita paper…written remarks regarding the family who received the beautiful new home following the fire that destroyed their home. You may be familiar with the situation.

- Rose Hill family

- Home burnt last winter or spring.

- Someone submitted their name to one of those

TV shows.

- The TV show builds them a new home.

- Then someone donated a new pickup to the


- Then WSU or some benefactor gave the

daughters all full scholarships.

- Some of the remarks in the letters to the

editors have been absolutely venomous.

- People resent them getting so much.

Why is that? Is it not because they resent someone having more than they themselves have?

- Like children who squabble over who got the

biggest piece.

*I don’t know about you, but personally, I’m glad it was not my house that burnt down.

*I’m thankful I didn’t have to live in my in-law’s basement for 6 months. (Boy am I thankful!)

*I’m thankful it’s not me who people now write about so caustically, who people resent.

You see the proper attitude for Thanksgiving is cultivated not by looking at the blessings of others and comparing with our own, but by viewing our own blessings as sufficient in themselves.


Joy is contentment in whatever circumstance.

Joy and discontentment are essentially


The proper attitude is cultivated not by looking at what we lack, but rather by an appropriate acknowledgement of what we do have.


The young man was feeling very proud of himself. As a brand new college graduate he had taken the CPA exam and passed with flying colors. Now he as a full-fledged Certified Public Accountant. His father had been an immigrant to the U.S., and now owned his own little business. Filled with self-importance, the young man began to criticize his father’s way of keeping books. He said, “Dad, you don’t even know how much profit you’ve made. Over here in this drawer are your accounts receivable. Over there are your receipts and you keep all your money in the cash register. You don’t have any idea how much money you’ve made.”

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