Summary: This sermon stresses the benefits of thanksgiving in our day to day lives and unveils what the bible has to say about seeing our troubles from the proper perspective.
I hope you all had a nice Thanksgiving… It has always been so strange to me how Thanksgiving has changed since its original conception—even from when I was a kid. For instance, how ironic is it that the very day after Thanksgiving just happens to be the biggest shopping day of the year! Think about it; one day, we are sitting around a table surrounded with family and friends, our hearts overflowing with thanksgiving for all the ways that God has blessed us.. and then, before the sun fully rises the next morning, we are driving like maniacs to the best sales so we can fight our brothers and sisters tooth and nail for a greatly discounted television or sweater! It is amazing how quickly the attitude of thanksgiving can give way to unadulterated greed! I, for one, don’t think that it is merely a coincidence that Black Friday is the day after Thanksgiving. You see, our greatest enemy knows how powerful an attitude of thanksgiving is in the Christian life. The devil doesn’t want us to dwell on how blessed we are—and he certainly doesn’t want us to remember Who blessed us! I can almost hear Satan saying, “go on and have your day of thanksgiving—but that’s it, only one day and then its back to business as usual where pride and selfishness rule the hearts of men. You see, he knows that one day of thankfulness won’
Charles Dickens once said that we are somewhat mixed up here in America. He told an audience that “instead of having one Thanksgiving Day each year we should have 364 “days of thanksgiving.” Use that one day just for complaining and griping,” he said. “Use the other 364 days to thank God for the many blessings He has showered upon you.”
As Dickens suggested, we should not wait for a special holiday to express our gratitude to God. Instead, thanksgiving should be a part of our daily lives. In fact the bible is very clear that thanksgiving is perhaps one of the most vital characteristics of any child of God. And there’s good reason for that. Look with me if you will at Romans 1:18-25. (READ)
Just as the Apostle Paul is indicating here, countless people who once “knew God” or had a relationship with Christ will be ultimately lost in large part because of a lack of thanksgiving. Today we are going to see what the bible has to say about the importance of thanksgiving in the Christian life and learn how we can cultivate this essential mindset that many refer to as “an attitude of gratitude.”
As we just read, failing to glorify and give thanks to God for all He has created can cause our “hearts to be darkened.” For the life of me, I can’t understand evolutionists, or people who believe in the Big Bang Theory. How can anyone behold this unbelievably beautiful planet and see the creatures that share it with us and then say, there is no God!
I can’t tell you how many times that I personally have seen something in nature whether it be a magnificent sunset, a starry sky, bird, flower or even just an ant and just stop in my tracks and say in my heart, praise you Lord! I have witnessed so many indescribable sunsets—you know, the kind that would be impossible for any artist to reproduce, and I find myself thanking God and saying, Lord you didn’t have to do this! But He did—why? Because He is expressing Himself and His love to us not just in the heavens but in so many breathtaking ways—yet we tend to take these wonderful revelations of God’s character and love for granted each and every day!
Turn with me to Psalms 19:1-4 (READ).
I don’t know about you friends, but I’ve been blessed so many times to hear that voice that David is talking about. I love sitting out on a clear cold night when the stars are so vivid and bright just staring into infinity contemplating God’s love and awesome power. When I have the opportunity to behold scenes like that, I can’t help but to be humbled and praise the Lord right then and thank Him for all that He has created for us.
I remember many nights when Tammy, Meagan and I have sat out in the freezing cold early morning hours about to freeze to death just waiting to catch a glimpse of a falling star.
It’s very sad but the majority of people today simply don’t take the time to just behold what God has created both for our enjoyment and as a way of expressing Himself to us. The truth is that He has created so many beautiful and awesome things that we tend to take them for granted without giving it a second look or thought! But, what if the stars came out only once every five years? Or even once a year? I’ll bet that just about everyone would stay up nearly all night “ooing and ahing.”