Summary: Thanksgiving is more than a holiday, there is a spirit behind the holiday that each Christian should embrace and build upon!
• As we get ready to celebrate another Thanksgiving holiday, I want us to ponder what the thanksgiving holiday is really about.
• We spend time with family and friends stuffing ourselves with turkey, potatoes, stuffing, pumpkin pie, along with many other items of food.
• The holiday is more than just one day when we give thanks for the material things we have.
• I believe Thanksgiving should have a deeper meaning to us than just something we do once per year.
• There is a spirit to the holiday that should be in us year round.
• Thanksgiving can only come from thankful people and thankful people have a certain spirit about them that is evident for everyone to see.
• What kind of a person are you? Are you a thankful person or are you one that is not very thankful at this point in your life?
• Of all people on the planet, Christians should be the example of what it means to be a thankful person.
• I want us to look at Philippians 4:4-7 today as we look at the Spirit of a thankful person.
• This passage reveals four types of spirit a thankful person should possess.
• If we re struggling with being thankful, we can change that. I hope today will give us some insights that will help us to be the thankful people God wants us to be. Thanksgiving can become a lifestyle instead of just a holiday.
• READ PHILIPPIANS 4:4-7
A thankful person has:
I. A JOYFUL SPIRIT. (4)
CLICK # 4
• A thankful person will always rejoice in the Lord.
• When Paul penned this statement, he was in prison. It is not like Paul was sitting in a mansion somewhere telling us to rejoice in the Lord.
• The main reason we can have a joyful spirit is because of our knowledge and relationship with the God through Jesus!
• Our inner attitudes do not have to reflect our outward circumstances. Paul was full of joy because he knew that no matter what happened to him, Jesus Christ was with him.
• We can be joyful no matter what because we know that God provides for us and takes care of us.
• SLIDE # 5
• Philippians 4:19 says: 19And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.
• How many times have you seen Christians walk around looking like they hate the world or every time that something does not go right, their world and attitude fall apart.
• Paul tells us to rejoice in the Lord ALWAYS! There are no exceptions!
• If Paul can rejoice in the Lord when he is in prison, I think I can try to rejoice in my circumstances.
• In the first couple of verses in this chapter Paul addresses some problems that are going on in the church, yet even though there are problems in the church, Paul tells us to rejoice in the Lord always!
• To rejoice means to be exceedingly glad.
• SLIDE # 6. How many times have we failed to rejoice in the Lord? If we truly believe passages like Romans 8:28, then we can rejoice no matter what is happening around us.
• Romans 8:28 says: And we know that £God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.
• The ability to rejoice or to have a joyful spirit is built on or relationship with God, not what is happening around us.
SLIDE # 7
A thankful person has:
II. A GENTLE SPIRIT. (5)
A thankful person will treat other people as Jesus would.
• Joy is not always seen, but the way we act toward others is!
• The word “gentle” is a very difficult word to translate into English. There is really no one word that can catch the flavor of it.
• Different translations translate it as gentle, moderate, kind and, reasonable, considerate.
• The word refers to a spirit that is reasonable, fair-minded, and charitable. It describes someone willing to yield his or her own rights to show consideration and gentleness to others. We may find it easy to be gentle with some people, but Paul commanded gentleness toward everyone.
• We are not to bulldoze over people to get our rights all the time.
• John MacArthur Jr states the following in his commentary on Philippians: Gracious humility runs counter to the cult of self-love that was rampant in ancient society, and is rampant in modern society as well. But focusing on self-love, self-esteem, and self-fulfillment leads only to greater and greater instability and anxiety. On the other hand, those whose focus is not on themselves cannot be knocked off balance by inequity, injustice, unfair treatment, lies, or humiliation. They can say with Paul, “I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am” (4:11). Spiritual stability belongs to the graciously humble.