Summary: This sermon is about examining ourselves when we celebrate Thanksgiving this year. For many this day will be a time of praise, for others a time for pretext, for some a spiritual time and for others a superficial time.
Thanksgiving is a national holiday in the United States and Canada. It is a day set aside to give thanks for the blessings of the year. Thanksgiving Day is usually observed with religious services and with families celebrations. A large dinner featuring turkey, cranberries and pumpkin or sweet potatoes pie is traditional.
Psalm 92:1 said, " It is a good thing to give thanks unto the Lord, and to sing praise unto thy name, to show forth thy loving kindness in the morning and thy faithfulness every night."
For many this week of thanks will be superficial. For some it will be a time of praise, for others a time of pretext, for some a spiritual time and for others a superficial time.
We find in this passage of Scripture a Pharisee had a superficial Thanksgiving because he was unaware of his greatest need.
Jesus told the parable to those trusted in themselves that thought they were righteous and despised others whom they thought they were better than.
The parable stated that, two men went up to the temple to pray, one being a Pharisee , who thought he was better than than other men. The other being a Publican, who thought he was underserving of God’s mercy.
THE PHARISEE WAS UNAWARE OF HS NEED (VV 11-12)
The Pharisee stood and prayed to himself, Lord, I thank you that I an not as other men who are extortioners, unjust adulteres or even as this Publican. He said now Lord, you know I fasted twice a week, and I give my tithes of all that I possess." This man started with thankgiving, but the wrong kind of thanksgiving.
The Pharisee, you see was not thanking God for what God had done for him and what grace God had done for him, instead he was thanking God for what he himself had done, and that is the wrong kind of attitude for us to have.
If we really look at this man prayer, it was a very prayerless prayer. He said a prayer, but he didn’t pray. How many of us have a prayerless prayer. Do we truly thank God for all of His goodness and mercy? Do we acknowledge that everything that we have God gave it to us. We must give Him thanksgiving for what he have done in our lives. A songwrither stated, "Without God I can do nothing without Him I would fail, without Him my life would be worthless, like a ship without a sail."
The Phariess focused on his human effort. He told God all the things that he did and all the things he did not do. We must understand that we don’t have to tell God nothing, He already know what we have done and what we did not do.
The Pharisee put his trust in himself, but he needed personal salvation through faith in Jesus Christ. Something he couldn’t earn through his good work. He could only receive salvation as a gift. (Eph. 2:8-9) stated that, "By grace are we saved through faith, and not of ourselves, it is a gift of God. It is not of our work, lest any man should boast.
THE PHARIEE WAS UNCONCERNED ABOUT THE PHULICAN (v 11)
Even though a man that was a Publican stood next to him he was unconcern about him, For he said I thank God that I am not as other man even this Publican. We find that this Pharisee was filled with pride rather than compassion for the Publican.
True Thanksgiving produces thankful living. During this Thanksgiving when we sit down to our dinner tables, we must thank God for our salvation, and tell others about Christ love. We must thank God for His provision, for our health, our strength, our jobs, our homes, our cars and we must share our blessings with others who are less fortune than we are.
We must be thankful for God’s kindness, goodness, mercy and pass them on to our fellowmen. Without God’s mercy, goodness and kindness, we must ask ourselves where would we be?
As we sit down to our tables this Thanksgiving we must thank God for fellowship with families and friends. God has spare our lives and enable us to see another Thanksgiving day. Although we are thankful for our families and friends we are to extend our fellowship to those who are not our families and friends, for the Father says, " When you done it to the lest of them you have done it unto me."
Let us thank God for prayer. When we can go down on our knees in our darkest hour and talk to God, when in the mid-night hour when we are in dispear we can always fall on our knees and pray. Not only do we pray for ourselves and our family, we must pray for the whole world.