Summary: A Thanksgiving Sermon from Psalms 100.
The Thanksgiving List
“Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth. 2 Worship the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful songs. 3 Know that the Lord is God. It is he who made us, and we are his[a] ; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture. 4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. 5 For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.” Psalms 100:1-5
Intro: One of the most beautiful Psalms of thanksgiving is the 100th Psalm. I am convinced that we are a people who have been truly blessed by God. And of all those who "give thanks to Him and praise His name" our name should be at the top of the list!
It is pretty common to make a Christmas wish list. But today I want us to think about a Thanksgiving Day list of all the things that we are thankful for.
10. A house – many people in this world today who have no place to live. Even in small towns people often live with their family two and three in the same apartment or home.
9. Food - we always have plenty to eat at our house. Many people don’t. We have all seen people standing beside the road holding a sign that says, “Will work for food.”
8. Clothes – I never have to worry about whether there will be clothes in my closet for me to put on each day. Many people only have the clothes that they are wearing.
7. Health – I am thankful that I am blessed with good health. Many people have a serious illness which keeps them from enjoying a full and happy life.
6. My country – I am thankful that I live in a country where I enjoy great freedom. In many countries you can be put in prison, or even put to death, for telling others about Jesus.
5. Churches – I am thankful for the Churches that I have pastored in 30 years of appointments.
4. Friends – I am thankful for my many friends. I have friends in every church I have served. Some I count my closest and best friends for life that are a support system. I have always had friends who were there to help me.
3. Family – I am thankful for family. That is likely near the top of all of our lists.
2. Parents – I am thankful that God blessed me with a father and mother who loved me, cared for me, and taught me about Jesus and his love.
1. Jesus – Jesus is number one on the list of things for which I am thankful.
No one ever loved me like Jesus. He loved me so much that he was willing to die on a cross so that I can have everlasting life. Thank you, Jesus.
With Jesus we have so much for which to celebrate on Thanksgiving!
But has it ever occurred to you that no Americans were more underprivileged than that small handful from the Mayflower who started the custom of setting aside a day of Thanksgiving to Almighty God?
They had no homes. No government agency to help them build homes. They had no means of transportation but their legs. Their only food came from the sea and the forest, and they had to get it for themselves. They had no money and no place to spend money if they’d had any. They had no amusements or entertainments except what they made for themselves, no means of communication with their relatives in England, no social security or Medicare. But anyone who dared to call them underprivileged would probably have ended up in with a black eye and a bloody nose.
For they did have 4 of the greatest human assets: initiative, courage, a willingness to work, and an endless faith in God. Our forefathers had "an endless faith in God." That almost sounds strange to us here today.
We live in a time when powerful forces are at work to strip us of every reminder that the very foundation our nation was built on was the conviction that we are "one nation, under God."
Our hallowed "Declaration of Independence" proclaims,
"We hold these truths to be self evident,
that all men are created equal,
that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights . . ."
And it ends with these words, ". . .with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence,
we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor."
Thanksgiving Day is more than turkey day. It is NOT a day that celebrates anyone’s birthday or commemorates a battle fought on some field. Thanksgiving is a day set aside to express our nations thanks to our nation’s God.