Summary: Thanksgiving isn't a day, a holiday or just a meal. It was designed by God to help keep our bodies, souls and spirits healthy.
Intro: A woman had a parrot who always complained about everything. It was Thanksgiving Eve, and she was preparing the Thanksgiving meal. The parrot complained about everything as she worked. Finally, she had heard enough. She took him out of his cage and opened the refrigerator to put him in to punish him, "You'll stay in the refrigerator until you cool off and get control on your tongue," she said as she put him and closed the door. The parrot was stunned. Shivering, he caught a glimpse of the Thanksgiving turkey, skinned, legs pointing upward from the pan. The parrot said to the turkey, "Good heavens, man! What did you say?"
We may not get locked in a freezer for our words of grumbling but we will lock ourselves in a prison of bitterness of our own making.
Thanks giving isn’t just a day, a meal or a holiday. God has designed thanksgiving as a way for us to keep our focus on Him and keep our bodies and souls healthy.
From an article in Forbes Magazine on 23 November 2014 Amy Morin wrote an article listing 7 benefits of giving thanks. 1 Gratitude opens the door to more relationships. 2 Gratitude improves personal health. 3 Gratitude improves psychological health. 4 Gratitude enhances sympathy and reduces aggression. 5 Grateful people sleep better. 6 Gratitude improves self-esteem. 7 Gratitude increase mental strength.
So again worship is not an interruption on your regularly scheduled week. When God calls us to bow before Him in the worship of thanksgiving He is looking out for our best interest. Worship should be part of our normal everyday events and especially our attitudes.
All giving of thanks begin by recognizing all things come from God.
I. Giving thanks is a recognition that all things come from God.
A) Grumbling is rebellion against God’s control (Read Romans 11:33-36 emphasis 36)
We have a great illustration of grumbling from the children of Israel in the Old Testament.
Exodus 14:11-12 less than 48 hours after leaving slavery in Egypt the Israelites grumbled about leaving.
Exodus 15:22-25 The Israelites grumbled about a lack of water. 3 days after crossing the red sea they had forgotten God’s hand parting the red sea. (Whats a little drinking water)
Exodus 16:1-3 They grumbled about a lack of food.
Numbers 11:4-6 They grumbled about the type of food.
As the saying goes they would have grumbled about being hung with a new rope.
Exodus 17:3-4 They grumbled about their leaders
Ultimately they were grumbling and murmuring against God!
Grumbling ultimately balls your fist up in God’s face and says what He gives isn’t good enough!! Grumbling tells others we think we deserve better. God’s goodness and grace are what build and maintain a grateful attitude in us
B) Gratefulness is recognition of God’s goodness (James 1:17)
How on earth can we view the good and the bad and be thankful? We have to look through eyes of faith. (trust) This takes a revelation of God and decision of the will!
1) A grateful attitude reveals a trust in God
Psalm 106.1 “Praise the Lord, Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good, his love (grace) endures forever.
1 Chronicles 16:34 “Give thanks to the Lord for He is good His love endures forever.”
A grateful attitude doesn’t come from what surrounds us. A grateful attitude comes from what sustains us. God’s goodness has always been under attack by the world and the devil. When we are grounded in God’s grace we will always trust His goodness.
God’s grace and goodness is found in Jesus. We see Jesus grace in His healing touch to lepers. We see grace in his forgiveness of the woman caught in adultery. We see His grace in casting demons out, caring for the weak and forgotten. Today we see His grace in adoption and foster care. Missionaries that take His love and forgiveness at the cost of their lives around the world. We must look directly at Jesus and we will see that his grace and goodness endure forever and they are forever available to those that look to Jesus in trust.
2) A grateful attitude reveals grace in action
G. K. Chesterton, when asked what was the greatest lesson he had ever learned in life, said, "The greatest lesson I have learned is to take things with gratitude and not take them for granted." He also wrote, "You say grace before meals. All right But I say grace before the concert and the opera, and grace before the play and pantomime, and grace before I open a book, and grace before sketching, painting, swimming, walking, playing, and grace before I dip the pen in the ink." Throughout the Scripture, we hear the call to give thanks. Thanksgiving is faith in action.