Summary: This Thanksgiving we need to see that God has given us provision, protection and power and be thankful in Titanic proportion.
(All my sermons use illustrations found at www.sermoncentral.com and all scripture is NIV unless otherwise noted.)
Thanksgiving is a day set aside each year for us to give thanks, of course most of us know that scripture tells us we should be thankful always and at all times. Eph 5:19-20 Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, 20 always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
1 Thess 5:16-18 Be joyful always; 17 pray continually; 18 give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.
In all the years I have been preaching and teaching the Word of God, I have never had more to be thankful for than right now. Perhaps that is not entirely true, but I have that perspective. I have not always had that perspective and so I have missed the many blessings I have had in my life, I have missed them because I couldn’t see them as blessings. It has always been difficult to see trials as something to have joy about. I have never truly understood why I would want to be thankful for many of the things I have encountered in my service to God, but I stand here today as a man who has a different perspective.
I know that my God is a PROVIDER, He is my PROTECTOR, and He is my POWER. David knew this as he wrote this famous Psalm:
The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want. 2 He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, 3 he restores my soul. He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name's sake. 4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. 5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. 6 Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.
This morning we celebrate Thanksgiving together as a church body, and this morning I hope to give you all a different perspective, A TITANIC perspective to have THANKFULNESS. David points out three things that should allow us to have thanksgiving all the time:
I. GOD IS MY PROVIDER
Can you see all the things that David saw? He sees God as his provider, “I shall not want” “He prepares a table before me” “My cup overflows” “Goodness and love will follow me” “I will dwell in His house”
David could see what we may not be seeing, perhaps we need to have David’s perspective, perhaps we just need to see all the things that God PROVIDES for us today. David starts out with “I shall not want.” He starts out by telling us that he has all he needs because God is his shepherd. The truth is God is OUR shepherd as well. He is there to provide, protect and give us direction. He has plans to prosper us and never harm us. The question is PERSPECTIVE, is ours where it needs to be? Sometimes we need to see things the way they could be if we did not have God on our side on order to appreciate having Him in our corner, having Him as our shepherd.
Our power is shut off, and suddenly we become thankful for electricity. Our garbage is not picked up, and suddenly we become thankful for the garbage collector’s weekly stop. A good friend dies, and suddenly we discover how much he meant to us. Our water becomes too polluted to drink and suddenly we appreciate having good water. Why is it, Lord, that we take for granted the uncounted blessings of life until they are removed from us?
I believe it is because we do not have the right perspective about just how much God has given us, and continues to give us.
A man was walking through an art gallery when he came upon a picture of the Lord Jesus dying upon the cross. He stopped and looked at the beautiful portrait of Calvary's love. As he stared into the face of Christ, so full of agony the gallery guard tapped him on the shoulder. "Lower," the guard said. "The artist painted this picture to be appreciated from a lower position."
So the man bent down. And from this lower position he observed new beauties in the picture not previously shown. "Lower," said the guard. "Lower still." The man knelt down on one knee and looked up into the face of Christ. The new vantage point yielded new beauties to behold and appreciate.