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Summary: How to keep that spirit all year long in a way that will please God much more than will those who just spend one day at it! Link included to formatted text and PowerPoint Presentation.

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Turning Thanksgiving into Thanksliving

Rom. 12:1; Ps. 51:17; Heb. 13:15

This Thanksgiving sermon and several others [complete with PowerPoints] can be seen by going to:

http://gbcdecatur.org/sermons/Special.html

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The common word in all 3 passages? Sacrifice!

What started w/ the Pilgrims in the 1700s became a national holiday in the late 1800s when Abraham Lincoln declared the annual observance of Thanksgiving.

But, it only lasts for a day or two unless we learn how to make thanksgiving into thanksliving! It’s one thing to say we’re thankful, and quite another to show it by how we live. Talk is cheap.

Let me show you in the Bible the sacrifices of Thanksgiving: (spiritual sacrifices you can offer to God every day as a gesture of your appreciation for Him)

We should offer to God:

1. The sacrifice of our person

Rom. 12:1 - “bodies”

To “beseech” is to beg, to plead…and our God, who is no beggar, here by inspiration says that He begs us to do something (pleads).

If Jesus were to come to your front door, kneel, fold His hands, and beg for you to do something…would you do it? Well, here it is:

“by the mercies of God” (on the basis of) In other words, you ask, “why should I give my body, my person, to God?” Because He gave His for you! Every drop of blood said “I love you!” Nail/stripe/thorn/blow to His face!

Ill.—girl in orphanage/8 years old/problem child/no one had ever loved her/one day a worker saw her run across the field and put something in the hollow of a tree/the note said, to anybody who finds this: I love you!

One day God allowed His Son, Jesus, to be hung in the hollow of a tree…the old rugged cross! And 2,000 years later He’s still pointing to that cross saying: to anyone who finds this, I love you! (written in red/read between the nails!)

And God says, I beg you, on the basis of this (by the mercies of God) after all I gave for you, won’t you give your body to me?!

“But drops of grief can ne’er repay the debt of love I owe…here, Lord, I give MYSELF away…”

“present” means to join the Army:

• voluntarily.

2 ways to join the Army: drafted/voluntarily

The Army of the Lord…

This is an Army you join of your own free will! No one will force you to serve God, nor should you force anyone else to! The pastor shouldn’t have to beg you to serve God…it should be voluntary!

Ill.—boy scout late to mtg./scoutmaster questioned him/I was doing my good deed for the day…helping an old lady across the street/why’d it take all day?/she didn’t want to go across the street!

We shouldn’t have to drag people to serve God!

• voluntarily

• Completely

v. 2 Holy…this word is akin to the word “wholly”, meaning completely.

Alka-Seltzer commercial: I can’t believe I ate the whole thing (some will say that this Thursday!)

Our God wants the whole thing…a complete sacrifice…all I am, all I have…plans/ambitions/possessions/car/home/vacation/

spare time…it’s all yours, God!

Ill.—man riding on train in the club car/men at another table, gambling/asked him to join them for poker/I don’t have any hands/arms under table/they were embarrassed, apologized (maybe lost them in the war)/later, a steward came by and offered the man coffee/reached out w/ hand and took it/men said, hey, you said you don’t have any hands?/that’s right, I got saved a while back, and I’ve learned that these hands aren’t mine, they belong to Christ, and He wouldn’t want me gambling!


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