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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!

You can turn t’giving into t’living this week…because someone will start telling a dirty joke, and you’ll say to yourself, I can’t hear that, I don’t have any ears!/(tv) can’t look at that/can’t say that/can’t do that/can’t go there!

I Cor. 6: 19 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? 20 For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.

One more thing, the language in our text, Rom. 12:1, is the language of the OT temple…comparing our bodies to the animal sacrifices the priest would lay on the altar.

After it was laid to the altar…they tied it to the altar! Why? Because it had the tendency to slide off (fresh meat is slippery!)

Joke—I’ve done that w/ a grill/meat slips off into the fire or onto the ground/pick it up, put it back on…that’s Kimberly’s!

Ever made a commitment to God, and w/in a few days it slips off the altar? (I’ll never do that again…oops!)

It’s time to bind our sacrifice to the altar!

The priest had 2 fleshhooks he would insert into the meat, to hold it into place while he bound it to the altar…and the fleshhooks which will hold your sacrifice in place are:

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