Summary: Being thankful is something we need to strive for in the affluent society in which we live. We have to be careful not to allow what we do not have to make us unthankful.
• VIDEO CLIP
• SLIDE #1
• We are getting ready to celebrate Thanksgiving, and this leads us into the next characteristic we need to allow to develop. Being Thankful!
• Speaking of which, how many had a nice time at our Thanksgiving Dinner last Sunday? How many of us had to repent after last Sunday?
• Each day we are being transformed into the image of Jesus, and one thing we can see concerning our Lord is the fact He was thankful.
• Jesus offered up thanks to God on many occasions, so if Jesus was thankful, thankful is something that we should be.
• We live in one of the most affluent societies in history. We have more stuff available to us than at any time in the history of the world.
• We are inundated with advertisements that tell us that we do not have enough, and if we do not have what the commercial tells us we need, we have cause to be unhappy!
• When we look around, it is easy to fall into the trap of not being thankful for what we have been blessed with.
• When the Pilgrims celebrated the first Thanksgiving in 1621, only 44 of the original group that landed remained. Thankful for that?
• Would you rather land in the freezing North East or Florida? They nearly starved to death, thankfully for them the Indians helped them.
• Plus, did you see what they had to wear?
• Today, as we close in on the Thanksgiving Holiday, we will look at what we can do to cultivate the characteristic of being thankful.
• We will be in Colossians 3:15-17. In the context Paul is encouraging love and unity within the church. Within that plea we will see that Paul mentions being thankful in tow of the three verses.
• Let’s being our journey with verse 15
• SLIDE #2
• Colossians 3:15 (NET) Let the peace of Christ be in control in your heart (for you were in fact called as one body to this peace), and be thankful.
• From verse 15 we see that…
• SLIDE #3
Being thankful requires…
I. A focused heart.
• For one to be thankful it will take focus. We can get so distracted with all the things around us that it is easy to forget that we have a lot to be thankful for.
• WE are besieged with things in our society that are designed to keep us from being content.
• For one to be thankful, they need to keep their heart focused on what is important. We need to stay tuned into the correct frequency.
• Do you hear all the local radio stations right now in your ear right now? No? They are present, but for one to hear them, one needs to have a radio tuner tuned into the correct frequency to be able to hear the station you desire to listen to.
• Our hearts need to be tuned into and focused on Christ.
• Our passage in verse 15 tells us that we need to LET THE PEACE OF CHRIST BE IN CONTROL OF YOUR HEART.
• When our heart is troubled, are we thankful for are we troubled?
• The word the NET Bible translates CONTROL is a word that refers to a referee in an athletic event. The referee makes the final decision on issues in a game, the PEACE OF CHRIST should make the final call in things we do in life.
• The referee keeps the players in the games playing by the rules of the game, the rules give the game continuity, focus, and purpose.
• In the context of seeking unity within the church, the thing that is to control us is the PEACE OF CHRIST. Our relationships should be controlled by that peace, which is more that inner peace, it is the PEACE Jesus offer us.
• SLIDE #4
• John 14:27 (NET) Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you; I do not give it to you as the world does. Do not let your hearts be distressed or lacking in courage.
• When you consider your own life, what are you controlled by? Fear, emotion, circumstances, other people? Elections?
• When our heart is not laser focused on the peace of Christ, we will struggle with being thankful.
• When the peace of Christ does not rule or control one’s heart, we will place our focus on several other areas of life.
• Just like we spoke about concerning the election last week, no matter who wins an election, we have so much to be thankful for living in America!
• When we allow outside influences take our focus of the peace o Christ, we will not be able to be thankful.