Summary: As Christians, in spite of the outlook of our personal lives or the world around us, there are always these constants we can be thankful for and rejoice in.
WHY SHOULD WE BE THANKFUL?
INTRO: We Christians are a weird lot!
A. The world does not understand us…sometimes we don’t even understand us!
1. We live our lives (or we should) swimming upstream.
a. We live in direct opposition of how most people think we should live.
b. We do the exact opposite of what most people would think of as normal.
c. Just look at how we act on Sundays…
d. We are definitely in the minority…and it seems our numbers are shrinking every day.
2. But…there are some definite benefits of being a Christian.
a. There are some distinct differences that set us apart from the world we live in.
b. One of those differences is the ability (and duty) we have to live our lives with an attitude of thankfulness…regardless of our personal situation.
3. Looking at our world today, it would be easy to wonder why we should be thankful this year.
a. One look at the economy is enough to make you sick.
b. To see how Christian rights get trampled on every day is enough to make you mad.
c. To hear the way Christians are ridiculed and scoffed at is demeaning.
d. The awful curse of child abuse and molestation that seeming runs rampant in our country today.
e. The blight of abortion and homosexuality that puts a black eye on a country that was founded on Godly principles.
4. If one were not careful they might think Satan is winning the war…
a. But he’s not.
b. And one of the things that sets us apart from the world is the ability to know that…we’ve read the back of the book…we win!
c. And I don’t care how bad things may look in this world…there will always be things that God’s people can be thankful for.
A. We can always be thankful for the fact that Jesus is alive, in control, and on the throne.
Isaiah 6:1 - 4 (NKJV) 1In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lifted up, and the train of His robe filled the temple. 2Above it stood seraphim; each one had six wings: with two he covered his face, with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. 3And one cried to another and said: “Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts; The whole earth is full of His glory!” 4And the posts of the door were shaken by the voice of him who cried out, and the house was filled with smoke.
1. We need to learn to see Jesus for how he is today.
a. He is not a babe in a manger…He’s not on a cross…He’s not meek and mild.
b. Sometimes we get too familiar with our Lord.
c. We start treating Him like He is a buddy instead of our King. (Amplify who He is today)
d. When we see Him for who He is it will cause us to see ourselves for who we are…and we can’t help but feel thankful.
2. Not only do we need to see Him for who He is…but we need to realize what He is doing.
a. Jesus is acting as our High Priest!
Hebrews 9:11 - 12 (NKJV) 11But Christ came as High Priest of the good things £to come, with the greater and more perfect tabernacle not made with hands, that is, not of this creation. 12Not with the blood of goats and calves, but with His own blood He entered the Most Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption.
b. Timothy tells us of Jesus being our mediator.
I Tim. 2:5 For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus, 6who gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time, 7
c. Before Jesus came, there was not a mediator.
Job 9:32 - 33 (NKJV) 32 “For He is not a man, as I am, That I may answer Him, And that we should go to court together. 33 Nor is there any mediator between us, Who may lay his hand on us both.
d. When we realize that Jesus is our advocate in Heaven, taking God’s hand, and ours, and putting us together, all the other stuff in this world kind of fades away to nothing...and it becomes easy to be thankful in spite of circumstances.
B. We can always be thankful for the Word of God.
1. This is another blessing that I think we in America take for granted.
a. We need to be thankful for just having His Word…
b. There are many in third world countries who have never held His precious Word in their hands.
c. Tim Nolan telling of the Phillipines…If they are lucky each person may have a single book of the Bible.