THOUGHTS ON THANKSGIVING
Sunday Morning Sermon
November 21, 1999
Fair Avenue Baptist Church
We as Christians should be noted for our position because of our disposition. What do I mean? I mean that since we are Christians, that God has so richly blessed, we should have a thankful disposition.
WHY? Because we, who have been saved by His marvelous grace, have more to be thankful for than anyone else.
We should not only be thankful for our salvation, but we should look for things to be thankful for each day.
We need to be like the little boy who was in Sunday School. His teacher asked the class what they were thankful for. The little fellow said, “Teacher, I thank the Lord for my glasses.” She was curious as to why he was thankful for his glasses since most children are not fond of wearing glasses. He said he was thankful for them, “Because they keep the boys from hitting me and keeps the girls from kissing me!”
Everyone of us have so much to be thankful for.
It is a tragedy that each day we do not take time to thank the Lord for the many blessings that He has blessed us with.
1. WE SHOULD THANK GOD IN EVERYTHING
I Thess. 5:18, “In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”
Notice, God says, “In every thing give thanks,” not just once a year for the few things you can remember at that time.
Many times we hear someone ask, “How do you know the will of God for your life?”
The way to know God’s will is to read His Word. The Bible clearly says that when it comes to giving thanks, “IN every things give thanks.”
In other words, you and I cannot be in God’s will unless we develop a thankful attitude.
Life is filled with many blessings. Every day there are things that surround us that we should be thankful for, but you would never know that by all the complaining we hear.
The things that surround us every day that we should be thankful for fall into two categories:
a. Ordinary blessings
The ordinary blessings we receive each day are often taken for granted – until they are removed.
Yes, health, a job, family, friends, church, etc., are all everyday, ordinary blessings we really do not appreciate until we are at the point of losing them.
It is only when we lose them that those “ordinary” blessings take on a whole new meaning.
b. Outstanding blessings
Some people have blessings that not everyone else has. And when God gives these blessings, He does not want us to waste them by not recognizing them as being outstanding blessings.
Some are born into wealthy families,
Some people have an intelligent mind,
Some people are born with good looks,
Some are born with athletic talent,
Some are born with all kinds of natural talent,
And more often than not, they never recognize these blessings nor use them for God’s purpose.
Former president Jimmy Carter declared that he had been “born-again.” What an opportunity he had to do something for the Lord when he was elected to be president. But when we left office there was not one thing we remember that he contributed to the cause of Christ during his tenure as president.
He was given an outstanding blessing and did nothing with it.
We should thank God IN everything.
2. WE SHOULD THANK GOD FOR EVERYTHING
It is tragic that America, that once had faith in the living God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, has become a heathen nation. America is moving farther and farther from the God that made her great.
Our Ivy League schools, Harvard, Yale, Princeton, etc., were built to train men in the Word of God to be ministers of the Gospel, but that is no longer the case.
Our public schools once met in church buildings and pastors taught the children reading, writing and arithematic, social studies and about God and God’s Word. It’s changed a little since then.
Our original and early political leaders were godly men.
William Penn – “If we will not be governed by God, then we will be ruled by tyrants.”
Thomas Jefferson – “The Bible is the cornerstone of liberty. I have always said, I will always say, that the studious perusal of the sacred volume will make better citizens, better fathers, and better husbands.”
John Adams – “So great is my veneration for the Bible that the earlier my children begin to read it, the more confident will be my hope that they will prove useful citizens of their country and respectable members of society.”
Even those who did not claim to be Christians or Bible believers said:
“It is impossible to enslave mentally or socially a Bible reading people. The principles of the Bible are the groundwork of human freedom.”
“That Book (the Bible) is the rock on which our Republic rests.”
“Hold fast to the Bible as the sheet, anchor of your liberties; write its precepts in your hearts, and practice them in your lives. To the influence of this Book we are indebted for all the progress made in true civilization, and to this we must look as our guide in the future.” Uylsses Grant
If those early political leaders did not know Christ as Lord and Saviour, they at least acknowledged and honored the God Who so graciously provided for them.
Their decisions were based on the Word of God.
Too many times today decisions are made simply to pacify some special interest group or because of greed.
But, in spite of the condition of our country, we should still be thankful for having been born in a country like America.
We live in the most blessed country on the face of this earth.
We should constantly be thanking the Lord for allowing us to be born in America instead of some foreign country.
Just look at the shape of any other country,
And we cannot help but feel that God has blessed us by allowing us to be born in a wonderful place like America.
CNN, ABC, NBC, CBS, etc., all remind us every day of people in foreign countries who are struggling to survive.
Are we thankful to God FOR things in our life?
Are we thankful for our family heritage and lineage?
Some are born into loving, caring families and there is no struggle at all for them to serve the Lord.