Monday, November 2, 2020

Giving Thanks

 Usually a "give thanks" sermon is Sunday before Thanksgiving.

This year a short series on Thanksgiving and blessings.

We start with the BASIC - ie:  GIVE THANKS!!!

Thanksgiving is the most celebrated (observed) holiday in the USA    According to a Thanksgiving poll that appeared in the Sunday Oklahoman,
92% of people questioned said "Yes" to the question:  "Do you and your family usually have a special gathering for a meal at Thanksgiving?"  
83% answered "Yes" to the question, "do you normally say a special grace of thanksgiving at this meal?"

So Why??  ie:  why is Thanksgiving so celebrated?  (the vast majority of people recognize that they are blessed!)

#1.  Thanksgiving is written into our DNA - it come natural!.  Example:  Atheist's comment after being told how gifted he was in his particular field was "I'm eternally grateful".  (grateful to whom?  for how long?)

#2.  Thanksgiving is a major part of our Judeo-Christian heritage.   We in the US grew up in this culture.

Old Testament - Thank-Offering;  1 of 5 designated offerings, yet .. voluntary  - this offering never mandated, only that it was to be done in a way that is pleasing to the Lord.

New Testament - Offering of thanksgiving - Heb. 13:15 - (sacrifice of praise rightly includes thanksgiving)

#3.  Because we in America are SO BLESSED!!! 
Blessings:  Reviewed nearly every year. However, it merits review!!!

1)  material - stuff and things?  house size?  storage space?

2)  financial - if annual income = $25,000 - are in top 10% of world's population.
                    if annual income = $47,500 - are in top 1% of world's population   (maybe 50 K in 2020)

3)  Natural resources  (natural beauty)
     creation - fall leaves, mountain views, autumn air, etc.  Question:  Why is Cabin Rental Industry exploding here?  

4)  health - availability of health, medical assistance?  Examples:  life expectancy in Mozambique = 39, Somalia - 48, Djbouti - 55, US - 78 1/2 

5)  relational (people) - spouse, kids, family, friends.....

6) community - example:  our community fund-raising events!  Question to ppl in this community:  IF suddenly very wealthy... would you move away?  or stay here?  

7)  national - prosperity, resources, freedoms, stability, security  (this = part of BIRTH blessings!!!  

8)  Opportunity - for career, education, $$, business, family, location

9)  ability - Deut. 8:17-18 - "....wealth."  Ability comes from God

10)  spiritual - Salvation?  beyond salvation?  Encouragement?  comfort?  guidance?  direction?  strength?  Hope??  Eph. 1:3

The above = present and former.  What about the future?

So...... how are you doing?  Better than you deserve?  John 1:16


#1.  We should give thanks - which is more than be grateful - Luke 17:11-19 - all were grateful!  Only one gives thanks!  ("be grateful/thankful" vs "give thanks" - 50:1  Attitude vs action

#2.  We should give thanks to Him.  on one hand, saying to another "the Lord has truly blessed me!" is fine to do.  However, saying TO HIM - "Lord, you've blessed me!  Thank you!"
Following the example of the Thank Offering, this should be done (a) privately - just you and Him, but also (b) publicly - before others!!
ie:  personal thanks publicly offered (as grace in a restaurant)

#3.  We give thanks by giving back - God doesn't need our money, however, supporting His work = promoting Him - 1 Chron. 29:13-14

#4.  We give thanks by helping others - Prov. 19:17  Matt. 25:40

#5.  We give thanks by giving SELF!   - Psm. 51:16-17

#6.  We give thanks by giving self repeatedly!!! - Lordship issue!

Concerning the Thank Offering - Note:  Deut. 16:10, 16-17 - (the more blessed .. the more thanks should be offered!!)  This is not only about money, but in proportion to what He's done for us!

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