November 19th, 2000, Sunday Morning Thanksgiving Week
"Giving Thanks unto GOD"
The Thanksgiving message
OPENING: 1 Thessolonians 5:18, KJV
Tomorrow (almost two weeks after Election2000), information will be exposed to the
whole world that may make some people (and in particular, Christians) mad.
Rather, Christians should conduct themselves in a manner where they give
thanks to GOD no matter the outcome but for the simple fact an outcome occurred.
Thanksgiving Day is the day this country has set aside to give thanks for
preservation, shelter, freedom from warfare, etc.
We're not limited to giving thanks once a year but rather we should be
giving thanks to GOD every day.
More proof the world is shunning GOD: Thanksgiving Day is
now called "Turkey Day" (just like Christmas is now "X-mas"--in effect, crossing God out)
What does it mean to be thankful?
It means not only to acknowledge another's kindness but to be impressed with it.
CHILDREN: When's the last time you were impressed with the fresh, clean-smelling
clothes your folks washed for you to the food they prepared for you?
Some people are given gifts they are not impressed with ... like green socks.
They may not be stylish or impressive looking.
However, if they're heavy wool green socks and you don't have a shelter to keep your
feet warm in, then you quickly become grateful for those socks
WHAT IT MEANS TO GIVE THANKS
Essential ingredients for worshipping GOD:
Colossians 3:15: This means be impressed with what GOD has
given you ... "be ye thankful"
We can easily forget others that don't have a home.
Others live, unsheltered, in the elements
Others are children who don't have parents
We should be thankful with a sense of gratefulness and be ready to
acknowledge that kindness (i.e., through prayer)
WHY give thanks?
1 Thessolonians 5:18: It is GOD's will for you.
Psalm 100: We are commanded to come before His presence with
singing and thanksgiving.
Once you are truly thankful, you will give thanks.
If GOD answers any of your prayers this week, you're a candidate to be thankful.
If you're so used to GOD answering your prayers, you'll no longer be thankful ...
you won't be impressed with GOD.
SOLUTION: Do without.
If you can't stand the food your mom makes at the dinner table, go without and
learn how quickly you become grateful for food on the table.
Romans 1:21: Today, the world (in the context of how the world
began) wants to talk about gas and not GOD.
2 Timothy 3:1-2: We already see all of this today in not only
the world but the churches: "unthankful".
Aren't you glad GOD doesn't charge for use of the sun, oxygen, or water? We interact
with so much of it on a daily basis, we've become unthankful for the very basic of elements.
Be thankful unto GOD--not the churches or the pastors. Giving thanks is our
way of showing our gratitude.
WHO gives thanks?
1 Thessolonians 5:18: All those "in Christ"
(saved). This is not for all the world (unsaved)
since the world rejected Christ as Savior when it crucified Him.
1 Timothy 4:3: This isn't like Star Trek where food is replicated.
Someone in this world had to rear, raise, feed, smell, slaughter, harvest, bleed, boil or
pre-cook, wrap, freeze, and truck your meat to you. Your food didn't come out of nowhere.
It took many people many hours to bring to you what you consume in minutes and never
think of twice.
You should look back at your entire year's experiences and appreciate them in
thanks to GOD. But you say, "Pastor! You don't understand how rough a year I've had!"
But you made it through up to this point, however.
Our circumstances dictate we should give thanks for everything--regardless.
Maybe tomorrow, GOD will teach us (this country) a lesson
by giving us the president whom we believe not to be the right one ... just as Israel
was sold into slavery by so many nations so many times for its continual disobedience to GOD.
GOD has a benevolent, tender
heart to be constantly forgiving us of our trespasses and injuries to Him we've inflicted.
We go unthankful of the grace and mercy of GOD and then when we get hit
with trouble, we say, "Why me? I don't deserve this!" In actually, all of us on earth
deserve to go to hell right now for payment of our sins and trespasses against GOD.
And Christians are some of the most arrogant people--flipping their nose up
at GOD, walking around like they're better than others and don't deserve as bad as others.
Ephesians 2:1: GOD's greatest gift to us was to
save us from going to hell. In this passage of
scripture, "quickened" means to being alive (to be re-born, or born again--spiritually
We're talking about GOD's free gift of eternal salvation, good will
and kindness. FREE because, contrary to popular belief, doing good
things for others to the best of your ability will not grant you salvation
(Isaiah 64:6)! We are ugly before the perfect and righteous GOD.
If you're not impressed with salvation
anymore, then you've been saved for too long.
Romans 8:28: We should be thankful for both the good and
the evil done upon us.
Some people question why we should be thankful for evils upon us ... consider
this parable from Pastor Byrd:
More people desire cinnamon apple pie than regular apple pie. If both pies were left out,
the cinnamon apple pie would be gone first because it tastes better than regular apple
pie. So what makes the cinnamon apple pie so much more desirable? The cinnamon--the best
part of it. HOWEVER--do you see people walk around eating pure cinnamon sticks? No--why?
Because it doesn't taste good by itself. THEREFORE, in order for an overall good to
come together in the end, the cinnamon (desired part) and ordinary apple pie (not as much
desired) must be put together!
There is no comparison between our little suffering forgone in our temporal life
and the glory of the eternity forthcoming.
A liar is someone who believes all his days have been showered with evil.
We should be thankful for everything--especially answered prayers
We should give thanks for His goodness
Psalm 105:1: Make your testimony (the good GOD has done for you)
public information among the people--tell everyone you know, especially the church.
If you are not ashamed of your Savior before the people then Jesus will not be
ashamed of you before the Father.
Psalm 107:1,8,15,21,31: This verse is so important, it's the
exact wording in all these passages. GOD is good yet we act like He's been short-changing
2 Corinthians 9:15: ABOVE ALL, BE THANKFUL FOR His
"unspeakable gift" which is the gift of eternal salvation (being
saved). Think about the multitudes going to hell
without hope ... and perhaps how close you got to hell (in the event of a near death
or near-fatal accident).
Think of how lucky you are to have been born in the United States which once
built its foundation upon the solid rock of GOD. We could've been born in a different
country that have no hope!
TRUE STORY: A Turkish citizen (female) married a service member while overseas.
Upon entering the U.S., they lived in California and then Alamogordo--here. They are one
of the first three families to found this church--Berean Independent Baptist.
This family definitely represents thankful soulwinners.
Don't be saved too long that you're
not impressed anymore. Every good gift is from GOD.