Give Thanks to the LORD (Thanksgiving 2008 service)
Give Thanks to the LORD
November 23rd, 2008 (Thanksgiving Service)
"Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever. Let the redeemed of the Lord say this— those he redeemed from the hand of the foe," (Psalm 107:1-2, NIV)
Opening illustration: You are the first one to say thanks
Introduction: We are commanded to give thanks to the LORD, but rather than look at thankfulness as a chore we are given three reasons why we should be thankful.
I) Because God is good.
A) What does it mean that God is good?
1) In Ex. 33:19 God says that He will cause all of His goodness to pass before Moses. Ex. 34:5-7 shows God expressing all of His goodness before Moses. Like light passed through a prism we see what the goodness of God looks like.
2) God is perfect in all of His ways (Ps. 18:30)(Ps. 119:68)
(a) Therefore He can be trusted, loved. (Dt. 32:4)
B) We are called to be thankful for what the Lord has done in my life.
1) Think back over this past year, what has the Lord done in your life? Some is good, and some of it we do not understand, yet there is coming a day when I will know in full. (1 Cor. 13:12)
(a) Illustration: Corrie Ten Boome –thankful for fleas.
II) Because His love endures forever.
A) His love never ceases. (Lam 3:22 ESV)
1) He will remain faithful to us. (2 Tim. 2:13 NLT)
B) He does not treat us as our sins deserve. (Ps. 103:2-5)Forget not his benefits.
1) Forgives all your sins. (vs. 103:10-12)
2) Heals all your diseases.
3) Redeems your life from the pit
4) Crowns you with love and compassion.
III) Because we have been redeemed.
A) Lit. To remove someone from a dangerous position, to be removed from slavery.
B) Not because of the righteous things we had done. (Titus 3:5)
C) The price that God paid for us was very precious. (1 Pet. 1:18-19)
D) He paid this price because of His great love for us. (John 3:16)
E) God saved us from a death that we deserved. (Rom 6:23) and eternal punishment in hell
1) A place of eternal fire- (Matt. 25:41)
2) A place of eternal agony-(Luke 16:23, 24)
3) A place of eternal separation from God- (2 Thes. 1:9)
F) We have a responsibility to share this truth – This is the truth, this is good news , why on earth wouldn’t we want to share this truth?
1) Fear of what others will say?- You would allow someone else to go to hell because of what others would think about you?
2) You don’t know what to say. Allow your life to be that which does the witnessing.
3) You don’t want to offend someone, again we would allow someone else to go to hell for fear that we would offend?
Are you in a place where you are not walking with God? Are you going through the motions? The motions are not going to get you to heaven only repentance and forgiveness of our sins.
Illustration: man who thanked the men who saved his life.
Roy Larson thought the most difficult part of his day would be maneuvering the unfamiliar stick shift on a "loaner" electric wheelchair as he ventured into downtown Glen Ellyn, Illinois, for a haircut.
But his day was about to become much more trying.
As he was crossing the railroad tracks on Main Street, one of the chair's wheels became lodged in the track. As Larson struggled to free the wheel, something went wrong with the chair's electrical system, and the chair refused to move.
Suddenly the lights began to flash, and the signal bells started to ring. The gates in front of Larson and behind him began to lower.
The first person Larson saw as he frantically looked for help was Mark Bade. Bade had been running an errand when he saw that Larson was in trouble. He sprinted to Larson's side and began to struggle with the chair.
At almost the same moment, Don Burgeson had stopped his car at the gates and saw what was happening. He leaped out of the car and helped Bade wrench the chair free from the track and drag it out of harm's way.
The three men looked up, just in time to see the train was less than 20 yards away.
"After the train went by, I just said thanks," Larson said. "The only reason I am here today is because these two guys saved my life."
Jesus Christ came to save our lives. We too need to say thanks.