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How to Have a Happy Thanksgiving: Getting Back to Today's Priorities

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie
The Truth Network Radio
November 26, 2020 3:00 am

How to Have a Happy Thanksgiving: Getting Back to Today's Priorities

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie

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November 26, 2020 3:00 am

Just six years after Abe Lincoln declared the first fixed national Thanksgiving holiday in 1863, football became a permanent part of the holiday. Today, in many homes, there’s a turkey in the oven, a flying pigskin on the tube, and a lot of expectation surrounding both. But how much of the day really focuses on the giving of thanks?

Today on A New Beginning, Pastor Greg Laurie helps us recognize the importance of expressing gratitude to God with conviction and sincerity.

View and subscribe to Pastor Greg’s weekly notes.

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A New Beginning is the daily half-hour program hosted by Greg Laurie, pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship in Southern California. For over 30 years, Pastor Greg and Harvest Ministries have endeavored to know God and make Him known through media and large-scale evangelism. This podcast is supported by the generosity of our Harvest Partners.

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The following message from Pastor Greg Laurie is made possible by harvest partners, helping people everywhere know God, to find out how to know God personally go to know God.org KNOW know God.org it would you do me a favor sure this message was someone who needs to hear it is really your praise to God globally show more raised voice usually report Susie is over today. Pastor Gregori heard reflect that sentiment to God. We were shouting artsy will show the televisions will shout at each other at all.

So the Lord little boys. Verbalize your praise to God is able national Thanksgiving holiday today in many homes there's turkey in the oven of flying pigskin on the two a lot of expectations around the how much of the day really focuses on the giving of thanks.

Pastor Gregori helps us recognize the importance of expressing gratitude to God with friction and sincerity about what the Bible about things giving to be reading from Psalm 105 actually a Psalm of Thanksgiving, so read along with me shall, with joy the Lord all your serve the Lord with gladness.

Come before him, singing with joy.

Acknowledge that the Lord is God.

He made us, and we are his. We are his people, the sheep of his pasture. Enter his gates with thanksgiving and go into his courts with praise. Give thanks to him and praise his name for the Lord is good. His unfailing love continues forever in his faithfulness continues to each generation powerful song. There's a lot there. Psalm 100 was originally given to the people of Israel were looking at them together they make a very long trek through the wilderness, ultimately arriving in the promised land.

The Lord said to them when you enter into the promised land and settled down in your homes you up plenty to eat. Don't forget me because I let you out of the wilderness and brought you into a land flowing with milk and honey, and this can happen very easily to us as well. You know when were in trouble.

One word facing crisis all week.

Call on the name of the Lord, don't wait but when things are going reasonably well and the bills are paid and everybody's healthy we are putting our stomach we can start to forget about God's of the Lord's sake. I want you to remember to give thanks to me they needed a reminder and we need a reminder to what we receive communion together. That's a reminder that Jesus came to us he said drink of this job in either this bread. Why should we do it is at this do in remembrance of me. We all need reminders on life and we might set an alarm to remind us to get up at a certain hour of the day I will have someone a remind me to do this or don't let me forget to do that. So this is a reminder and who is this address diversified to all the earth and do all generation so this is not just addressed to Israel it's addressed to all people in the wall generations. It's the young people. It's to all people. If the people in the middle. So this is the focus now on what we should be doing this time of the year and there are five Thanksgiving command five Thanksgiving command Sears Thanksgiving command number one.

Express your praise to God openly and loudly express your praise to God openly and loudly verse one shout to the Lord lets us do that together listlessly hallelujah on the count of three, 123 how I must try to give it twice as loud. 123 that's good that selling of the Lord. Not great. We rarely shout to the Lord will shout at RT will shout at the television set will shout at each other, but often do we shout to the Lord actually could be translated like a trumpet blast. The Bible tells us in Psalm 4710 shout to the Lord with the boys of trial.

So really what were told in the Bible to do is verbalize your praise to God, just as you want to express your love and affection to your husband or wife into your children and to your parents so you should direct your praise to God verbally because he wants to hear you say it out loud is it with. Doesn't God know that I love him. Yes he does, but were also told specifically in Scripture verbalize our prayers and our praise Hebrews 1315 says offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name. That's important because there are times that I don't want to shout, praise the Lord I might be more in the mood to shout out God. My complaints but I'm told to do this and sometimes it is a sacrifice to bring my praise to God, but I should do so anyway.

And so that's Thanksgiving command number one Thanksgiving command number two is to serve the Lord with gladness serve the Lord with gladness again. Verse two.

That's what it says serve the Lord with gladness every Christian is called to service. Sometimes I think we falsely think that there are certain people that are quote called to ministry." All their called to be a pastor that's their job holder called to be a missionary or that's what they do or their called to be a worship leader there called to hold a job over at the church will know that may be true but every Christian is called to serve God because God is given spiritual gifts to every believer were all uniquely blessed by the Lord with special talents and gifts. There are natural talents of God gives us some people are naturally athletic. Some people are naturally clumsy Arctic accident-prone event. Some people are talented and they can perform music, they can play instruments. Other people think they're talented and they can perform music but actually the cat at all summer artistic summer good crunching numbers.

Some people sort of a big picture people.

Others are small picture people but everybody has certain talents that God is given them. But then there are supernatural gifts that the Lord gives to us as well. Spiritual gifts there. Call and where to find those gifts develop those gifts and use those gifts in the church, a vertical room. Romans 12 of verses 6 to 8 Paul writes his new contender with me if you want, but it says Paul writes in his grace, God is given us different gifts to do certain things well. So God is giving you the ability to prophesy. Then speak out with as much faith as God is given you. If your gift is serving others serve them well. If you're a teacher teach well if your gift is to encourage others well encouraging if it's giving give generously, God is giving you leadership ability, then take that responsibility seriously and if you ever get for showing kindness to others do it gladly. Point number three Thanksgiving command number three you're a sheep. So follow your Shepherd jurists sheet so follow your Shepherd. Verse three acknowledge the Lord is God. He made us, and we are his.

We are his people, the sheep of his pasture. It is God Almighty, who made you.

It is God Almighty, who sustains you everything you have every breath you bring every beat of your heart is a gift from God.

I love how this is we are kid's.

We are his. The Bible says that we are his workmanship, created for good works, and the word workmanship comes from the Greek word Paul Lima will we get our English word home from so I want you to think of it this way, you are God's home. You are God's painting, you are God's song you are God's sculpture and you are a work in progress. Such a beautiful thing to think about that that I'm someone that God is working in and through but just so you don't get too high-minded then I'm reminded also that I am also his sheet that we don't have a lot of interaction, sheep in our culture today but the back. In these days there were sheep everywhere. People were very familiar was cheaper there was one thing universally known about sheep and that is that their relatively stupid animal.

So when God says you're my sheep. That's another way of saying your kind of an idiot.

Yes you're my Paul yes you're my song. Yes you're my painting yeah sure my masterwork, but then again, you're my sheep. So you really need the Shepherd sheep are relatively unintelligent creatures skittish, easily frightened and slow to learn, prone to stray and totally dependent on the guidance and protection of the Shepherd of the sheep can even protect itself. They don't have sharp teeth or claws. They can even run fast. They're basically leg of lamb for the taking, the other just carry mint jelly around with them. You know it just they are dependent upon the protection of the Shepherd. So here's what it simply, St. George's, sheep, and if you're a smart sheep. You'll follow your Shepherd and a smart sheep knows that the Shepherd is always looking out for them. In other words, of God tells you to do something in this word you know he says it's you because he loves you right God told you not to do something in his word. You know, he says that because he also loves you is looking out for your welfare.

As Jesus said in Luke 1232. Not little flock, it is your father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom. Pastor Greg Moore will have the second half of his message just a moment. Listeners are finding faith in Christ by hearing the studies and reading God's word, even in the most unlikely of places. This listener contacted us last Thanksgiving, Pastor Greg, thank you for guiding me through the Bible, your notes and the new believers by will really help me understand what I needed to understand. I was born to a religious family and even spent a year in seminary before eventually walking away from God, spent more than 25 years away from him currently serving a prison sentence in the state of Minnesota. But I was in County jail. I picked up a copy of your Bible between your study helps in a fantastic jail ministry team my study of the Bible brought me back to belief this morning, Thanksgiving day, I caught a new beginning on the local radio station and I really enjoyed listening to your sermon on what could be a very depressing and lonely Thanksgiving day. I have so much to thank God for this is the first Thanksgiving in which I can honestly look into myself and count my blessings. I won't be defined by my past, but I will let God transform me into a new person. Thank you and God bless your life is changed to Pastor Greg's teaching you let us know you get in touch ask about our new believers Bible just drop Greg an email at greg@harvest.org again, that's great@harvest.org will Pastor Greg is highlighting five Thanksgiving commands today as he presents his message how to have a happy Thanksgiving Thanksgiving command. Number four.

We should be an active part of the church we should be an active part of the church. Look at verse four enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise.

Give thanks to him and praise his name on the Old Testament when the Israelites were in the wilderness, they had their tent also called a tabernacle and they would worship God. There ultimately they built the temple in Jerusalem ultimately built by Solomon and got there they encountered God they were going to that inner sanctum, the holy of holies and there was the ark of the covenant given to them by God as a symbol of his very presence will were in the new covenant now. We no longer have to go into a temple to find God because the Bible actually tells us that our body is the temple of the Holy Spirit.

So the Lord now lives inside of us. But the thing is this. This is a command to worship God with his people enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise.

This is something were doing together. I think that you know because you heard church. You understand that God manifests his presence in a special way when his people gather together Jesus said when two or more are gathered together in my name, I am there in the midst of them.

I mean right now think about this Jesus Christ is here imaginable. Greg is any with me when I get in my car.

Yes. Is he with me. When I arrive at my house again. Yes, what is new with me wherever I go. Yes, it's all true, but what I'm saying he was he manifest his presence in a special way. When God people gather together the Bible tells us that the Lord inhabits the praises of his people.

So let's summarize what we've seen together number one in the sum of Thanksgiving we are to express our praise to God openly and loudly number two where to serve the Lord with gladness number three we are sheep, so we should follow our Shepherd number four. We want to be an active part of his church and now I want to come to first Corinthians 1123 and close with the time that Jesus gave thanks. These are the words of the apostle Paul. He writes) Sunday what I received from the Lord himself and on the night in which he was betrayed the Lord Jesus took some bread and underline this phrase he gave thanks to God to give thanks to God. Then he broke it in pieces and said this is my body which is given for you. This dude to remember me in the same way he took the cup of wine. After supper St. this cup is the new covenant between God and his people and agreement confirmed with my blood. There so Jesus was God because he was God. He was omniscient and to be omniscient means are all knowing you wish you were all knowing, I don't wish I was going to be kind of depressing to know everything. To know the future to know everything about every person to know what you really think about me at this very moment. As I said here knowing he stopped. Now I'm really bored.

I don't like what what we really think Jesus knew everything about everyone he knew Judas would betray him, and he said so he knew that he was about to be betrayed that he talked about it. He knew that he would be beaten with the weapon, he predicted that he knew he would be delivered to Pilate and over to Caiaphas back to Pilate and he knew he would be crucified on a cross.

He knew it all and so with complete understanding of the future. It's amazing when we read these words. On the night in which he was betrayed the Lord Jesus took some bread and gave thanks to God. When the second Jesus. How can you give thanks to God knowing what is in your future. Surely you would recoil and in the way he did. The garden of Gethsemane.

He's the father of its possible let this cup pass from me. Nevertheless, not my will but yours be done. But he gave thanks. Why, because he knew what was about to be accomplished. He knew if there was no pain there would be no gain if there was no cross there would be no glory if there was no sacrifice. It would be no forgiveness. He knew it was going to be hard, but he knew what it would accomplish.

And so he could give thanks. Hebrews 12 says for the joy that was set before him. He endured the cross, despising the shame, know this when Jesus went to the cross.

He was thinking of you. He was thinking of you. Will Greg is not really even technically true thinking of me. I mean there's a lot of people in this earth, past and present and in the future.

How can you be thinking of me will newsflash God can think about more than one thing at one time is very good at multitasking actually.

So yes, he loves the world it says God so loved the world he gave his only begotten son. But then Paul writes, he loved me and he gave himself for me. So in a very real sense when Jesus went to the cross. He was thinking of you by name. Thinking of you worshiping him.

Thinking of you in a relationship with him and I was the joy that was set before he had to go through that valley for that pain. But he knew what it would accomplish. Therefore, he gave things ahead of time and you can do the same, because right now, maybe you're in situation where things are making sense and your it's hard for you there's a lot of uncertainty but you can still give thanks you can give thanks because God loves you. You can give thanks because God is in control of your life. You can give thanks because God is good.

You can give thanks because ultimately he will work all things together for good to those who love them and other called according to his purpose. But Greg, I don't see the end yet. I know you don't but you can still give thanks because God does see the end and ultimately it's going to be good and you'll thank him later. But until that day. You can think of now. Give thanks unto the Lord for he is good and his mercy endures forever. Doesn't to give thanks to the Lord. When you feel good sometimes you feel good and sometimes you don't.

Yes Jesus gave things ahead of time because of what he was about to accomplish and he was going to die there for the sins of the world for your sins and for mine and so here's what I would like to just say if you don't have this relationship with God.

Yet you can have it right now. We talked about hope. We've talked about happiness. We've talked about all that God does for us, but is Jesus Christ live inside of you do know that if you were to die today. You will go to heaven if you don't know that.

Why don't you make a commitment to Jesus right now. He died on the cross for your sin he rose again from the dead. Now he stands at the door of your life, and he knocks and if you hear his voice and open the door he will come in let's all bow our heads. Father, thank you for sending Jesus Lord Jesus, thank you for coming and laying your life down for the joy that was set before you, and I pray now for every person here. If there's anyone that does not have a relationship with you. If there's anyone here that is not certain there sin is forgiven. If there's anyone here who does not have the confidence that they will go to heaven when they die, but they've not found that meaning and purpose in life that we found in you, Lord, we pray that this would be the moment that they believe and receive Jesus into their in your name. An important prayer from Pastor Greg Laurie, if you know you need to make a change today in your relationship with the Lord.

Pastor Greg will help you do that in just a moment before today's addition of a new beginning. Concludes but if you missed any part of today study you can catch up by going to harvest.org just look for the study, called how to have a happy Thanksgiving or contact us for a permanent copy on CD by calling 1-800-821-3300.

That's 1-800-821-3300 people are talking about Pastor Greg. No moving. A rush of hope cinematic car prescription. I've never seen anything like text me Justina Watson on the screen is a beautiful meeting the way he explains it. It's so simple, but yet only hold so much weight rush of available now on DVD, new beginning you can get it today. Pastor Greg, this is different than anything we've ever done before. That's right, you saw the line most likely know you can own your own beautiful DVD copy that you can show where ever you want whenever you want to whoever you want in this special DVD that were offering the Russell Pope also has some special added features like a little booklet you can call it in evangelistic track with the title life's most important questions that you could give to someone to read. There's also a little flyer in here telling you how I host a watch party and show a rush of hope in your front room in your backyard or wherever you want as an outreach to people that are in your family are in your neighborhood and so we want to send a special copy of a rush of hope to you for your gift of any size.

They help us finish 2020 strong and let me see in advance. Thanks so much for believing in this ministry. Thanks for investing in this ministry and my hope and prayer is that some of you might become partners with us for the next year because when you partner with us and enables us to reach even more people.

Yeah that's right so when you connect with us. Ask about becoming a harvest partner and with your first gift as a harvest partner would like to thank you. With this new DVD of a rush of hope. Not only are we offering this on the DVD, but there's also a special digital download code. We will provide for you. What that means is still of the DVD that showed where we want to show to but you can downloaded to your phone you can downloaded to your tablet device or to your computer and then watch it or show it when ever you want carried around with you event and you can have in evangelistic crusade in your pocket is really nothing else like it and again will send it to you to say thanks for your generous donation right now.

So get in touch today at a new beginning.

Box 4000, Riverside, CA 92514 or call 1-800-821-3300 anytime 24 hours a day. That's 1-800-821-3300 or go online to harvest.org Pastor Greg a few moments ago you spoke of the need to get our hearts right with God. Could you help someone who wants to do that right now. Yes, I'd be delighted to listen as you listen to this program today. Maybe some is been happening inside of your heart where your sensing. I need to do this personally, but how do I do it and what a why do let me help you. It's very simple affected so simple.

You may be shocked God's relationship with him is just a prayer away. The Bible says if you will call upon the name of the Lord you will be saved, so I'd like to lead you in a prayer we you do just that you call on the name of the Lord. This can be the moment when you change your eternal address literally from hell to heaven. Just pray these words Lord Jesus, I know that I'm a sinner but I know that you're the Savior who died on the cross for me, and rose again from the dead, Jesus I choose to follow you from this moment forward in your name I pray. Amen. I know it's such a simple short prayer but you just called on the name of the Lord, and you know what he heard that prayer if you meant there prayer in your heart, he answered that prayer now let me help you to get started on the right foot in your new life in Jesus Christ. The greatest adventure awaits you the life of walking with God. I want to send you what we call a new believers growth pack that includes the new believers Bible and a whole lot more and let me be the first to see the you congratulations and welcome to the family of God and to get that free new believers growth pack. Just ask for it if you prayed along with Pastor Greg to receive Christ today will be glad to send 1 Your Way writers had a new beginning. Box 4000, Riverside, CA 92514 or call 1-800-821-3300. That's 1-800-821-3300 or go online to harvest.org and click know God when next I Pastor Greg returns to our study of the life of Moses hold water fire stone will concentrate on stone, highlighting the practical application of the 10 Commandments etched in stone by the finger of God join us next for a new beginning and possible by harvest partners, helping people everywhere know God sign up for pastor grades free daily email, devotions@harvest.org


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