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November 25, 2021 6:55 am
How is Thanksgiving connected with Christmas? Today we see that the greatest gift of all is God becoming flesh, and that is something to be most thankful for. Part 1.
Give thanks to the Lord for he is a Thanksgiving is in one day out of the year.
It's a lifestyle. It's an attitude that we should all have and particularly the greatest gift of all. And that was God becoming one of us in the main Thanksgiving and welcome and moments of hope. I am changing Stan and hope you're having a very last Thanksgiving celebration of recurring theme on our last couple of programs has been creating a list of all the things we're grateful for.
With this in mind today. David shares the first part of his message. Thankful for a good guy. Lot we need to take opportunities to thank God for all that we have been trying to do over the last several weeks to try to connect Thanksgiving with Christmas. I try to help you understand that Thanksgiving isn't one day out of the year. It's a lifestyle. It's an attitude that we should all have and particularly the greatest gift of all. And that was God becoming one of us in a major and dying on the cross to forgive yourself our sins and being raised the dead to assure us of eternal life isn't that the greatest Christmas gift ever would you think God for that gift today. What I want to do today is to complete the series really and talk about why we should give thanks to God because he is good. Give thanks to the Lord for he is good. The Bible consistently says enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise. Give thanks to him, bless his name read this with me for the Lord is he's good.
His steadfast love. How long forever forever, and his faithfulness to all generations that you would be folks to all generations. This you and me from Psalm 34 eight read with me please O taste and see that the Lord is good. Psalm 107 verse 10 give thanks to the Lord for he is.
He's good for his steadfast love endures forever.
The Lord is good and his love endures forever. Such great news. So when you read in the Scripture that a major characteristic of God is his goodness.
What does it mean for him to be good doesn't mean God's a nice guy will certainly is a nice guy but needs much more than that the biblical word good means everything that is morally excellent, exceedingly beautiful and extravagantly bountiful when he read it again. The biblical definition of good is everything that is morally excellent, exceedingly beautiful and extravagantly bountiful. That means that God is morally excellent, exceedingly beautiful and extravagantly bountiful. He is good and his mercies endure. How much forever to all generations to begin by talking to you about evidences of God's goodness in the Bible in Genesis 1 and two, God created the heavens and the earth and for those of you who are biblically literate. You know that after each day God took a step back and looked at his created order. And he described is what is good and that word in the Hebrew means very good! All the definition that I just read. It's a good creation, everything operated the way God wanted it to operate in created Adam and Eve.
The relationship with him was perfect in Adam and Eve's relationship. They were relationally compatible. No problems whatsoever in the creation designed there were no tornadoes, earthquakes or hurricanes any disasters destroying God's created order and within people themselves.
They were at peace because they had faith in God, no fear, anxiety, depression and despair to be seen.
So God looked at everything and he described it as good. We have echoes and hints of that goodness surrounding us every day that we should live and they should give us reasons for Thanksgiving. Think about when we awaken in the morning.
We give thanks to God for the next breath that we breathe, the next feet of our hearts. The next ingestion of air in her lungs.
We should give thanks to God. Looking across the room seeing our spouse. The person we love the most in the world should give thanks for friendships, relationships we should give thanks for the ability to have hot water come out of our shower. How many of you give thanks for that.
You should because if you do folks. For those of us who traveled internationally and seen poverty, you're among the 7% of the richest people in the world you have hot water come out of your shell.
How about turning on the faucet and be able to drink the water. Most people in the world don't have the privilege. If you travel to any place in the world.
Most often they say you must drink the water out of a bottle. Don't drink it out of the faucet. We here in the states can mostly accept in Flint, Michigan. Okay, we can mostly do we need to give thanks to God for that gift about the food we ever thought about the food that we eat, how we should be so exceedingly thankful how that shoes on her feet. Every time you put your shoes on.
Are you aware that you have shoes you're among the 7% of the richest people in the world. Most diseases are passed on among children throughout the world through their feet because their barefoot shoes protect kids from disease. Have you ever given thanks for putting on your shoes and of course, driving a car. If you have a car, much less if you have one or two or three. You are among the 5% of the richest people in the world to be given thanks for being able to have a car in Sibley Drive around the echoes and hints of God's goodness are all around us. I know the answer for those of you who are spiritual skeptics you say immediately to me. Wait a minute.
If creation is so good birthed out of the goodness of a good God's heart why David for example, are there relational rifts in the world wars and rumors of wars, all kinds of hideous ways of people hurting one another. Why David does creation not work right.
Why are there tornadoes and earthquakes and other disasters that destroy people and property. Why is it that a lot of people in their lives don't feel peace. They feel fear and worry and depression.
Why and why is it that people don't have a right relationship with God not to present to you three different answers to that question regarding the problem of evil and are basically answers that are dominant in our society today.
The first was what I'll call a scientists worldview. It's basically the belief that if God is good and can do something about evil, but doesn't do anything about evil, he's impotent and uncaring. So therefore, God must not exist.
It's an atheistic, agnostic worldview.
It concludes that we are all here not the result of a personal God there's no God were the result of an evolutionary process were devolving out primordial sludge to where we are today. The fact that there is goodness in the world is only because people have learned how to be good to protect themselves and the survival of the fittest and there's a good portion it's ever-growing in our world believes that there is no God. The second view is what I'll call a New Age view or a near Eastern view which says basically that evil is an illusion pain-and-suffering doesn't really exist. It's a figment of our imagination. Therefore, our calling in life is to enter into a reincarnation cycle that allows us to advance by being better and better until ultimately were like a drop in a dropper that is dropped into the huge ocean of life and we become one with all of life and enter into Nirvana or nothingness. God certainly not personal and indeed in that particular theological framework. There are a multitude of deities.
Oftentimes, in conflict with one another, but again evils and illusion is the answer. Amidst those two particular worldviews is another one and I would invite you to examine which one you really believe because you believe one of them.
Everybody has a worldview.
Everybody believes something they interpret life through some filter for me.
I have reached the conclusion of the biblical Christian worldview. Not only because it's clearly taught the Scripture which I love and adore, but I think it's the one that best offers answers to life's most difficult questions when you are confronted with the question of evil, the answer biblically is God did create the world in Genesis 1 and two and declared all good. Very good!
Operating as he desired, but in Genesis 3. He told Adam and Eve. You may eat of any tree of the garden except the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for that point.
When you eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you become God. Your declaring treachery against the most high God, you are declaring to be a rebel against God's authority figure, basically saying I'm God and God said, admitting if you do that, you'll die spiritually will be disconnected from me, but also you'll physically die. Death is an evil intrusion into God's once perfect creator was never intended. In the beginning. So Adam and Eve were tempted by a malevolent personal force called evil one and he calls them to fall. The evil one is the author of all evil, not God.
And because of Adam and Eve's rebellion disorder and disharmony came into the world now within people.
There is fear instead of faith. Now there's relational ruptures everywhere throughout the world wars and rumors of wars.
Now there is created disorder not natural disasters, unnatural disasters that cost a lot.
Loss of lives of people and property in and of course everything is not working is God created to be met. Interestingly, that sin problem that rebellion problem that treachery problem has been passed on from generation to generation.
All of Adam and Eve's progeny, including you and me that some of you gold my sweet little baby girl my sweet little baby boy. He can't possibly be a bundle of original sin. Let me ask a question, did you have to teach your children to rebel. Did you have to teach your children to be disobedient.
Did you have to teach your children to say no of course not, it's natural within their nature. It's natural. Within yours in my nature and we continued to shake our puny fist of Almighty God and say I want my way and we continue to have this evil in our world today than what the Christian Bible teaches is that God created this world good perfect and then when the fall occurred. He's in a dilemma. On the one hand he's holy and good. This created order is not and he can't have a relationship personally because our God's a personal god with Adam and Eve. They walked in the garden daily with him. He wants to be a personal relationship with us and here's is the limit. Did you know why you were created.
Christians believe in one God in three persons are Muslim friends accuse us of bleeding and three God's. Nothing could be further from the truth. We don't believe in three God's. We believe in one God in three persons, how do we explain that we don't try anymore than with my kids when they were three years old and they would object to something and they would always say that famous work. Kids love to speak which is why and is usually a company with that's not fair. Anyway, let me ask when your children do that as an adult you get down to their level to try to explain all the complexities of why do you of course not, you can. There's no way a three-year-old could possibly understand the depth of what you know as an adult will. That's an example of what it's like for the infinite God of the universe to explain to us his nature one God in three persons, all we know biblically that's what's clearly taught and in that relationship among father son and Holy Spirit. There was perfect law, perfect love, love can only exist if there is a direct object of love right you look and all exhibits or someone to love and that's the problem, of course, with the Islamic God is he's a God of justice. But love is far from their understanding of God because he doesn't have anyone he can initially love will initially in the Christian God God the father, son and Holy Spirit all love one another perfectly.
The father love the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit love the sun. The sun love the promise perfect triangle of love. And so, here's why you and I were created when God made Adam and Eve and all of us.
He wanted us to enter into a personal love relationship with him because he's a personal God. He wants intimacy.
Some of you come from Catholic backgrounds or rigid denominational backgrounds were.
You were taught, if you just today being seething. God love you.
Nothing could be further from the truth of the Christian gospel. God doesn't love you for what you do.
He just loves you because he created you to be a lot of machine anyone to pour his lobbying to you so you could love him in return and love your neighbor. That's it.
Jesus said the entire Bible.
The entire wall can be encapsulated in one sentence.
Love God and love your neighbor that that's what he intended to happen and so we created you and me to loving and we rebelled against that love. So on the one hand he's holy and good and can't have a relationship with us because of our depravity. On the other hand, he still loves us dearly, deeply. So what does he do. How does God overcome that dilemma and the answer is this biblical doctrine called the incarnation God becomes one of us.
The father said to the sun at some point in human history. Knowing our decadence, depravity and ultimate death because he could have a relationship with us and if we died were separated from him forever in our sin. So because of his love. He says to his son. At some point in the expanses of eternity would you go. Would you go and the sun. Although equal with the father in deity and power purposefully chose to submit himself to the father take on human flesh and be birthed in the stable in equipment birth in a palace in Jerusalem or Rome, but he chose to be birthed among the poorest of the poor in humility God in human flesh, the incarnation, I love Mexican food and I love Mexican food man I like Mexican food ever had chili con carnet your that is chilly with flesh carnet chili con carnet you know what the incarnation is this great biblical doctrine were celebrating here on Christmas Eve God con carnet really God con carnet God with flesh, the incarnation God so loved the world that he becomes one of us to communicate in ways and styles and forms and worth we can understand.
Just amazing. Think about now you need to know three great truths of the incarnation, the three great truths of Christmas Eve.
Here's the first one pursuit, pursuit most people know the true love demands pursuit.
I told my sons that whenever they need that right person they need to pursue her because every woman I believe. Call me an invitation to thinkable romantic but I believe every woman wants to be pursued by a godly man in the message of the gospel is God pursued us, he took the initiative, he put on human flesh long before you ever try to listening to moments of hope.
Thanks for listening.
Data joins me in the DM. This is the ministry meant focusing on ministries that have a positive impact on our community by Mark McManus and here's Jim Noble with the dream Center, Charlotte hello my name is Jimbo and Bowen direct tell you guys think you will David all of you there will, for us, you been there since OA starting Kings and grew into the dream Center mill the last eight weeks, probably exceeding 50,000. Where's the city is as were with the meals relation, or never see people come out as well is the meals you know the first all remaining go this route and provide a phone call. Everything you and not only is now this is all you got last week is see James Easton.
Thanks for listening today is dated Thanksgiving to you as well Jen, I hope it's a wonderful family day for you thank you thank you you to look so much for being with us on this special day.
I'm just curious do you have any insight on Thanksgiving and stay well it's historically embedded in our nations history deeply. Cook goes back to Abraham Lincoln in 1863, who amidst the Civil War and all of the bloodshed of the hundreds of thousands of lives lost, then felt like that America needed a day of Thanksgiving, so he initiated it inaugurated it was passed by Congress, and has been with us ever since. And it was Lincoln's way of acknowledging though the nation was problematically involved with slavery.
For example, and had so many issues going on.
He recognized the bounty and blessings upon this nation and felt like one of the healing forces that could bring the nation together was a common idea of Thanksgiving, so that's historically where it's come from. It has morphed into a day of food and family and football. I'm hoping we can include another effort that is faith think that would be important for people to remember today as well, but it's been around a long time and you know Jen, I personally find this day meaningful because Marilyn and I my wife have traveled all around the world. We been to central Africa, South America, the Caribbean, Nepal, India, etc. and no matter where we go. We always return and our first thought is thank you Lord that we are citizens of this great nation that even though we do have problems still with some forms of racism.
Some forms of division that continue to cause us harm and we still are the greatest nation on the face of this earth.
Our Declaration of Independence, our Constitution, and especially the guaranteeing of the freedoms that we have as individual citizens is like no other nation on the face of this earth and we need to give thanks especially today, in my humble opinion that we are Americans that we live in this great nation and we have the freedoms that have been given to us. I totally concur.
I completely agree and as several weeks ago when Afghanistan was in the headlines and I think I shared this with our listeners before I was crying physically just crying out to God in a state of prayer on my couch and lick you 90 can I deal in Charlotte North Carolina little me and I felt like the Holy Spirit whispered. Be grateful for the freedoms you have and it really was a transformative word for me to really take account of all the freedoms I have right now and grateful. Yeah, Jeanette. You've traveled to Lebanon, for example, some years ago and my wife and I have to on several occasions and Lebanon right now. For example, Beirut, the capital city has been called the jewel of the Mediterranean. The Paris of the Mediterranean and you. It is a gorgeous city but it's infrastructure right now is horrific and there are all kinds of problems that they are experiencing there you go to that place you're thankful for having seen it you come back you kiss the American soil. Because, as again fractured as we are.
It's still the greatest nation on the face of the or something, especially today. We should be thankful for. Will thank you so much for these.
I'm grateful for this great work.
We get to do together, grateful for our listeners and just hoping that everything has a wonderful Thanksgiving. Thank you Jen and to all of our listeners today. Be thankful for this great nation but mostly be thankful to God for all the blessings he has given us to everyone out there happy Thanksgiving moments of help with the senior pastor of moments of hope it's you join us for worship this Sunday morning.
Many prominent state school located at 5800 Sardis Rd. in South Charlotte 10 AM. You can find more information on our website.
Moments of hope Church.org nine. These daily moment of hope. Every morning here in a nonsense free and firstname.lastname@example.org the entire moments of hope Church missing