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November 20, 2021 1:00 pm
You pick up your Bible and wonder, is there more here than meets the is there something here for me. I mean it's just words printed on paper right it may look like just print on the page but it's more than Inc. join us for the next half hour, as we explore God's word together as we learn how to explore it on our as we ask God to meet us there in its pages welcome to more than Thanksgiving.
We think what he thinks turkey and stuffing Thanksgiving day holiday instead of a lifestyle they will look at insights. Thankfulness on more than well, good morning. I got my coffee and Jim and were sitting in and we have coffee and the word of God exactly what to do something a little surprising to us. At least today we have not compared notes beforehand right now we have and compare notes of what were going to do. I've challenged us to come up with each of us to come up with three things about Thanksgiving that may be either misunderstood or their kind of insights are a Haas, but there are biblical in that particular sense because this Saturday that this is very necessary report for Thanksgiving so I thought well let's talk about Thanksgiving. Maybe there's things about the whole topic of giving thanks that we don't have quite right. Well, when you use the term Thanksgiving people, at least in this country immediately think of the holiday. The holiday gathering on having a turkey and all the things they traditionally do not biblically giving thanks giving thanks assays the central idea insights into thankfulness okay giving up that's right night and I yeah so we might have the three exactly the same things we don't. I don't work out fine. Are you this is one of the fun things about studying the Bible was someone else's. You can sit down and and do your own summaries and then compare notes and see we are the same you different I'm you just you learn. Great stuff from other people. Another pair of eyes looking at the same passage doesn't have your summary.
But what will it ever has spoken to you right if the word of God is living to be fresh every time we bring our hearts and our minds to it. So what is that what is the spirit saying to you highlighting to you from the page. This time exactly yeah that's what's this is just a great exploratory thing. I mean it's it's like going to a national park alone versus going with someone else so you can point at the same time as they look so this will be good for us because B has Thanksgiving in a few days will just have a chance to surprise each other with with our attitude. So let's look at our three insights into thankfulness and that you want start will share how well you notice this is the first thing that came to mind to me when I started thinking about a while back about three Haas giving thanks might cost you something.
Oh, because we just have finished the book of Hebrews right and toward the end of Hebrews, the writer says now through him then, let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise that is the fruit of lips that give thanks to his name so that word sacrifice means the act of sacrifice an animal right now. This is the religious service. The thing that you do to make the sacrifice so no giving thanks cost you something. Once, I was thinking about that.
It occurred to me that you know that the EV epistles Ephesians and Thessalonians in Colossians all say always in everything you do what ever you find yourself doing give thanks because that's God's will for you. Yeah Christ Jesus have. Thanks in everything right so there is always no matter what your circumstance, there is always a reason to give God thanks that is due him, and that action connects to one of my other one so but this whole idea that giving thanks isn't just something you do when you're feeling cheerful Christ. It is an active, though. Well it costs me something I will thank you Lord God for what you have done. I think you know for a lot of people. It's like, well, you know, being thankful yeah I'm supposed to be thankful you know more like right is you know and my grandmother would give me a different Christmas and my mom was saying I need need to thank her and he did that on throat today so seems like something you're supposed to come be compelled to do, but it's really not a compulsion.
It's something that reflects something of your inner heart nature. Well, that's true, but we we need to give thanks when we feel like it or not is not something we do on the basis of our motion.
We do not know basis.
We do have another basis at all say that it is a genuine reflection of something, yet it is yet one of mine when mine was kinda closely allied to that which is that Thanksgiving is really an act of worship is a second sacrifice as part of worship but it's really an act of worship. But as an act of worship that actually glorifies God yeah and so Psalm 50 is where I got some of this from. If you read Psalm 50 in verse 14 he says offer to God a sacrifice of thanksgiving. Theirs is free to worship thing from a Hebrew mindset for March. The sacrifice of Thanksgiving, and perform your vows to the most time and if you skip about nine perceptive and 23 he says the one who offers Thanksgiving as his sacrifice glorifies me.
Isn't that interesting say that the sacrifice of Thanksgiving glorifies me to one who orders his right his way rightly so it's it's interesting is that you know that's it's part and parcel thankfulness is part and parcel of our worship to God, and are as sacrifice of worship to God, and in so doing, we glorify glorifies just a fancy word for making large you know an aspect of God's nature glorifies who God is and so when I thanked God for something and I do it publicly so I can worship context or something like that when I when I think God tells anyone in the hearing of that God must be your provider so it says a lot about the nature of who God is us the glorifying part and I and I would also offer that if in the common places you walk through life. If you're not constantly thanking God in the midst of all those things you're experiencing being blessed by all those events, and even doing it verbally, you're missing a tremendous opportunity to glorify who God is a someone who cares for us and who provides for us and protects us when you say it out loud and worship perspective. People get to understand that God is a God who loves us and provide as if it's actually part of your praise so that that account before what you're saying sacrifice of Thanksgiving. Well, I think we'll find that all of these connect together and you use the word glorify God heatedly when you say that it makes God large outshines organizing kind of progress, who manages and I think in terms of glorifying God's granting him the recognition yet that he is due right and that kind of connects to to one of my other switches illegally.
We give thanks to God on the basis of his character deems his goodness and his steadfast, not on the basis necessarily of the stuff he's given us. Yes, we might say thank you Lord for giving me my Toledo.he is the giver of all good gifts says but but the Psalms in particular give us models. This giving thanks to God on the basis of his character yeah and there's a couple that are favorites of mine that I just go back to heatedly at this time year. One of them is Psalm 107 Wednesday again so give thanks to the Lord. I because he's good he's good. His lovingkindness is everlasting right his devotion that he Berisha said, is devoted, loyal love towards us is everlasting. Let the redeemed of the Lord say sell face okay so speaking that word. Thank you God for your consisted faithful, devoted love toward me, you can always give him thanks for that, and that that recognizes his primary characteristic of devoted love glorifies who he is.
When you do it. Yeah and then Psalm 136 is one that we actually as a family have used for many years as a as a litany that we speak at some point either around the table or before dinner and it is every line, every line over and over, says give thanks to the Lord for his lovingkindness is everlasting right so then there's this call to because he's given us creation because you didn't really patient and then there's a list of all the great things he did in delivering Israel from Egypt when she were to talk about starting next week, but I love this litany where there's always give thanks to the Lord for he is good for his lovingkindness is everlasting is the refrain over and over and over and over and over and and then Psalm winds up the last couple of verses who remembered us in our low estate for his lovingkindness is everlasting and is rescued us from our adversaries for his lovingkindness is everlasting who gives food to all flesh for his lovingkindness is everlasting.
Give thanks to the God of heaven for his lovingkindness is everlasting.
So it's really been fun over the years for us to do this and we've done it. We've had guests here and I will hand out cards for everybody to reading that we had unbelievers who have read their part and then everybody responds, give thanks to the larger he's got his lovingkindness is everlasting and I remember one year. In particular, when there was an unbeliever among us who when he read his part. I looked around the room and there were tears streaming down the cheeks of his believing family as he read the word of God allowed and then we all responded. Give thanks to the Lord. He's good. His lovingkindness is everlasting. So, the power of speaking. This thankfulness allowed is so important. On the basis of God's character and who he is, glorifies who you Thanksgiving glorifies music understates out loud what your relationship with him and his and his desire to give to us. Yeah, this is this is the same as were my points to a new we are going over because I know our Thanksgiving already motivate more to be motivated by who he is, not what he lacks right and you know as a child you know when you get gifts at it Christmas or birthdays or some like that is a Thanksgiving I never got presents a thank you present you are so consumed with the present, you know, like all you just overwhelmed and that's all I can think about the present and then and then you're so overwhelmed by your parents up to remind you to thanks anybody for those things but you know in as now as a parent ourselves.
I look at the gifts I give my children. I realize you know I want them to understand my heart through what I give them.
I don't want them become so obsessed on thing. I gave them that they miss the point that it communicate something about my heart for him, it would be such a tragedy to just get be stuck on the things that you give your children they get stuck on that they don't care about you. They don't see the other part of it and so that's why in Psalm 136.
He does list the gifts right a lot of things God gives to us and he's he's not overlooking those, but when he comes back to over and over again. He says this this confirms my point that we need to give thanks to the Lord why because he's good because he's good and his steadfast love is tested for us just doesn't stop just going to do every morning is Jeremiah say it exactly in and that that's all by itself, even if your life is a train wreck circumstantially in all Maybank cars on fire in the driveway or you lost your job or something like that, you can say I have nothing to be thankful for right now.
What would you do have some thankful for because you have a God who loves you who's who's lovingkindness hasn't stopped.
Even though your dip in circumstances might tempted believe that he doesn't love you anymore, so that's what he goes through and says no, but his love doesn't stop.
It's a devoted devoted kind of loyal love and not someone I've always translated this steadfast love always translate my own mind is being devoted could you think. Couple this devoted you know that you know come thick or thin.
There loves not to be busted there devoted to one because it that devotion is focused in a particular direction. Examine the idea being devoted to something exactly.
And so this this God is devoted to us and you know he's devoted to.
He's devoted to bringing good he's devoted to bringing good to us so so give thanks Lord because he's good and he's not going to stop being good for us. I mean that's that's should be plenty right even if your circumstances stink at the moment, which is what we talked about before giving thanks might cost you something. It's an act of faith when your circumstances are horrific it is. You look like everything is going to hell in a hand basket very much.how can I thank you in the midst of this in the Scripture says in everything and every give thanks because this is the will for you in everything give thanks and if you really remember things to be thankful for you just I just flashed back to when Jesus sent off of the guys to go vandalizing right and they cast out demons. I came back all Janet who you know.
Even the demons in Jesus as the back off.
You know you need to be happy about the fact that your names are written in heaven. That's a big deal. So even even as things go up and down in life, you know, don't don't equate the downs with the fact that got to somehow stop being lovingkindness. He stopped being in love toward you because he hasn't and then Paul even tells us in Romans. That's it in ways that we can't always understand even the downtimes God is using for good.
Yet with us because he's committed to our good. Even though we can't piece those puzzle pieces together. Okay, this connects to something I thought and this is actually is one of my three's but it said something a lot of time to lowering gene gave thanks in public vocally out loud and one of those times when he did was to the grave last. That's right. So since you were just talking about writing in down circumstances and he was standing at the grave of Lazarus, right after the Scripture records that he wept and then he says father, I thank you that you always hear me now talk about that circumstance.
All yes he knew he was going to raise Lazarus, but still stood there and wept and said thank you father you always hear me, so don't don't be like a little child to get so focused on the gifts or the absence of gifts. Yeah that that moderates you thankfulness, you need to have you. Thankfulness anchored in the fact of who God is, that he's for you and he's dedicated to your good and there's nothing you can do to shake his will.
He's he's devoted to you so that ought to be the core of all of our Thanksgiving. So every time fact every time something extraordinarily good comes in your life focused on the extraordinarily good things that you know God, God is really good he's brought this to me and I don't deserve this and and and move past the gift. Let me look at what the gifts says as a communication but then go pass and say this tells me and reinforced room in the got really is very good. He's dedicated. You know he's his love for me will be thwarted. It's not to be stopped.
So it's kind of sauce like his love is sovereign is his love always will love always wins God's love always catches while yet 1/3 one will and yeah it out here want put out there because my time to not giving thanks my consequences. My last all you in Romans one to no yes yes yes I was 121 Romans 120 and 21 so let me read it. This, like, oh, here we want. This is lowering the pressure is not giving thanks but this is really important connection to us. When Paul says, I would start reading verse 20 for since the creation of the world God's invisible attributes, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what's been made, so they are without excuse they hear are those who suppress the truth about God, yes. He said couple traverses with so that he exists even for even though they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing to become wise, they became fools.
So you know they're not giving thanks, leads to an emptiness and lack of understanding is interesting that thankfulness would be accomplice is to comport. It's a core because he says they wouldn't honor him and they wouldn't think you which it is sort of makes sense, and you reflect on for second because you know we we said that Thanksgiving was giving thanks really defined your relationship with God.
A public way. So if I'm not if I'm not enjoying and dependent upon God's love and good toward me. If that's broken then thankfulness is an indicator that my relation of God is busted running the lack of thankfulness, you know. So not only do not honor who God is, which means you. You admit is there back in the Old Testament says what a fool say there is no God. Right folders.
That is crazy talk and and and the rest of Romans one pulses there without excuse.
They've seen enough of creation to know that God exists.
So to sit there and say God doesn't exist, but you're saying God doesn't exist and as a result, and I'm not going to honor him and I'm not thinking which is just astonishing which you know that is that is a trading God's position as Creator and Sovereign master of all that is for substituting myself.
Well I'm governor of my captain of my own ship. I decide what happens I don't have to depend on God for anything right.
I'm a self-made person so I think him and that's it.
That's boy that's big time topic in our present culture rely on science. We rely on the government or your line yourself or your ROI on something else but what heavens I'm not relying on God for anything so what should I have to think of to given to me and yet, anything that's good that you didn't self generate came from God really and constant refusal to acknowledge God give him thanks. This passage says yields an emptiness, futility, uselessness of thought and foolishness that says because the relevant I'm the only one whose in charge here and it's it's also progressive. Their foolish hearts were darkened worse and worse and worse and worse and worse worse and worse and worse one if you go on to read the rest of Romans one. It gets it gets horrifyingly worse. But this is where it starts refusing to acknowledge God giving thanks giving thanks acknowledge honor him, give him thanks like the inside out backside of the beginning of wisdom is the fear the Lord. Yeah yeah that's really true. I mean, as human beings were defined by our relationship with God and that relationship ought to be number one, we acknowledge and honor and number two were thankful because he gives to us. There's evidence of him giving to us is trying to get our attention to the good things we experience. I mean, if you've ever sat and watched the sunset.
Knowing that you did not generate it.
Say well you know this is this is really a great delight to me. I wonder where this came from.
Well, just an accident of creation. You know the molecules in the air in the sunsetting don't know someone's blessed me because I feel blessed. Where did this come from. So God got sprinkles all around us even right now that are coming on the snow season I love everything I see a snowflake. I think you know God could've made winter precipitation and ugly dark gray thing, but he made something like a snowflake that's just that's at the lights.
I just am delighted by that. That came from God that the lights my heart is getting good and even trivial ways you have last night was just as we been to this Lamentations 3 came to mind.
Oh yes, because in the midst of the destruction of Jerusalem right the city coming down around his ears. Jeremiah Wright's I remember how miserable I am right this is verse 19 of chapter 3.
Remember my affliction and my wandering the wormwood and the bitterness of my soul remembers and is bowed down within me and then he turns this I recall, to my mind. Therefore, I have hope the Lord's loving kindness is indeed never cease for his compassions never fail great is thy faithfulness they renewed every morning.
The Lord is my portion, says my soul therefore have hope so. Then he begins to turn toward thankfulness and says that this is this is good.
Verse 25 the Lord is good to those who wait for him to the person who seeks him is that he waits silently for the salvation of the Lord. So he and Jeremiah seem devastating to see if I devastated, but he has turned his mind and said, but I will remember that God is faithful, and his devotion never ceases, not Jeremiah knew that God had promised to bring them back that he would take the city down, but he would bring back but he's caught in the emotion of his horrific circumstances to cite. My hope is gone but I have to consciously turn my mind to remember this, the Lord is good and this is where you know. He says this I recall my mind and so I have hope know I have bad circumstances tend to shout us so loudly that we forget about the larger real reality right out the nature of God and the nature of God is that he has a loving kindness toward you devotion toward you. That doesn't Be thwarted and were headed for another place this world comes down around our ears. This is not all there is right we just finished talking, but Hebrews last week and that's really the message of Hebrews from 11 into 12 is where we are passing through.
This is not permanent is not. We are heading for another place, Lord Jesus. If Josh would give them rest he wouldn't talk about is right, so that still coming you know I entitled this one because it I have the same kind of thing is that absence of things of thanksgiving that the absence of thankfulness is atheism. If you are not constantly thankful you're acting like God is not a little. Not at all. And so now I say I'm a little tongue-in-cheek, but I mean there something's out there are times in which we experience good things and don't acknowledge God by and and we sort of go atheist recent disconnect from God. What words got all along is giving us these great wrapped prep presence man were not realizing that he's there. We just look at this present working want to use that term. Last week we were talking I said practical atheists practical right-leaning. Yeah, we can say in our minds. Oh yes, I believe that and give some sort of mental assent to God, but in our daily practice.
We act like he's not relevant right.
That is what I mean by practical atheists. So when things are good and you don't think him, that's atheism. When things are bad and you fear that's atheism as you're not because you thinking God is not in the picture at all ranks are fearfully so all of these things tended serve telegraph the fact that you're disconnected from God relationship either for good or when bad things happen so that that's the defining relationship and the defining words of our lips in relationship got with God wrong to be thankfulness at all to be at the core of everything at the core of everything because that defines because God says I love you only take care of your live with you on first provide for you, protect you all these things I want bring good to you.
So the defining relationship is one of God being a lover of us gasping so friends is this Thanksgiving weekend phones, no matter what's ahead for you. If you're gathering a warm beautiful table with people that you love or if you're alone in a hotel room or you are sick and isolated. Give thanks to cease his lovingkindness and ability of our friend Mark's poster. Give thanks to the Lord is for his lovingkindness is everlasting, come back, enjoyed his next start and great adventure. Exodus will be. So I'm doing this you mainstream church is solely responsible to contact us with your questions or comments. Turkey eating too much stuffing.