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November 28, 2021 7:00 am
Thanksgiving Message.Support the show (https://www.lonsolomonministries.com/give)
If you brought a bottle.
We want you to take it and open it to Luke chapter 22 and as you can see this Thanksgiving weekend as we do every Thanksgiving weekend were gonna celebrate communion. The Lord's table, the Lord's supper, the Eucharist, whatever you're used to calling it but I wanted to take a moment before we do that to try to show us how this idea of communion. This idea of the Lord's table, and the idea of giving thanks how they fit together how they are interconnected in the events of the Lord's table in the Bible. And so I want us to look at that is countable prelude to celebrating communion here this weekend. Now Luke chapter 22.
If you would. Verse 14 when the hour arrived.
Jesus and his disciples reclined around the table and Jesus said to them, I have earnestly desired to eat this Passover meal with you before I suffer. I think most of us know that the Last Supper, as we call it was actually a Passover meal actually a Passover Seder that the Lord Jesus celebrated with his disciples.
And it's interesting. The Bible says that as they were celebrating it. Jesus knew full well what was ahead of him. Over the next several days.
That's why he said before I suffer as they were there at the meal Jesus knew, for example, that one of the very men in that room was going to betray him. Jesus knew that he was going to be beaten, humiliated, ridiculed, spit on deserted by all of his disciples. Over the next couple days and he knew as they were there around this table that all of this was going to end in his death in mind you, not just any dad, but his death by crucifixion the meanest, cruelest, most inhumane and painful way for one human being to kill another human being that has ever been devised, and then friends I need to say on top of all of this emotional pain and on top of all of this physical pain. The Jesus knew was coming was the spiritual pain. He knew that was coming as God the father laid on him the sinless son of God, as he was there on the cross. All the sins of the world.
And so to put it short. There were a rough couple days ahead for the Lord Jesus may say well if you knew all of that why you need to get out of town we wanted me to go to Hawaii or something like that you go to Maui well the answer is friends because Jesus also knew that it was by staying in town and going through these events of the next couple days that he would have the opportunity to purchase redemption for the human race to open up a door for you and I to have eternal life and to go to heaven that unless he did what God called him to do these next couple days. Those things would never be available to you in the me mascot for a moment and say that if you're here this weekend, and you've never trusted Jesus in a real and personal way that this is something really important to know Jesus didn't go to the cross because he had no other options didn't go to the cross because he was a masochist and looking forward to the pain he went to the cross because he loves you and he loves me and he knew that apart from him going to the cross. There was no way in the world you and I could ever have eternal life, but he didn't go to the cross and he offers eternal life to you to meet every human being alive is a gift we don't have to pay the price he paid the price. All we have to do is be willing to accept the gift and you know friends all these years. 32 of them that I been a follower of Christ. I have never yet figured out why when people understand the deal they don't take this the greatest deal going in the universe somebody's offering to give you eternal life, you'll have to do anything. Come on now be a smart shopper and take the deal. It's a great deal well when it's go on a little bit you know this wasn't the end of the meal. Look what happened at this meal. Verse 17 and taking the cop the Bible says Jesus gave thanks and then the next verse, verse 18 and after taking the matzoh he broke it and he gave thanks what I want us to see is that in spite of all that Jesus knew was coming.
In spite of all the tough circumstances that he knew laid dead ahead for you. What did Jesus do. He gave thanks to God reminds me of first Thessalonians 518 which says give thanks in everything for this. That is whatever circumstance are in is because will concerning you and that's exactly what Jesus did. He said all right these things that lie ahead. Their top their hard there painful but they're God's will for me and I want to thank God for now friends is at this point that biblical Thanksgiving and worldly Thanksgiving part ways is at this point that secular Thanksgiving and biblical Thanksgiving diverge. What I mean by that is that secular Thanksgiving or worldly Thanksgiving is always based on our circumstances when things are going good when things are going the way I want them to win our families all healthy and my job is secure in my car is running fine in my grades in school are good and the appliances are all working. I'm happy I give thanks with a Thanksgiving meal. There are certain relatives who can't make it. I give thanks on my happy camper. You understand what I'm saying. But then when things turn bad and things don't go the way we want will then I'm not thankful and I'm not willing to give thanks. Well, this is worldly Thanksgiving. This is not to Thanksgiving. The Bible calls us to.
This is not the kind of Thanksgiving that the Lord Jesus demonstrated force friends. Biblical Thanksgiving is not based on our circumstances good or bad. It's based on an entirely different foundation is based on the foundation of the promises God makes us regarding our circumstances and the character of God that backs up those promises you say will like what we mean the character of God.
Well, I mean like his faithfulness is power, his mercy, his kindness, his goodness is trustworthiness that he will do what he said he will do you see biblical Thanksgiving is based upon the character of God that backs up the promises God has made us about our circumstances is it will like what kind of promises as God made us about our circumstances. Well let me give you couple Romans 828 says God causes all things to work together for good to those who are followers of Christ.
That's a wonderful promise about our circumstances about Jeremiah 2911 for I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for good and not for evil to give you a future and although there's a wonderful promise from God about our circumstances assuring us that every circumstance in our life is part of a big plan a big design. God has that's for our good. Here's another one. First Corinthians 1013 God is faithful, you can count on him. He will not allow you to be tested beyond what he knows you are able to bear. I didn't say he wouldn't take a ride up to the limit. But he said he wouldn't take it past it and the promise goes on to say God will also provide a way out of the situation so that you may be able to endure while that's a wonderful promise. Stay one more Isaiah 43 verse two. I have called you by name.
You are mine says the Lord. So do not fear when you pass through deep waters, I will be with you when you walk through the fire, the flame will not hurt you, for I am the Lord your God and you are precious in my sight and I love you. Hey, let's put it another way, let's say it like this biblical Thanksgiving is an act of our will. Based on the promises of God that we know it is not an outgrowth of our feelings biblical Thanksgiving is not based on how we feel about our circumstances. Biblical Thanksgiving is based upon what God has promised us about our circumstances.
What is promised to do in our circumstances. Through our circumstances with our circumstances and friends. I maintain that as followers of Jesus Christ. When our focus is on the promises of God and the character of God, not our circumstances when our focus to repeat is on the promises of God and the character of God. We can thank God for anything and everything that comes our way. Now that's what Jesus did at the Last Supper. His focus was not on the circumstances of the next three days that he was going to be deserted and beaten and humiliated, and crucified no-no. His focus was on God's promise that God was going to use all of this to redeem the human race that God was going to use all of this to open the door to eternal life for people like you and me and that three days later God was gonna raising from the dead and exalting for eternity. That's were Jesus's focus was and he could give thanks for anything.
When you got to focus on that. They say we know long. God bless you man I love it when you get up there and preach like that but you know what, no normal person lives this way.
One I mean what normal person has a flat tire on the Beltway in the rain gets out of the car and stand on the side of the road and says thank you God.
You did this to me there is not a sane human being in the world. It doesn't what normal person has their washing machine break in their basement flood and they go downstairs in their ankle deep in water and they stand there and say to God for sending this to me long. This is where nobody does this. People don't thank God when somebody vandalize as their car people don't thank God when they got to go to the emergency room or for the Dr. says they need an operation. Nobody lives this way will wait a minute, Jesus lived this way, so that's not fair. Okay, the apostle Paul live this way. Voluntary right now by another lady who lived this way Francis is not weird. This is biblical Thanksgiving. The weird thing is that we let our culture so brainwashed is that we don't do this. That's the weird thing, but this is the way the Bible says were to give thanks. Let me tell you about this lady who did it exactly the way the Bible said her name was Betsy. You may know her better by her last name 10 boom, her sister Corrie 10 boom wrote a wonderful book called a hiding place and for those of you don't know the story Betsy and Corey were young girls living in Holland with their parents. When World War II broke out. Her parents Betsy and Corey's parents were not Jewish but they were believers in the Lord Jesus, and they hid Jewish people from the Nazis for several years until they were caught when they were caught all four of them were sent to concentration camps, and Betsy died.
Her mom died, her dad died, Corey was the only one to survive, and then wrote this wonderful book. The hiding place about their experiences will in the book. There's this great passage about where Betsy demonstrates biblical Thanksgiving and teaches her sister Corrie a lesson and will teach us a lesson to listen. I quote my sister Betsy and I were sent to the ravens Brook concentration camp we were put in the largest dormitory. The first night there something pinched my leg in bed and I looked, and cried out. Please Betsy this place is swarming with keys. How can we live in such a place. Betsy said Corey God gave us the answer in our Bible reading this morning.
Don't you remember first Apollonian 518, give thanks in everything for this is God's will for us. That's what we're going to do Corey were to start right now to thank God for every single thing about this dormitory and so my sister made me get out of bed and we stood there with our heads bowed and thank God number one for being here, and concentration camp and then we thank God for the fact that they hadn't taken our Bibles away and then we thank God for all the women who were packed in here who needed to hear about Jesus. And finally, Betsy said. Now Corey, it's time for us to thank God for the plea. Betsy said there is no way God can make me grateful for fleas.
Well, Betsy, said Corey. The Bible says give thanks in all circumstances, not just in pleasant circumstances. Fleas are part of God's will for us. Corey and we need to thank God for. And so we stood between the bunks and we gave thanks for fleas, but I was sure this time my sister was wrong. Corey goes on to say well we started holding Bible studies in our dorm. We began with great timidity.
At first, but night after night went by and no guards ever came in our door so many ladies wanted to join our Bible study that we had to start a second one. Every night dozens and dozens of ladies gave their lives to Jesus as the weeks went by and we noticed that all the other doors in the camp were under rigid supervision and yet in our dorm. No guards ever came in. We couldn't understand one evening as I returned to the dorm I found Betsy waiting for me without big smile on her face. You know how we never understood why we had so much freedom in the storm to share the Lord. She said well I found out why she said this afternoon there was a mixup among some of our dorm mates about socks sizes so I asked the supervisor to come in and settle in and she refused. She wouldn't even step through the door and neither would the guards and do you know why they told me it was because the place was crawling with fleas."
And you know Corrie 10 boom goes on to write that it was right there and then that her big sister taught her would biblical Thanksgiving was all about that. It wasn't just about thanking God for the things you like and the things that are good. It was about thanking God for fleas. It was about thanking God for fleas because number one we know the fleas are all part of God's great plan and number two we have God's promise he's going to turn the fleas in the something good will just trusted friends. It seems to me that we have this wonderful weekend call Thanksgiving and if were going to do their supporting to give thanks that is followers of Christ will released would biblically just seems that way to me. And so my question to you is this weekend.
Do you have some fleas in your life is a lot. I got the whole dog in my life one) not to got the dog in July. Well my question is have you done what Betsy did this weekend. He said I thank God this weekend sure you do. We all did. We thank God for the good stuff. Sure we do. But my question is can we do biblical Thanksgiving.
Do we thank God for the fleas because our focus is on the character and the promises of God and we know that the fleas really are just a blessing in disguise. That's what God's promise tells us did we do that, you say why should I willing to give you three reasons and on the number one because Thanksgiving like this honors God men nothing honors God more than for somebody see you standing there with fleas all around you, and be thanking God anyway number two because biblical Thanksgiving like this restores perspective to our life. Think about it friends when we thank God. Biblically the way were told to in the Bible. The perspective is we take our eyes off of our circumstances and were forced to put them on the character in the promises of God that's good perspective, and third and finally when we do that it brings hope to our life. There is no hope to be found in the circumstances of this world and if our focus is on the circumstances of this world you will be a real sad person. There's no hope there but friends in the promises of God there's hope in the character of God there's hope. And when we force ourselves by doing biblical Thanksgiving to stop looking at our circumstances and start looking at the promises and the character of God. All manner brings hope to our life.
You see, God didn't tell us to do this for his benefit. He told us to do this for our benefit. We need that perspective, adjustment to be able to keep going with hope and encouragement. I want us to bow our heads and close our eyes now would you do that with me and I want to give us just a moment to do what I think may be the hardest single thing to do in the Christian experience and that is thank God for the fleas out of the can gets any harder than that, but friends that's biblical Thanksgiving, so let's walk in the steps of the Lord Jesus today. Let's walk in the steps of Betsy 10 boom and let's say God because of your character because he or promises. I want to sit here and as an act of my will, thank you for the fleas but stupid Lord Jesus, I don't think anybody here done have some fleas. I do things we don't like things we don't want things we don't understand the Lord to rise above our human nature to rise above our human feelings and thank you for these things. This is really hard but this is biblical Thanksgiving because we know the promises of God. And we know the character of God, and based on those two things we ought to be able to thank you for everything because this is God's will for us.
Whatever it is were face. So Lord except our Thanksgiving today. Those of us who did it for the fleas and grant that we might not just do that today. Thanksgiving weekend, but rather that you would start a whole new habit pattern in our life of being thankful in everything, because we know this is God's will for us in Jesus Christ change our lives because we were here today, we pray in Jesus name, amen