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A Proper Thanksgiving

The Voice of Sovereign Grace / Doug Agnew
The Truth Network Radio
November 22, 2021 1:00 am

A Proper Thanksgiving

The Voice of Sovereign Grace / Doug Agnew

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November 22, 2021 1:00 am

Join us for worship- For more information about Grace Church, please visit www.gracharrisburg.org.

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If you would open your Bible to Psalm 107 tonight I would like us to take some time to look at the first three verses and as I said this morning.

The name of the sermon for this evening is a proper Thanksgiving. If you would stand for the reading of the word of God. O give thanks to the Lord for he is good for his steadfast love endures forever. Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, whom he has redeemed from trouble and gathered in from the lands from the east and from the West from the north and from the south. Let's pray father would come to you this evening.

And Lord, we have been blessed already in this worship service, Lord, the report of Louis and your Holy Spirit working in his heart and calling them unto yourself Lord will leave heard from Pastor Turner is work with Muslims as well as his work now in Clarksville, Tennessee, Lord. We are so thankful that your Holy Spirit is active and vibrant and moving to bring your people to yourself Lord tonight as we look at your word. We pray that the Holy Spirit teaches us, Lord God, that as we leave here tonight we have a proper understanding of the Thanksgiving of the praise of the gratitude that we should have daily or God, we praise you and thank you, through Christ Jesus. And it's in his name we pray.

Amen. You may be seated. All this week the nation sets aside. Thursday is a day of Thanksgiving and like Eugene said it's hard to believe that we are already to the Thanksgiving and Christmas season, but it makes you start to think, especially now. I am 53 years old. I think I had 1/2 decent public school education where they taught me where this holiday of Thanksgiving came from, but as I started to to look in prepare for this message.

There is a lot of misinformation that exists even on a simple one day holiday that are government declares and so it led to the question. Where does this holiday truly come from for the United States.

There are several answers we could use, we could say that it's Pres. Abraham Lincoln in 1863 when he made his declaration that Thanksgiving would be held on the fourth Thursday and every November we could move back to 1789 and see George Washington make his grand Thanksgiving day proclamation to a nation that has just come through revolution Revolutionary war.

They have established a government and he is calling them to look towards and be thankful for the providence of God and what he is done. Some go back to 1621 and the pilgrims so you know, in each case when you're studying for something like this. Each has a good important point that we should remember what's really needed. 53. I knew all three of. I learned the pilgrims in 1621 I read about Washington in 1789 and then Lincoln memorialized in 1863, but I'd like to share with you the one that struck me the most. As far as a nation being called the Thanksgiving I went to hear the words of our first president, George Washington, on October 3 of 1789. He said this whereas it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore his protection and favor, and whereas both houses of Congress have, by their joint committee requested me to recommend to the people of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness. Now therefore, I do recommend and assign Thursday the 26th day of November next to be devoted by the people of these states to the service of that great and glorious being who is the been benefits and benefit. I can't say work benevolent author of all the good that was, that it is there that will be that we may then all unite in rendering unto him our sincere and humble thanks for his kind care and protection of the people of this country previously. Previous to their becoming a nation for the signal and manifold mercies and the favorable interposition's of his providence, which we experienced in the course and conclusion of the late war for the great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty which we have since enjoyed for the peaceable, peaceable and rational manner in which we have been able and able to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national one now lately instituted for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge and in general are all the great and various favors which we have been pleased he have been pleased to confer upon us and also that we may then unite in most humbling offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and ruler of Nations and beseech him to pardon our national and other transgressions to enable us all, whether implied public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually to render our national government, a blessing to all the people by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed to protect and guide all sovereigns and nations, especially such as shown kind unto us and to bless them with good government peace in accord to probe promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue in the increase of science among them and us, and generally to grant unto all mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as he alone knows to be best given under my hand at the city of New York, the third day of October in the year of our Lord 1789. It is quite amazing when you read or hear that read how much our first president understood the sovereignty of God, how much the people of our country look to and understood a sovereign God who had provided everything for them. We still see this type of understanding in our culture today. I wouldn't think the scary thing. The question ask is do we see it in our church does the church in the West here in the United States have that same understanding do we as individual Christians have an understanding of why we are called to Thanksgiving. Not by a president, but by Scripture itself.

In the Psalm.

O give thanks to the Lord a command to us to thank the Lord for he is good for his steadfast love endures forever, but as we head towards this Thursday. What have we devolved into you know a quick search on the Internet I typed in. Please don't do this unless you really want to get frustrated. I typed in what should we be thankful for. The first thing that came up was why should I be thankful and it had this little again, it's the Internet, but it had this little blurb being thankful helps you think more about other people's people's feelings.

It also helps you get through life's tough times because you can easily call to mind all the good things in your life.

Then I scanned down a little bit further and I got what to be thankful for top 10 lists minute over just a few a roof over my head and warm home. Plenty of drinkable water. I don't have to go hungry access to the Internet friends and family. The next list good health, money in the bank. Good friends, freedom of religion. I think that's the first time we talked about anything godly and lists, parents, weekends having a partner and pets, in and of themselves. We can be thankful for all those things I I don't want to have you think that I'm up here telling you that we are not to be thankful for the things we have, but listen to how shallow we've become. I then stumbled upon a website I'm not gonna tell you the name, but though the the banner said a well website helping moms thrive in moms please do not follow any of this. It says there are many things to be grateful for in 2021 yet sometimes it's hard to see the ridiculous amount of good it's all around you. So when you can't see the forest through the trees, or you'd love did a dose of optimism, a gratitude list is a perfect tool. But first, gratitude can do more even more for you according to science it will make you happier enhance your positive emotions increase your self-esteem. Improve your relationships, help with your decision-making, reduce stress and depression improve your health. So what I'm saying in the culture.

Is this I mentality this. What do I get from doing the thing that I am called to do, whether it be by a president or by the Lord Jesus then it moved into. Here's their top 10 to help moms thrive. You should be thankful for your home.

There's no place like home your parents they gave you life in a way to see the world your friends friends that feel like family can't be beat your kids even if if you have them. You know they bring incredible joy to life. Your relationship your person to spend life with your pet animals are incredible sources of love, your health, it is said that health is the crown that sits on the wall man's well man's head that only the sick man can see. Cite your ability to see the beauty in this world smelled the first sniff of fresh-baked anything and taste. What would the world be like if you couldn't taste anything as you read that and comparative. Washington's call in that 1789 call for Thanksgiving. It is saddening to see how our society has become's shallow and self-centered, but folks that society is what enters our churches as they come and they hear they are more focused on themselves, then they are focused on the one who gives them the ability to breathe, to walk to be the one that we'll all our praise and thankfulness to in Psalm 1071 through three.

It instructs us to be thankful and why are we to be thankful we look at the verses there are two points that jump out at us concerning our responsibility to give thanks. First, we are to give thanks to the Lord for he is good and the second part of that same verse we are to give thanks because his steadfast love endures forever. As we look tonight at these two points. I pray that our humility will grow our love for one another, but mostly for God will grow as we see how he is revealed himself in no bill said about the scarlet thread of redemption. We have a God who has revealed himself to us. We don't have to guess he came and made a covenant with us. He comes to relate with us and that as we look tonight, hopefully, will result in our praise and thanksgiving as it should be this Thursday coming, but actually this evening. Tomorrow morning, every moment that we have breath we should give thanks to the Lord. The first point. Looking back at the texts verses one and 20 give thanks to the Lord for he is good for his steadfast love endures forever. Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, whom he has redeemed from trouble Christians.

This word is for us. We are to give thanks to the Lord for the Lord is good and his steadfast love endures forever.

What does it mean that God is good. Have we so become shallow and misused our languages that we truly can't even understand when we use the term good. I think to the rich young ruler coming up to Christ and the rich young ruler says to Jesus, good teacher and Jesus said why do you call me good, only God is good and then I think as I watch TV during conversations within the culture the way we use terms like great and awesome and this term good. We can even fathom.

And we try to use adjectives that are even greater than good. And God would envelop all those David speaks of the awesome God the Almighty God, the everlasting God, but you and I get revealed that this God is good God himself. In the Genesis account goes through the creation of the world and at the end of the creation account he looks upon it and he says what it is good. It is very good. If we move to Exodus 34 verses six and seven. Anybody know what the passage in Exodus 34, six and seven is talking is when Moses asked God for him to be able to see him to reveal himself and God is going to reveal himself to Moses and I want you to hear what God says about himself revealed to Moses. But, given to us.

The Lord passed before him and proclaimed the Lord, the Lord our God, merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness.

Keeping steadfast love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, but who will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquities of the father on the children and the children's children to the third and fourth generation. When we look at that opening verse oh give thanks to the Lord for he is good and the question becomes what is good, God gives us his answer. God says this is be. I am merciful I am gracious.

I am slow to anger, and I am abounding in steadfast love. I am faithful I am forgiving and I am just he is not a God who hide he's not a God who is indifferent to us. He is not a God who is put in motion and we have to try to guess how he is who he is or what he is. He clearly and distinctly describes who he is, what his attributes are, and what he has done and accomplished on our behalf. What we said and see that in Exodus 34, six and seven that merciful, gracious, slow to anger, faithful, forgiving, just God, a concern could raise in our heads, but what if. But what if God wanted to do something different.

What if he changes his mind.

It is mercy or in his grace. But this God even reveals that to us. Malachi chapter 3 verse six for I the Lord do not change.

Therefore, you owe children of Jacob are not consumed in Hebrews chapter 13 verse eight Jesus Christ is the same say it yesterday, today and forever. We have a God who reveals who he is, what his goodness is how he is what he's accomplished and he tells us that I will not change. I do not change these things that you call attributes or characteristics are actually my ass and I mean think about God is good. It's not a description.

It's the essence of his being, we come together and say all on Thanksgiving day. I'm thankful for a house. I'm thankful for a job I'm thankful for transportation and again we should be thankful for those things but that is not the primary thing we are called to be thankful for. They are secondary blessings given by God who we need to be merciful, gracious, slow to anger and abounding in love because he does not change and therefore we will not be consumed.

Do we understand that when we look at what the Scripture is revealing to us.

Due to this, this same bonded Exodus 34. We should see then the cause that it should raise thanksgiving and praise to God in us, what is it about those what we call traits are characteristic or his essence, it is the gospel messages in it.

It ties directly to the next part we are to be thankful for his steadfast love, which endures forever.

I'm sure that you've heard pastors who were much better in languages than I but the word there is has said it is a Hebrew word that our words do not have a good enough contextual meaning to grab it in one word, so we use steadfast love at times we use mercy at times her merciful. We use faithful at times but this has said this steadfast love. Basically is a loyal love. When we start step back and think about a God who is holy, right and just who cannot tolerate sin but yet covenants with the people that does the very thing that he cannot tolerate and in order to continue his relationship with us takes it upon himself to do the very thing that we can do to make us right in order that he maintains a covenant that we break continually do we understand that has said love that steadfast love Psalm one 3623 and 25. The whole of Psalm 136 tries to give us that understanding of what steadfast love is because it keeps repeating at the end of each verse and instead let fast love endures forever, and it's listing off that he brought them out of Egypt that he parted the Red Sea that he defeated the Pharaoh and his armies and after each one of those statements and it says, and his steadfast love endures forever. In verses 23 through 25, it says this and it applies greatly to us.

It is he who remembered us in our low estate for his pet steadfast love endures forever, and rescued us from our foes for his fed, steadfast love endures forever. He who gives food to all flesh for his steadfast love endures forever. That loyal love that love that looked upon in the state of a person like me who, without thought, could rebel without issue and want to do my own thing. Want to have my own way want to desire and do what I felt was right in the Old Testament and the book of Judges it continually when the Jews would be delivered by a judge than they would evolve and it said that everybody did what they thought was right in their own eyes.

That's what sin causes us to do we want to drive back to the things that we think are right, and God looking upon us, and that is state because his steadfast love endures forever sent his son Jesus Christ to do the very thing that we could not do and that was live under the law perfectly and after that to give himself over as a blood sacrifice and atonement to propitiate the wrath of God. That's the gospel message and on the third day arose arise from the dead through the power of God and ascend and sit at the right hand of God and the writer of Romans 58 says it the best.

Paul writes this to the church of Rome. But God shows his love, we can say his said his steadfast love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. There is no greater word for you to hear the Sunday before Thanksgiving, the Monday before Thanksgiving, the day of Thanksgiving, the day after Thanksgiving God's love his steadfast love is so great that a sinful lowly creature while they were still sinners, God died for us in Christ we see this love, not only in a loyal sense of love, but as a love that is an action that is just so overwhelming. If we move from Romans five Asa tells us about that love to the words of Jesus Christ is even in inaugurated the Lord's table with Luke 22. Here, the way Jesus loves us and when the hour came a reclined table and with the apostles with him and he said to them, I have earnestly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer. For I tell you, I will not eat it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God and he took a cup, and when he had given thanks, he said, take this and divide it among yourselves, for I tell you that from now on I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes and he took bread, and when you given thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying, this is my body which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me and likewise the cup after they had eaten, saying, this cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood.

What is that new covenant. What is it that Christ is accomplishing he is facing a Gethsemane prayer time where he is in such turmoil that drops of blood are what his sweat from his body. He is going to stand before his creature, his creature is going to spit on him. He is going to punch him. He is going to scourge him mock him and hang them on a tree that is what's facing him in the next 12 to 16 hours, and he looks at his disciples and he says I've looked forward to eating this meal with you. Take this bread.

It's my body that's broken for you do it, in remembrance of me.

And when he took the cup he said this is the the cup of my blood of the new covenant that new covenant is that God will forgive our sin and he will remember them no more and he will be our God and we shall be his people at his said love that is a loyal love that is what we are to be thankful for. O give thanks to the Lord for he is good and his steadfast love endures forever. As we close tonight as we gather this Thursday or every day I pray that as believers verse three third, two and three. Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, whom he is redeemed from trouble and gathered in from the lands and from the east and from the west and from the north and from the south.

This Thanksgiving holiday for the church is different than a national holiday called for us to recognize the sovereign Providence our day of Thanksgiving is every day that we have bread or breath to declare Jesus Christ as our king and our Savior we should daily be brought to Thanksgiving and praise just as doubting Thomas when he put his fingers in and he cried out what my Lord and my God because that is the God who is sustaining us day in day out.

He is good and his steadfast love endures forever. So I pray that on this Thursday as we come to our table and yes there are many secondary blessings that should overwhelm us, but I pray that we meditate upon the one who is the only founder and reason for Thanksgiving.

It wasn't the 16, 21 pilgrims. It wasn't the 1789 George Washington's wasn't the 1863 Abraham Lincoln's nor the 2020.

Donald Trump source 20, 21, Joe Biden in in in Genesis 315 God laid the reason that we are to be thankful. I will bring one through the seed of the woman you shall strike his heel.

But he will crush your head, so let us on Thursday and every day raise our prayer and thanksgiving for his redemptive work. Let us please see everything else. Secondary still provided by a sovereign, merciful hand. Praise God for Christ.

Thank God for his work in redemption. Let's pray. Father, we thank you so much for your word. There are so many places in the Psalm we could've went to the same verse give thanks to the Lord for he is good father. I just pray that your Holy Spirit Dr. home to us that understanding of good because it is far brief on anything. Our language can grasp.

We come to unite tonight is a redeemed people not of our own doing but by the work of Christ and the Holy Spirit calling us to your word Lord God we we should be at a grateful thankful people every moment of our life.

Your Scripture reveals that it is through you and for you, that all things are created in reveals that are very heartbeat in our breath are are in your hand in your control and you are good and you love us and you died for us and you made us right.

What more could we ask whether we have a home or have a table with food we have. Jesus Christ. We are the richest of all in that redemptive work. Let that be our praise and our glory to you is in Christ Jesus. We pray, amen


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