According to the encyclopedia: Thanksgiving is an annual holiday celebrated in the United States on the fourth Thursday in November. It originated in three days of prayer and feasting celebrated by the Plymouth colonists in 1621.
The first national Thanksgiving Day, proclaimed by President George Washington, was celebrated on Nov. 26, 1789. In 1863, President Abraham Lincoln made Thanksgiving an annual holiday to be commemorated on the last Thursday in November.
That is how Thanksgiving Day originated, but unfortunately, it has lost much of the original impact. Time set aside for us to offer unto God our thanks for the multitude of blessings He has blessed us with. It is a time to reflect upon what God has done in the past. It seems that many today suffer from selective memory disease.
Sam asked Tom for loan of $2,000...Tom said "positively no!" Sam said, "When your business dropped, who gave you $10,000 to keep you from being wiped out?" "You did" replied Tom. "Who took your daughter to Disney World because you couldn't get away?" "You did." "Who dove into rapids to save you from drowning on that fishing trip?" "You did."
"Then why won't you lend me $2000 when I need it?" Tom said, "all that you have said is true...but what have you done for me lately?" How soon we forget!
(PSA 50:14) "OFFER UNTO GOD THANKSGIVING; AND PAY THY VOWS UNTO THE MOST HIGH:"
(PSA 95:2) "LET US COME BEFORE HIS PRESENCE WITH THANKSGIVING, AND MAKE A JOYFUL NOISE UNTO HIM WITH PSALMS."
(EPH 5:20) "GIVING THANKS ALWAYS FOR ALL THINGS UNTO GOD AND THE FATHER IN THE NAME OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST;"
We know that we are commanded to offer God thanksgiving, but how are we to express this thanks?
Read: 1 CHRON. 16:8-12
I. Giving thanks: vs.8
A. To call on His name implies going before the presence of the Lord as opposed to just thinking about Him.
B. We need to set aside time to give thanks unto God making known or proclaiming what He has done for us.
1. Primarily, we ought to thank God for our salvation.
(COL 1:12) "GIVING THANKS UNTO THE FATHER, WHICH HATH MADE US MEET TO BE PARTAKERS OF THE INHERITANCE OF THE SAINTS IN LIGHT:"
a. None of us deserve to be saved!
b. It is only because of God’s great love toward us that we can have the inheritance of the Father.
c. It is only because of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ that we can be saved today.
d. If you have never accepted Christ as your personal Savior…you ought to thank God for His great love and receive Christ today!
e. Call upon His name today!
(ROM 10:13) "FOR WHOSOEVER SHALL CALL UPON THE NAME OF THE LORD SHALL BE SAVED."
2. We ought to give thanks for our family.
a. In this day and age of ‘family values’ I wonder how often we pause to thank the Lord for our families?
b. Godly parents who love us and provide for us.
c. Children that the Lord has entrusted us to raise up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.
(JOSH 24:15) "AND IF IT SEEM EVIL UNTO YOU TO SERVE THE LORD, CHOOSE YOU THIS DAY WHOM YE WILL SERVE; WHETHER THE GODS WHICH YOUR FATHERS SERVED THAT WERE ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE FLOOD, OR THE GODS OF THE AMORITES, IN WHOSE LAND YE DWELL: BUT AS FOR ME AND MY HOUSE, WE WILL SERVE THE LORD."
3. We ought to thank God for a good local church.
a. It is where we can receive instruction and exhortation from God’s Word on how to live our lives in a manner that is pleasing to God.
b. It is a place where we can serve others by being involved in one of the ministries.
c. It is where we find strength and encouragement from our fellowship with other believers.
d. Too often it seems folks endure church rather than enjoy it.
e. Many refuse to attend, while others can hardly wait till its over to get off to wherever they are headed.
f. We ought to be thankful for our local church.
II. Singing. V9
A. Singing is the expression of joy.
B. Singing praises to God for the acts that He has performed is the highest expression of human worship if done in spirit and truth.
1. How could David help but sing praises unto the God…
2. That saved him, supplied his needs, protected him and promised an eternal inheritance to him?
C. Why do we sing in church?
1. Is it really an expression of our joy or is it just something that we do?
2. What has God done for us that would make us sing praises unto Him?
3. Let’s glory in His name for greatness, goodness, righteousness, and power.
(PSA 107:8) "OH THAT MEN WOULD PRAISE THE LORD FOR HIS GOODNESS, AND FOR HIS WONDERFUL WORKS TO THE CHILDREN OF MEN!"
III. Seeking Him. vs.11
A. What this means.
1. Continuously seeking His face is more than thinking about Him.
2. It is like a person struggling through a crowd in order to be directly in front of someone.
3. It is always wanting to be face to face with God.
B. What this does for us.
1. It gives us strength for daily living.
2. It brings rejoicing to our hearts.
IV. Remembering. vs.12
A. The wonders of God
B. The judgments of God
C. The miracles of God
How will you express your thankfulness to God? Come today, receive Him as Savior; surrender to serve Him with your life; praise Him for His works.