You know how as parents we sometimes worry about our children when we send them off to college.
Well a mom received the following letter from her daughter one day…
"Dear Mom: Sorry I haven’t written sooner.
My arm really has been broken.
I broke it, and my left leg, when I jumped from the second floor of my dormitory...when we had the fire.
We were lucky.
A young service station attendant saw the blaze and called the Fire Department.
They were there in minutes.
I was in the hospital for a few days.
Paul, the service station attendant, came to see me every day.
And because it was taking so long to get our dormitory livable again, I moved in with him.
He has been so nice.
I must admit that I am pregnant.
Paul and I plan to get married just as soon as he can get a divorce.
I hope things are fine at home.
I’m doing fine, and will write more when I get the chance.
Love, Your daughter, Alice.
P.S. None of the above is true.
But I did get a "C" in Sociology and flunked Chemistry.
I just wanted you to receive this news in its "Proper Perspective!"
Guess that mom put it all into proper perspective huh! Do you think she was thankful for the last part of that letter?
We are in the midst of the time of year when we pause to think about thanks and give thanks – although we should thank God every day for all He does for us.
In Ephesians 5:15-20 we find a section of Scripture we would do well to ponder over…read…
I want us to focus this morning on these words in verse 20: “…always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father.”
There are 3 things I want you to notice this morning we learn here about thanksgiving.
1. LEARN TO GIVE THANKS.
- It’s been said “A happy heart is a thankful heart.”
Boy this is true isn’t it!
Ever been around someone with a “sour” heart?
A “bitter” heart?
A “complaining” heart?
Not much fun would you agree!
There is a difference!
- There is a difference in the attitude of the heart.
- The Bible sure does have a lot to say on the subject of thanks… thanksgiving!
- What does the word thanks mean?
It comes from a Greek word that means to be grateful, to express gratitude towards.
The word gratitude comes from the same root word as grace.
And if you have experienced the grace of God, then you ought to learn to be a grateful person…a thankful person.
- Too many people today have learned to be complainers rather than thankers!
- What are some things you have to be thankful for this morning?
Your salvation, Church Family, health, roof over your head, food to eat, clothing to wear, car to get you around…and most of us have these things (a cell phone, computer, Ipod, tablet, big screen TV…)
- You sure do have a lot to be thankful for here in America don’t you!
TS – A 2nd thing we learn here about giving thanks…
2. DO SO AT ALL TIMES.
- Boy this is a tough one to learn…to learn to cultivate a heart of thanks, thanksgiving, gratefulness all the time!
- What does Paul say here?
“always giving thanks…”
- You say, wait a minute preacher!
Are you saying God expects me to be thankful when I just lost my job…I just lost several thousands of dollars in the stock market…my car just broke down and it’s going to cost $2000 to repair it…a close family member or friend just died…
- Ever heard of OT Job? OT Joseph?
Job lost his 10 children, wealth and health (and all at once) but he still gave God thanks!
Joseph was mistreated by his brothers, sold into slavery, unjustly accused and thrown into prison and all this happened over the course of 13 years of his life.
Yet, he still gave God thanks!
Paul was persecuted, stoned, left for dead, beaten and thrown into prison on several occasions, ship wrecked and faced all kinds of hardships.
Yet, he still gave God thanks!
- It’s been said, “To be thankful always is to recognize God's control of our lives in every detail as He seeks to conform us to the image of His Son.”
TS – A 3rd thing we learn…
3. BE SURE YOU’RE THANKING THE RIGHT ONE.
- Paul tells us here Who you should be thanking!
Who? GOD…in the name of your Lord Jesus Christ you should lift up your thanks to God…God the Father!
- Sadly there are many people in this world who don’t give God thanks…who don’t humble themselves before the Master of the Universe…who don’t recognize that He holds their very lives in the palm of His hands…that He is the One who ordains their days…the One gives them their strength, abilities, intelligence, their very life.
- Let me ask you this morning a very important question: Why should you give thanks to God?
1) Creator of the Universe 11) Never leaves or forsakes you
2) Created/gave you life 12) Disciplines you
3) Saved you 13) Conforms you to be more like His Son
4) Provides for you 14) Works things for good in your life
5) Shepherds you 15) Has a plan/purpose for you
6) Sustains you 16) Loves you
7) Guides you
8) Directs you
9) Abides in you
10) Teaches you
One well said: I am Thankful for...
....the taxes I pay....because it means I’m employed.
....the clothes that fit a little too snug....because it means I have enough to eat.
....for my shadow who watches me work....because it means I am out in the sunshine.
....a lawn that needs mowing, windows that need cleaning and gutters that need fixing
....because it means I have a home.
....the spot I find at the far end of the parking lot....because it means I am capable of walking.
....my huge heating bill....because it means I am warm.
....all the complaining I hear about our government....because it means we have freedom of speech.
....the lady behind me in church who sings off key....because it means that I can hear.
....the piles of laundry and ironing...because it means my loved ones are nearby.
....the alarm that goes off in the early morning hours....because it means that I’m alive.
....weariness and aching muscles at the end of the day....because it means I have been productive.
What are you thankful for today?