Thanksgiving with Paul (2)

Sermon Tone Analysis
View more →
2 Corinthians 9:15; Romans 1:8–11; 1 Thessalonians 5:18
A. We have much for which to Thank God
B. Thanksgiving with Paul.  Imagine he came to your house for the Thanksgiving meal.  {describe setting, table, food, etc.}  What the conversation at the table be?

A. Paul Thankful for Christ

(2 Cor. 9:15; 1 Cor. 15:57) 1. The two great things about salvation in Christ to Paul: The empty grave and the eternal gift

1. The Empty Grave

1 Corinthians 15:57 NASB95
57 but thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
This victory is the resurrection through Jesus.  Think of where Paul came from before he met Jesus.
a. Paul’s hatred of Christ before the cross
b. Finally, Paul’s friends had crucified Jesus to end it all
c. Then, suddenly, He was there again: the resurrection!
d. Paul guards the coats of those who stone Stephen
e. Paul puts many to death
f. The encounter with Christ on the Damascus road: “I am Jesus” 
Acts 9:1–9 NASB95
1 Now Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest, 2 and asked for letters from him to the synagogues at Damascus, so that if he found any belonging to the Way, both men and women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem. 3 As he was traveling, it happened that he was approaching Damascus, and suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him; 4 and he fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?” 5 And he said, “Who are You, Lord?” And He said, “I am Jesus whom you are persecuting, 6 but get up and enter the city, and it will be told you what you must do.” 7 The men who traveled with him stood speechless, hearing the voice but seeing no one. 8 Saul got up from the ground, and though his eyes were open, he could see nothing; and leading him by the hand, they brought him into Damascus. 9 And he was three days without sight, and neither ate nor drank.
g. Then he knew that Christ was alive

2. The eternal gift

2 Corinthians 9:15 NASB95
15 Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!
a. Paul had tried so hard before, had been so religious
b. Found that salvation was a gift to receive
Ephesians 2:8–9 NASB95
8 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; 9 not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.
300 Illustrations for Preachers (Thankfulness Is Good for You)
Thankfulness Is Good for YouPsalms 106:1; 136:1–3; Ephesians 1:16; 5:20; Philippians 4:6; 1 Thessalonians 5:18Preaching Themes: Thankfulness, Holidays_ThanksgivingPerhaps one reason it is God’s will for us to be thankful is that it is good for us.A 2009 study again showed that being thankful can improve your life. At the University of California, Davis, professor Robert Emmons said, “Those who offer gratitude are less envious and resentful. They sleep longer, exercise more and report a drop in blood pressure.” Emmons is the author of the book Thanks! How Practicing Gratitude Can Make You Happier, and an earlier book that describes gratitude as a “new science.” Brenda Shoshanna is a New York psychologist who agrees. “You can’t be depressed and grateful at the same time,” said Shoshanna, the author of 365 Ways to Give Thanks: One for Every Day of the Year. “It makes a person physically, mentally, in every way healthier.”—Jim L. Wilson and Rodger Russell263
Are you thankful today for your living Savior? Are you thankful for salvation?

B. Paul Thankful for Christians

(Phil. 1:3; Rom. 1:8–11)
Philippians 1:3 NASB95
3 I thank my God in all my remembrance of you,
1. “Upon every remembrance of you”
even those who might be overlooked by some people
Students in a Kentucky high school found a way to say thank you to the janitor that kept their school buildings in order. For Ricky Spaulding, it was just a routine call to go to the gymnasium to clean up a spill, but it was far from routine. This time, Spaulding was presented with a check for $1,900 to enable him and his wife to travel to Italy to see his two-month-old granddaughter. The baby was born to Spaulding’s son who is stationed in Italy with the U.S. Navy. “I was just absolutely speechless,” Spaulding said. “When I think of the generosity of the students and the staff here, just for me, just overflowing with emotion.”
How do we show thanks to those who serve us? Do we let them know how much they are appreciated?
—Jim L. Wilson and Rodger Russell261
261 Ralphie Aversa, “High School Surprises Janitor With $1,900 So He Can Visit His Granddaughter for the First Time,”
Wilson, J. L., & Russell, R. (2015). Thankful for the Janitor. In E. Ritzema (Ed.), 300 Illustrations for Preachers. Lexham Press.
2. Paul had a great love for the saints
Romans 1:8–11 NASB95
8 First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, because your faith is being proclaimed throughout the whole world. 9 For God, whom I serve in my spirit in the preaching of the gospel of His Son, is my witness as to how unceasingly I make mention of you, 10 always in my prayers making request, if perhaps now at last by the will of God I may succeed in coming to you. 11 For I long to see you so that I may impart some spiritual gift to you, that you may be established;
3. Jesus said in
John 13:35 NASB95
35 “By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”
a. Love longs for fellowship
b. What brings you back to church?
c. We ought to long to see the saints
4. Sometimes Christians do not live up to their potential
a. Sometimes they (you) do not talk like Christians
b. Sometimes they (you) do not walk like Christians 5. But there ought to be fierce loyalty among Christians 6. Can you be thankful for those sitting around you? Are you thankful for all believers?

C. Paul Thankful Constantly

1 Thessalonians 5:18 NASB95
18 in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
a. Stoned, shipwrecked, imprisoned: “Thank you, Lord” b. Poor eyesight, not handsome, short: “Thank you, Lord” Not enough gifts from the churches: “Thank you, Lord”
Thankful for Missing a Field Goal
Job 1:21; 1 Corinthians 10:31
Preaching Themes: Thankfulness
Many athletes show gratitude to God when they do something good, like hit a home run, score a touchdown, or win a race. Former Indianapolis Colts kicker Matt Stover has learned to give God the glory even in defeat. During the first quarter of Super Bowl XLIV, Stover made a 38-yard field goal and promptly pointed to the heavens, giving God glory for his achievement.
Of course many players do that. However, in the fourth quarter, with the game on the line, Stover missed a 51-yarder. Once again, he pointed to the heavens. That action didn’t escape notice: “CBS announcer Jim Nantz made note of the action, lauding Stover as a ‘spiritual man,’ grateful for divine blessing in success and failure, victory and defeat.”
The Bible teaches us to give glory to God in all we do, not just if it is successful. God receives much glory when we praise him and remain faithful, even when things do not go the way we would like them to.
—Jim L. Wilson and Rodger Russell262
262 Mark Bergin, “Grateful kicker,”
Wilson, J. L., & Russell, R. (2015). Thankful for Missing a Field Goal. In E. Ritzema (Ed.), 300 Illustrations for Preachers. Lexham Press.
2. The secret of thanksgiving for the Thessalonians
a. The letter’s theme is Christ’s return
b. Everyday, his Lord expected
Seeds of Discouragement
The devotional book Springs in the Valley tells of a man who found a barn where Satan kept his seeds ready to be sown in the human heart. He found that the seeds of discouragement were more numerous than the others and he learned that those seeds could be made to grow almost anywhere. But when Satan was questioned, he reluctantly admitted that there was one place in which he could never get them to thrive. “And where is that?” asked the man. Satan replied sadly, “In the heart of a grateful person.”1
III. Conclusion
A. Are you as Thankful as Paul?
B. If not, why not?
Let’s be thankful every day and so Honor our Lord
Related Media
See more
Related Sermons
See more