Thanksgiving Turkey & Canadian Geese (11/23/14)

Posted by on Nov 26, 2014 in Sermons | 1 comment

 Pastor Jim’s sermon on Sunday November 23, 2014 came as we neared the Thanksgiving holiday.  As we anticipate the aroma of turkey, stuffing, and the vision of piles of mashed potatoes, what are we really thankful for?  
Hit the play button (the recording is from the 2nd service), scroll  down,  and follow along.

 

 

The text was based on Psalm 100 and on 1 Corinthians 1:4-9.  In the recording, Pastor Jim read Psalm 100 from the Living Bible (“Life Application Bible”) but moved to the King James version for the 1 Corinthians passage.  Open the drop down boxes to follow the scripture readings…

Psalm 100

New Living Bible

1 Shout with joy to the Lord, all the earth!

2 Worship the Lord with gladness. Come before him, singing with joy. 

3 Acknowledge that the Lord is God! He made us, and we are his. We are his people, the sheep of his pasture.

4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving;  go into his courts with praise.   Give thanks to him and praise his name.

5 For the Lord is good.  His unfailing love continues forever,  and his faithfulness continues to each generation.

 

New King James Version

1 Make a joyful shout to the Lord, all you lands!

2 Serve the Lord with gladness;  Come before His presence with singing.

3 Know that the Lord, He is God;  It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves;  We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.

4 Enter into His gates with thanksgiving,  And into His courts with praise.  Be thankful to Him, and bless His name.

5 For the Lord is good;   His mercy is everlasting,  And His truth endures to all generations.

Holy Bible, New Living Translation ®, copyright © 1996, 2004 by Tyndale Charitable Trust. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers. All rights reserved.

1 Corinthians

New King James Version

4 I thank my God always concerning you for the grace of God which was given to you by Christ Jesus,

5 that you were enriched in everything by Him in all utterance and all knowledge,

6 even as the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you, 

7 so that you come short in no gift, eagerly waiting for the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ, 

8 who will also confirm you to the end, that you may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.

9 God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

 

New Living Bible

4 I always thank my God for you and for the gracious gifts he has given you, now that you belong to Christ Jesus.

5 Through him, God has enriched your church in every way—with all of your eloquent words and all of your knowledge.

6 This confirms that what I told you about Christ is true. 

7 Now you have every spiritual gift you need as you eagerly wait for the return of our Lord Jesus Christ. 

8 He will keep you strong to the end so that you will be free from all blame on the day when our Lord Jesus Christ returns. 

9 God will do this, for he is faithful to do what he says, and he has invited you into partnership with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

Holy Bible, New Living Translation ®, copyright © 1996, 2004 by Tyndale Charitable Trust. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers. All rights reserved.

 

 

 

Stay At the Nest…

The story is told of a female goose.  She was nesting some recently laid eggs when she got up, crossed the street,  and got hit by a car.  The driver stopped, gathered the injured goose, and took her to the vet.  As she was on the mend, the goose’s mate “kept the home fires going.”  Mr. Goose was faithful.  He didn’t flee and run at the first time of trouble.  He guarded the nest and waited for his mate to return.

Geese are not only monogamous, they are faithful.  They don’t worry or cut and run.  They hang in there until the end.

 

It’s About God’s Faithfulness, Not our Stuff (ing)…

Sometimes we get so focused on what we have or on what we can or can’t do, that we leave God’s faithfulness out of the mix.  What are you thankful for?  For most of us when we’re asked that question we turn to the things we have or to the people around us.  But have you ever been thankful for the things that someone else has?  Take a look at what Paul said in verse 4 of our reading:

I always thank my God for you and for the gracious gifts he has given you, now that you belong to Christ Jesus.

“For the gift God has given You”?!?  Paul is demonstrating true agape.  Thankfulness isn’t just about what we have. Thankfulness is about what God has done for OTHERS.   Thankfulness is for the character of our God.  For a God who is faithful to us and who gives so many gifts.  With this focus, it doesn’t really matter who receives the gifts.  We are thankful for God for His nature and for His “Goose-Like” faithfulness.

Yes we’re thankful for the stuff and stuffing… but what do we do about that?  But are we doing our part to be that blessing to others?  Because God is faithful, as we look at Him gratitude will flow out of our hearts.  Unless we consider God’s faithfulness we’ll fall into the trap of feeling we are entitled to the things God gives us.  Instead, we need to be grateful for everything God gives us.

“Faithfulness is one of the defining attributes of the Divine.”

-Dr. Leonard Sweeton

God can’t help but be faithful.  And out of that faithfulness, He asks us to be faithful in return.  and out of that faithfulness will flow a heart of gratitude.  God’s faithfulness give us hope.  In difficult times, God will be get us through to the other side.  Gratitude + Faith is a tenant of our faith.

Has God ever Let Us Down???…

Our God sticks around, even when we walk away (think of the “Prodigal Father” in Luke 15).

In Deuteronomy chapter 8, we are told over and over again to remember God.  To remember how He has been faithful, how He’s stuck with us…

  •  Deut 8:2
    Remember how the Lord your God led you all the way in the desert these forty years, to humble you and to test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commands.
  • Deut 8:11-12
    Be careful that you do not forget the Lord your God, failing to observe his commands, his laws and his decrees that I am giving you this day.
  • Deut 8:18
    But remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms his covenant, which he swore to your forefathers, as it is today.

God always wants us to succeed.  He has called every believer to greatness?  But, Do We Trust Him???  Daniel and his friends did.  Remember how they continued to trust God even in the face of being thrown into the fiery furnace.  God can deliver us from anything.

 

Attitude of Gratitude… or Grumbitude??

Psalm 100:4 tells us to:

“Enter His Gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise.”

When we come to church- for worship, Bible Study or even Team Meetings- what’s  our attitude?  Do we really come “into His gates” with praise and thanksgiving.  Are we filled with joy?  Or, are we filled with doubt and grumbling?

God is calling us to be filled with Joy!!! To have an attitude of gratitude.  When we think of God’s  faithfulness and of His  grace, we can’t help but be thankful.  How can you grumble when you consider verses such as…

Ephesians 2:8-9
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith — and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—  not by works, so that no one can boast. 10 For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
NIV

 

Could it be that our lack of Joy and Gratitude has led us to an attitude of entitlement?  That it’s owed to me?  That somehow we just expect things to be handed to us and when we don’t get what we want we take on a spirit of grumbling instead of joy?  If something’s owed to you, you won’t be thankful for it.

There is a story of a monk who joined a monastery under a pledge of silence.  He was only allowed to speak two words a year, and that was to be done during an annual meeting with the abbot.  A the end of the new monk’s first year, he went to the abbot.   After enduring a full year of silence, the first words out of his mouth were: “Food Bad.”  The next year, he choose his two words to be “Room Small.”   The third year, he said “Bed Uncomfortable.”

On the occasion of his fourth year, he said: “Want Out.”  The abbot responded, “I’m not surprised.  All you’ve done since you got here is complain.”

Like this monk, are we thankful continuously or are we grumbling continuously?

God is fulfilling His purpose in the universe.  He’s got it figured out and through His faithfulness He will accomplish what He wants.  He can’t help but be faithful to us.

“God doesn’t play dice with the universe.”

– Albert Einstein

God’s not stumped by anything we’re facing.  He says “seek me and I’ll show you the way.  Just be faithful unto me.  I’ll make it happen.”

 

Called to “Stink the Place Up”…

When getting ready for the Thanksgiving dinner, the house is filled with a lot of smells.  Good smells.  As we keep an attitude of gratitude, we are called to make some good smells too.

Check out 2 Corinthians 2:14-15…

But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumphal procession in Christ and through us spreads everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of him.  For we are to God the aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing.
NIV

Do we have a fragrance that tells others that we have been in the presence of Almighty God?

  • Ezekiel 20:41  “I will accept you as fragrant incense when I bring you out from the nations and gather you from the countries where you have been scattered, and I will show myself holy among you in the sight of the nations.”
  • Ps 116:17  “I will sacrifice a thank offering to you and call on the name of the Lord.”

When we consider God’s faithfulness, we can’t avoid developing an attitude of gratitude.

How’s your aroma?  Do you model the Canadian Goose’s faithfulness?  Let the goose’s faithfulness remind you of God’s faithfulness, and then offer “a sacrifice of thanks and praise.”

 

 


 

Quiz Time!

As you reflect on what you’ve just heard/read, give this quiz a try.  If you don’t understand an answer (or if you disagree with the “correct” answer, post a comment…

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One Comment

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  1. Chris Valianti

    Great sermon Pastor Jim. Thank you Chuck for posting.

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