Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Myth Thanksgiving

There are few subjects that I have thought more about over the last several years than being thankful. I believe with all my heart that our decision to be thankful - with every beat of our heart - is the single biggest spiritual step we can make. Since we just got in from the birth of our new grandson the night before I presented this lesson (see previous blog), I had to be careful that I didn't become a blubbering grandad all through it as I reflected on how thankful I was. So here are the main points of what I shared.
Introduction: Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday of the whole year. I grew up with it being important to our family. I still remember having to miss Thanksgiving when I went off to Georgia Christian in the seventh grade at the ripe old age of thirteen. That was a sad Thanksgiving for me. But it is a memorial feast, to remember our blessings, and not unlike the Jewish feasts of old or even the agape feasts of the new. Still, our view of thanksgiving is impacted by our culture and traditions. Here are some simple thoughts about the worldly vs. the godly view of thankfulness.
1. Thanksgiving is a holiday, but giving thanks is a way of life! (or should be)
A. It's hard to commercialize thankfulness - it fosters contentment and good stewardship.
B. It gives us great priorities, like family, friends, and good food, but it must be a heart matter not just an event.
C. Thanksgiving is the way Christians choose to look at life! Makes us spiritual adults. Look at 1 Thess.5:16-18 and see what God expects us to always do!
2. Thanksgiving is not just gladness and appreciation! (Dogs & cats can do that!)
A. It's a matter of building character. Character is controlling and defining needs. We always seek a higher value in life because we are seeking God.
B. Our Thanksgiving is recognizing and seeking God - our greatest choice!
C. It's all part of our journey in Him. 2 Cor.4:4-15
3. Thanksgiving (the heart not the holiday) is the foundation upon which every spiritual quality rests (and grows).
A. Faith comes from what you tell yourself. Thanksgiving is what you tell yourself!
B. Each fruit of the Spirit rests on being thankful - Gal.5:22-23
C. Thanksgiving is relationship cement! It holds together and builds every relationship from marriage and friendships to God and Jesus and His church. Relationships don't die when we choose to be thankful! We choose it and cause it! Look at 2 Cor.9:6-15 and think about how what we do causes others to be thankful. It's never just me being thankful!
Conclusion: Being real is being thankful. Being real must be a full time job. It's time to stop being part time with Jesus.

No comments: