Two men were walking through a field one day when they spotted an ENRAGED BULL.
Instantly they darted toward the nearest fence.
The storming bull followed in hot pursuit, and it was soon apparent they wouldn’t make it.
Terrified, the one shouted to the other, “Put up a prayer, John. We’re in for it!”
John answered, “I can’t. I’ve never made a public prayer in my life.”
“Do it now!” implored his companion. “The bull is catching us!”
“All right,” panted John, “I’ll say the only prayer I know, the one my father used to repeat at the table: ‘O Lord, for what we are about to receive, make us truly thankful.’”
Two of the most gracious words in any language are “Thank You.” – – -Truly thankful
Good parents (use to) teach their children as soon as they learned to talk to say thank you when they are helped or given something.
As children of God, we ought constantly to thank our Heavenly Father for all His benefits.
Not just something we might do because it is “Thanksgiving weekend” in Canada
The psalmist declared, “Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise, give thanks to Him and praise His name” (Psalm 100:4).
Our thank you list to God could be endless and so should our praise.
Make sure, especially during this time of the year, that you find a quiet moment, count your blessings, and thank the One who makes them possible.
James said, “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows” (James 1:17).
The greatest gift to thank God for…
Our greatest gift is eternal life through God’s Son, Jesus Christ.
As Paul said, “thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!” (2 Corinthians 9:15).
Jesus was the Creator of the universe and the only begotten Son of God, but He was also a thankful person.
When He walked this earth, He expressed words of thanksgiving to His Father.
When did Jesus say thank you?
JESUS GAVE THANKS FOR FOOD
Matthew 15:35-37a “And directing the crowd to sit down on the ground, he took the seven loaves and the fish, and having given thanks he broke them and gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds. And they all ate and were satisfied…”
The disciples stated that their resources were inadequate.
But Jesus intended to use these limited resources: “seven loaves and a few small fish” to feed a multitude. [multitude = thousands of people – too big a crowd to number]
So filled with a heart overflowing with thanksgiving to God who supplies all things…
With an attitude of gratitude He prayed and thanked the Father for what they had
And, in doing so, our heavenly Father multiplied the merger resources and met the needs of the multitudes…
The Key: Giving Thanks for what you do have
When Jesus gave thanks the hand of God was revealed and the miracle became possible
After He blessed the food they had received, He gave it to the disciples and they gave to the crowd.
It is to be assumed that as the disciples broke off bread and passed it, that the miracle kept happening in their hands; the bread continued to be available no matter how much they gave to others
So we see that Jesus gave thanks to God before He ate.
NOT EVERYONE GIVES THANKS
A godly farmer was asked to dine with a well-known gentleman. While there, he asked a blessing at the table as he was accustomed to do at home.
His host said jeeringly, “That’s old fashioned; it is not customary nowadays for well- educated people to pray before they eat.”
The farmer responded that with him it was customary, but that some of those on his farm never prayed over their food.
“Ah, then,” said the gentleman, “they are sensible and enlightened. Who are they?”
“My pigs,” the farmer answered.
JESUS SAID THANK YOU FOR ANSWERED PRAYER
John 11:38-42 “Then Jesus, deeply moved again, came to the tomb. It was a cave, and a stone lay against it. Jesus said, “Take away the stone.” Martha, the sister of the dead man, said to him, “Lord, by this time there will be an odour, for he has been dead four days.” Jesus said to her, “Did I not tell you that if you believed you would see the glory of God?” So they took away the stone. And Jesus lifted up his eyes and said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me. I knew that you always hear me, but I said this on account of the people standing around, that they may believe that you sent me.”
Jesus stood with tear stained face before the tomb of His friend, Lazarus, and told the people to “take away the stone”(John 11:39, NIV).
With the grave stone taken away, the tension mounted. What would Jesus do?
Jesus then lifted up is eyes to overlook all the difficulties around Him
So that He might fix His eyes upon His heavenly Father who has all power
“then Jesus looked up and said ‘Father I thank You that You have heard Me, but I said this for the benefit of the people standing here, that they may believe that You sent Me.'”
His thanksgiving expressed the unshaken assurance that God heard and answered His prayers
Prayer is a privilege, but answered prayer is a blessing.
God said, “Call on Me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know” (Jeremiah 33:3, NIV).
We need to stop now and then and thank the Father for prayers He has answered in our lives….
God has certainly rolled away some stones for each one of us
And, we need to thank Him for the privilege of prayer – period!
STORY – GRATITUDE:
While on a short-term missions trip, Pastor Jack Hinton was leading worship at a leper colony on the island of Tobago.
A woman who had been facing away from the pulpit turned around.
“It was the most hideous face I had ever seen,” Hinton said. “The woman’s nose and ears were entirely gone.
She lifted a fingerless hand in the air and asked, “‘Can we sing Count Your Many Blessings?'”
Overcome with emotion, Hinton left the service.
He was followed by a team member who said, “I guess you’ll never be able to sing that song again.”
“Yes I will,” he replied, “but I’ll never sing it the same way.”
We need to be thankful for the many blessings we have received through prayer!
JESUS SAID THANK YOU FOR CALVARY’S CROSS.
Luke 22:14-20 “And when the hour came, he reclined at table, and the apostles with him. And he said to them, “I have earnestly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer. For I tell you I will not eat it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God.” And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he said, “Take this, and divide it among yourselves. For I tell you that from now on I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.” And he took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” And likewise the cup after they had eaten, saying, “This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood.”
When He instituted the Lord’s Supper, Jesus gave thanks twice.
He gave thanks before breaking the bread and before drinking the cup.
The bread and wine symbolized His crucified body and His shed blood.
Our Saviour thanked His Father for His saving death.
Communion actually has a three-fold aspect – all leading to thanksgiving…
It looks back in faith as it remembers the Cross.
We must be thankful for His willingness to die on the Cross and for all that was accomplished through His death and then His resurrection
It can become so “common place” that we forget to say ‘Thank You’
It looks ahead in hope as it waits for the day we will eat with the Lord in the kingdom.
Again, we should thank God for the hope that we have – not the hopelessness most live in and with
My conversation with an intern – Medical clinic
I am so thankful for the hope that I have!
It looks around in love as we see Christians all around the globe and down the tunnel of history eating of the same loaf and drinking of the same cup.
We are one with those who believe no matter what nation they live in
We are one with all those who have believed down through the centuries
Hebrews 12:1a “Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses…”
We need to be thankful for all those who have carried and protected this precious message of the Gospel of the Kingdom
We may never agree on end times, the work of the Spirit, or all points of doctrine.
But we find unity at the Lord’s table, at the foot of the Cross.
Concerning Communion, Jesus didn’t say, “Teach it.” He didn’t say, “Think about it.”
He certainly didn’t say “argue over it.”
He said, “Do this.”
To remember and to give thanks…
Our best example for all of life is Jesus Christ. He was grateful.
Therefore we too must be a people of gratitude.
We can start by expressing thanks for food, answered prayer and Christ’s death on the cross.
How to Thank God at Thanksgiving and all other times (daily):
We give thanks to God …
1. BY SINGING TO HIM
“Sing out your thanks to Him; sing praises to our God…” Psalm 147:7 (LB)
“Shout with joy to the Lord. Worship the Lord with gladness. Come before Him, singing with joy. Acknowledge that the Lord is God! He made us, and we are His… Enter His gates with thanksgiving; go into His courts with praise. Give thanks to Him and bless His name… For the Lord is good. His unfailing love continues forever…!” Psalm 100 (NLT)
2. BY PRAYING TO HIM
“Give thanks to the Lord and pray to Him.” Psalms 105:1 (NCV)
“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done. If you do this, you will experience God’s peace, which is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7 (NLT)
3. BY GIVING TO HIM
“Give an offering to show thanks to God. Give Him what you promised.” Psalm 50:14 (NCV)
“… Your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.” 2 Corinthians 9:11 (NIV)
“Celebrate the Harvest Festival, to honour the Lord your God by bringing Him a freewill offering in proportion to the blessing He has given you. Be joyful in the Lord’s presence, together with your children…” Deuteronomy 16:10-11 (GN)
“Now, our God, we thank You… These things did not really come from me and my people. Everything comes from You; we have only given You back what You gave us… Lord, we have gathered all this to build your Temple. But everything has come from You and everything belongs to You. You test people’s hearts and You are happy when people do what is right. I am happy to give all these things, and I gave with an honest heart. And Your people gathered here are happy to give to You too, and we rejoice to see their giving.” 1 Chronicles 29:13-16 (NCV)
4. BY SHARING OUR TESTIMONY ABOUT HIM
“Thank the Lord! Praise His name! Tell the world about His wondrous love and how mighty He is!” Isaiah 12:4 (LB)
“Be very careful to never forget what you’ve seen God doing for you. May His miracles have a deep and permanent effect upon your lives! Tell your children and your grandchildren about the glorious miracles He did.” Deuteronomy 4:9 (LB)
“Whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God…”Colossians 3:17 (NIV)
“Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:18 (NIV)
EXAMPLE OF WHAT GIVING THANKS CAN DO:
The Power of Thanksgiving:
Acts 16:22-34 “The crowd joined in attacking them, and the magistrates tore the garments off them and gave orders to beat them with rods. And when they had inflicted many blows upon them, they threw them into prison, ordering the jailer to keep them safely. Having received this order, he put them into the inner prison and fastened their feet in the stocks. About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them, and suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken. And immediately all the doors were opened, and everyone’s bonds were unfastened. When the jailer woke and saw that the prison doors were open, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself, supposing that the prisoners had escaped. But Paul cried with a loud voice, “Do not harm yourself, for we are all here.” And the jailer called for lights and rushed in, and trembling with fear he fell down before Paul and Silas. Then he brought them out and said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” And they said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.” And they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all who were in his house. And he took them the same hour of the night and washed their wounds; and he was baptized at once, he and all his family. Then he brought them up into his house and set food before them. And he rejoiced along with his entire household that he had believed in God.