November 18, 2018

Be Thankful

Preacher:

Member and I just look forward to November I look forward to November every year and it goes by so fast right I wish I could just push pause and just kind of have it be November for and it really extended amount of time but I just I love the fall here in Arizona I love the beautiful sunsets aren't they just amazing the purple and the pink just all around the horizon and I think of all the weeks of the year this is probably my favorite the week of Thanksgiving because it's still a little chilly in the morning but it can it's nice and warm in the afternoon we got the beautiful sunsets and then this week of Thanksgiving we got a short we can then you got Thanksgiving to really enjoy and then there's a really big football game coming up this weekend that I won't talk about anyway so I'm looking forward to that and then we have and then right after Thanksgiving then we have Christmas season and it just I just I love this time of year and so what we're going to do today we're going to spend time focusing on things that we should be thankful for. Usually I'm preaching a series and this year I'm not I'm kind of in between series and so I'm going to do an actual Thanksgiving sermon and I'm trying to get to my slide there we go there we go I'm saying for that that works.

Earlier this week I was looking online and there was an article that I thought was very interesting very appropriate for this time of year but the article said that there is a single word that you and I can say and if it comes out of our mouth it will increase our happiness by at least 25 percent I have no idea how they calculated that but can anyone here guess what that one word or phrase is. Thank you that's right it's thing sir thank you that is the word and so I want to see how happy we can all get so on the count of 3 I want you all to say thanks Ready 123 here welcome.

Now you have your guy look at all your smiling your sleeve where Buster Were you must of work well the article said this is that it turns out that saying thank you or simply thinks or expressing gratitude by any other means can provide an immediate gratifying an even sustained boost of happiness I think that's true a lot of times I think that's true the article goes on let me just read a little bit of it says the research comes from Martin Seligman Ph D. the director of the positive cycle cycle Psychology Center at the University of Pennsylvania and the author of a coming book he says that he and his team asked 411 participants to perform a variety of so-called happiness interventions I've never heard that phrase before but I'm going to use it we need more happiness interventions are alive don't we or tasks believe to boost happiness levels and this is really interesting in one intervention participants were asked to write and write thank you letters to people from their past and then hand deliver them and when was the last time you wrote a handwritten letter to somebody let alone deliver it you know we just don't do this anymore and he said the folks who completed this task continued to float on a happier altitude and entire months later kind of amazing right I think you should put that to the test right Henri no delivered to somebody but you know I read this and I believe this 100 percent I absolutely think that this is true this will work what we think about is going to a factor attitude I for instance what happens when you think about the things that upset you. Well then you get upset right and then you're constantly assessing about them and then you're all in a really bad mood and the opposite is true what happens when you think about things that you are thankful for the new you are in a much better mood in fact I don't think this should surprise us this is a pop psychology this is actually something that the Bible teaches us and one verse that tells us about the power of being thankful is 1st Thessalonians 516318 that verse it says Rejoice always pray without ceasing give thanks in all circumstances for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you and you notice how it says give thanks in all circumstances I know that's can be very difficult but this means that we need to take time and look for something positive or something that we can be thankful in every single situation that we're in and even if you're going through a very very difficult time where you're carrying a heavy burden there are still going to be things that you and I can be thankful for and so this passage is telling us to look for them and to give thanks to God in those situations well this morning we're going to be doing a Thanksgiving sermon and we're going to be reading through Psalm 136 so please open your Bibles right now to Psalm 136 and we'll all put the the slides up on the the screen as well what does the nice thing about Psalm 136 King David wrote this. And I don't think that King David was thinking that Psalm 136 was going to make for a perfect Thanksgiving 4 point sermon outline some day but it does it work really really well so what we're going to do is we're going to look at 4 things about God that we can be thankful for and then we're going to do something that I've never done before in all 20 years of preaching I've never done this before but we're going to do it today and hopefully goes well so instead of just talking about things that we should be thankful about God after each point what we're going to do is take about 30 or 45 seconds and we're just going to have a time of silent prayer were all of us can literally thank God for these things that David is thankful for OK so we're going through this what I want to be doing is thinking what am I going to be thinking God when it comes to this subject in just a few minutes so here in Psalm 136 there are 4 things about God that we can be thankful for and so as David begins this psalm by expressing his think fullness for who God is and so the 1st thing we can be think will about God is for his person his person.

Let's read the 1st 3 verses of Psalm 130 things that go up on the screen as well. King David writes Give same to the Lord for He is good for his steadfast love endures forever give thanks to the God of gods for his steadfast love endures forever give thanks to the Lord of Lords for his steadfast love endures forever and so we can give thanks to God for who he is and this passage says that he is good he is the God of gods and he is the lord of all lords so ultimately God is number one he is the preeminent in the universe. One thing I really like to do and I'm a pastor and I like theology and so I like to study the attributes of God and I've done like a sermon series on that a while ago but if you were to think about all of the attributes all the characteristics about God which one would be your favorite and maybe kind of hard to pinpoint one and say well I like this about God more than the others and maybe depending on your mood in the situation that you're in in life you might appreciate one of God's actually buttes more than another but I find myself at least at this stage of my life the one attribute that I appreciate the most is really the attribute that kind of holds all the other attributes together I really appreciate God's immutability. Besides it's just a fun word to say all right his immutability and immutability just simply means something that is immutable it does not change over time and it's not able to change so to say that God is immutable means that he and his character has other attributes they do not change over time and they cannot change over time and this is something that definitely differentiates God from us because we change we change all the time we change physically when was the last time you looked in the mirror and on Hayward the young person go see in the mirror or you know this is this is the holiday season we all know how we're going to change right we're going to gain a few pounds probably over the next couple months we also change emotionally I mean how many different emotions have you had today I give your 2 year old you had 500 different emotions you know motions were always changing there are many people in the world that we live in who think that things that can't be changed can be changed just by wanting them to be changed right and so this is something I think a very important attribute about God and the reason reason why I appreciate God's immutability is that means that God is always going to be certain things God is always going to be holy

he will always be holy he will always be just God will always be righteous and so what that means for you and for me is when we wake up in the morning we do not have to wonder if God is more or less holy than he was yesterday and we don't have to wonder. Are all of God's moral qualities and moral commands and he's given to us or all of those the same today or as God changed his mind when he said that something was wrong a 1000 years ago or 5000 years ago is still wrong today dealing with moral issues OK because God is immutable he doesn't change and so we don't have to wake up every day and wonder now what kind of god are we dealing with today he's immutable he doesn't change he's always holy he's always just and he is always righteous and on the softer side of God's attributes it also means that God is always merciful and that he's always loving and that he's always gracious

and that he's always faithful to us he's always going to be faithful to you he's always going to be faithful even when we are not faithful to him.

Passage and 1st US alone eons so wonderful passage 1st US alone eons 523 and 24 it says Now May the God of Peace him selfe same to fire you completely and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ that's something we really need to have happen we need to be when Christ returns we need to be kept blameless and holy and in verse 24 it says He who calls you is faithful he will surely do this. So God is faithful to us he is the one who starts our salvation he's the one who completes our salvation he is faithful to us and that will never change so during this week of Thanksgiving from the depths of our souls we can thank god for show Yes And so what I want to do just right now after talking about who God is and hopefully giving you just a few minutes to think about things about who God is I want you to just take 30 seconds 45 seconds and just pray to God and thank him right now for who is head bowed in for in silent prayer right now.

Your father is the same as in your words there is there is no one like you you are the God of Gods your THE KING OF KINGS you are the board of Lords You are all powerful. All Knowing you are all loving and that's such a blessing to know that you will never change and will always be merciful to us always be righteous and holy and you will always be faithful to us even when you're not faithful to you you alone are truly worthy to be praised and so heavenly father this morning we praise you and thank you for who you are.

Well thankfully there is more that we can be thankful to God than just who he is as David continues in Psalm $136.00 He also says that we can be thankful for God's power we need thankful for God's power and will read verses 4 through 9 so 136 verses 4 through 9

King David continues and he says. To him who alone and does great wonders for his steadfast love endures forever to him by who by understanding made the heavens for a steadfast love endures forever to him who spread out the earth above the waters for a steadfast love endures forever to him who made the great lights for a steadfast love endures forever the sun to rule over the day for his steadfast love endures forever in the moon in the stars to rule over the night for his steadfast love endures forever you know these are talking about his acts of creation and His power and it's great to read those things but I think one of those verses verse 5 can probably sum up all the rest of these things that we just read in verse 5 it says to him who by understanding made the heavens

now personally speaking some of you might be able to relate to this I am not a very creative person and so when I see creative people doing their thing I'm very impressed with them I really admire and respect them like people who are able to paint pictures they don't have this idea of this mental image in their mind actually take a pen or a paintbrush and actually make it create something I'm very impressed with that or inventors who realize there is there is a problem and I want to create something invent something like an engineer to to fix that problem I'm really impressed with those people because I'm not wired that way I'm just happy that I can make coffee in the morning right and they can make breakfast so I'm really appreciative of those people but I really enjoy learning about creation because God's fingerprints are on everything so I love learning about creation I love learning about physics and the universe and the more that we learn I think the more we realize we really don't know that much at all. But we also learn that as we see everything in all of creation there is an incredible amount of intelligence needed in necessary to create things

I want to. I looked this up because obviously I don't know these things off the top of my head but I was just thinking you know what kind of wisdom was needed to make just the human body this is this machine this human machine that we live in that the sustains life some of you probably know this if you took biology or or things like that but there are 11 different systems in our body that need to work in order for us to live in function properly and these systems are also dependent upon each other and if one of the systems breaks down then you know depends on the system you know we might die and so here are the systems that God in His wisdom created just 2 of them the human machine these bodies 1st we have the circulatory system gets blood all around the body the 2nd is the digestive system so we can pull out the nutrients from all the food that we eat the 3rd is the endocrine system and this is the system that provides chemical communications within the body then we also have and I'm probably gonna mispronounce this and I was probably asleep on this day in science class when I talk about this but is it is the interview Metairie system and the X. occurrences Yeah go ahead laugh but you'd mispronounced it too but this is the skin the hair the nails the sweat the glands that's that system we also have the lymphatic system in the immune system and this kind of helps protect us from diseases we also have the muscular system which allows us to get stuff done we have the nervous system All right we also have the renal system of the year in every system in the excretory system this basically gets all the waste out of our bodies we have the reproductive system so mankind keeps going we also have the respiratory system and we also have the skeletal system.

God knew everything that these human body machines and needed in order for us to survive we see an incredible amount of wisdom in creation and that's just us think of all the other systems that exist in the world the ecosystem the solar system all of these things all of it shows us the wisdom of God and His power and they all have to work perfectly so in verse 5 of Psalm $136.00 it says to him who by understanding made the heavens we have we have no idea we can't even grasp how much wisdom God has and when God created everything he didn't just create the materials but also the systems that hold it all together and make it work and so this is evidence of God's power God is so powerful and we can thank GOD for HIS POWER So let's take a moment just right now and you all together let's all think God and praise him for his power of prayer.

Dear God thank you so much for yourself to us in creation. Your wisdom is just so evident it is amazing how the universe it holds together and you see the delicate balance of all life all around us the Father on a more personal I thank you for exercising your power over sin and death by sending your son to die for ours is truly there is none like him so thank you for using your power to display your goodness to.

Christ for.

Well the next thing that we can be thankful for thankful about God is what kind of education is power to the next step you know God did not just create the universe because he was bored that he didn't create the universe because he wanted to show off he created the universe with a purpose there is a purpose for everything and so we can be thankful for God's purpose.

Or read verses 2010 through 22 in just a 2nd but as we see God fulfilling his purpose we see that as he's directing human history I don't know about you but if I'm doing an activity I always have to know you know what is the point of this otherwise. I'm going to just be incredibly bored and frustrated you probably are the same way like for instance when it comes to church and what is the purpose of church why are we here we have a mission statement as a church developing committed followers of Jesus Christ of the teaching encouraging to God's word that's the purpose for us coming together what's the purpose of football right to score touchdowns kick field goals what is the purpose of politicians to drive us crazy right now no actually there's a good purpose to create laws and really make life better and we have there are some good politicians out there but children when they're really young they're hardwired to want to know purpose behind everything and so what is the one question that kids are always asking their parents why why because they want to know the reason they want to know the purpose and so we need to know purpose so we ask the question why did God create the universe why did he create you and me and in His Word He tells us He created us so that he could share his love with us so that we can worship Him we have an eternal purpose that goes beyond this life and so King David writes down how God used Israel during a brief part of human history of redemptive history and he talks about the purpose that God brought about by using Israel as his servant so let's read verses 10 through 22

so modern 36 verses 10 to 22 King David is talking about God's purpose here he says verse 10. To him who struck down the 1st born of Egypt for a steadfast love endures forever and brought Israel out from among them for a steadfast love endures forever with a strong hand and an outstretched arm for a steadfast love endures forever to him who divided the Red Sea into for his steadfast love endures forever and made Israel pass through the midst of it for a steadfast love endures forever but overthrew Pharaoh and his host in the Red Sea for a steadfast love endures forever to him who led his people through the wilderness for a steadfast love endures forever to him who struck down great kings for a steadfast love endures forever and killed my kings for a steadfast love endures forever see Han king of the Amorites for a steadfast love endures forever and August king of Bashan for a steadfast love endures forever and gave their land as a heritage for a steadfast love endures forever a heritage to Israel his servants for his steadfast love endures forever and so in these few verses here King David is remembering Israel's past and how God brought them brought them up out of Egypt and David writes just a very small sampling of what God has done in the world to bring about his purpose and if you continue reading in the Bible it tells us how God sent His Son Jesus Christ into the world to die on the cross for our sins so that we could live forever and then if you keep reading your realize that some day Jesus Christ is coming back so that we can be with Him forever and so we see in God's word God's purpose for us that is God's purpose and a couple of verses that teach us about God's purpose and they specifically state will God's purposes one is 2nd term of the 19.

A 2nd Timothy 19 This verse says who saved us and called us to a holy calling not because of our works but because of his own purpose and grace which he gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began and so this is telling us that our salvation is God's purpose this was his plan another passage which is very well known so many probably have some of this memorized maybe make McFadden's class he's going to be having us memorize this Romans 828 and 29. Romans 82829 but this passage says and we know that for those who love God all things work together for good for those who are called according to His purpose for those who are me for new he also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son in order that he might be the 1st born among many brothers. This is our purpose this is God's purpose God's purpose is for you and for me to be saved through our face in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ and that someday we will be in the image of Jesus Christ Himself that is our purpose and so as we go through this life sometimes we don't remember this purpose is not at the forefront of our minds and we go through very difficult situations and that's when we can just stop and remember this life is not the point there is a greater purpose that God has for us and when we think about him we do well on God's ultimate purpose for us it can get us through any situation in this life and so right now let's take a moment and let's thank God for not only having an eternal purpose for us but also for revealing to us as well let's pray.

Your father we thank you. First for creating us but then also revealing to us your eternal purpose father we all look forward to the day when we will see our Savior face to face and in that moment all of our questions will start to be answered and are facing you is going to be rewarded but until that time lord we wait we wait patiently and we work to spread the message of your Grace to the world around us but father than this moment as we reflect on what you have written to us in your holy word we thank you for revealing to us your purpose in Christ and we pray men well finally there's one more thing now we can be thankful to God for as we see here in Psalm 136 and having an eternal purpose it should be enough knowing that there's something beyond this life however it's not like we have to wait until the afterlife eternal life for us to enjoy life God also gives us good things in this life that we can be thankful for and so the last thing that we can be thankful for is for God's provision God provides all good things for us let's read these last few verses here and Psalm 136. First 2313 says. It is he who remembered us in our low a state for a steadfast love endures forever and he rescued us from our foes for a steadfast love endures forever he who gives food to all flesh for a steadfast love endures forever give thanks to the God of heaven for his steadfast love endures forever God provides and so hopefully this week I don't know if you how I guess specific tradition if maybe around the Thanksgiving table if you just go around and have everyone talk about things that you're thankful for but this is one thing that we should always be thinking about what has God provided for us individually and even collectively that we need to thank God for and I realize that everyone in this room we're all going to have a different situation there are some people in this room who are thinking you know my life has been pretty easy so far everything in my life seems to go pretty well I have good relationships have a great relationship with my with my spouse with my parents with my children or whatever it is I'm doing well at my job or I'm doing really well in school or in elementary school or in some of your like yeah that's that has not been my life I've had some significant burdens to carry but for L. of us no matter what kind of life you've had all of us are here and it is obvious that God provides for us on a daily basis he provides us with everything that we need not in just the afterlife the life to come but in this life right now verse 25 says He who gives food to all flesh for a steadfast love endures forever so God doesn't just provide for us he provides for every living creature. I think we're very fortunate to live in this day in this age and also that we live in America where we have more than enough food to get by right absolutely more than enough and this week in particular all of us are probably going to eat 2 weeks worth of food right and if you do that's you know we're not going to judge you this is a no judgment zone on things giving weaker you can be as much as you want but God's provision goes so much further than just the food that we're going to eat because ultimately everything good in this life has been given to us by God It begins with life itself it talks about the food in the shelter that God gives us but ultimately God provides us with our salvation God is our great provider so I hope that you take time this week throughout this week to seriously think about and spend time thanking God for the things that he has provided for you but I want to do that right now so let's take one last prayer and let's spend some time thinking about and thanking God for the things that he has provided for us the square and pray.

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