Below are notes to a sermon preached Sunday morning and evening, Nov. 25, 2001, at Gospel Light Baptist Church, Albany, Georgia.
HOW TO HAVE A HAPPY THANKSGIVING ALL YEAR LONG
By Michael D. O’Neal Pastor, Gospel Light Baptist Church Albany, Georgia
Scripture Reading: Psalms 95:1-11
Text: Psalms 95:2
Psalms 95:2 Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving, and make a joyful noise unto him with psalms.
Introduction: Is Thanksgiving over? I hope so! First of all, because of all of the temptations to eat more than we should! Perhaps you have heard this poem. If not, perhaps you will identify with its message:
|‘TWAS THE NIGHT OF THANKSGIVING
‘Twas the night of Thanksgiving,
Tossing and turning with anticipation,
I gobbled up turkey and buttered potatoes,
I crashed through the ceiling, floated into the sky
HAPPY EATING TO ALL, PASS THE CRANBERRIES PLEASE!!
Is Thanksgiving over? I hope so! After all, many churches and Christians decided that the way to show thanksgiving to God this year was to either cancel their midweek services or to not attend them! GOD HAVE MERCY on any church that would try to show thanksgiving by shutting the doors on Prayer Meeting night! GOD HAVE MERCY on any Christian who would claim to be observing Thanksgiving and forsook the house of God on Prayer Meeting night but assembled with family and friends for turkey!
Is Thanksgiving over? On the other hand, I hope NOT! You see, we should be observing thanksgiving every day! Thanksgiving is the will of God:
1 Thessalonians 5:18 In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.
I want us to consider how we can have Thanksgiving 365 days out of the year!
I. ALWAYS PRAY WITH THANKSGIVING
Philippians 4:6 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.
Colossians 4:2 Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving;
A. It will but happiness in your prayer life
B. It will put your heart into your prayer life
C. It will put hope into your prayer life
- Remember God’s blessings!
- If God blessed you in the past, He can do so in the future!
II. ALWAYS PAY TITHES AND OFFERINGS WITH THANKSGIVING
2 Corinthians 9:6-11 But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully. 7 Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver. 8 And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work: 9 (As it is written, He hath dispersed abroad; he hath given to the poor: his righteousness remaineth for ever. 10 Now he that ministereth seed to the sower both minister bread for your food, and multiply your seed sown, and increase the fruits of your righteousness) 11 Being enriched in every thing to all bountifulness, which causeth through us thanksgiving to God.
A. Thank God for provision of your own needs
B. Thank God for the power to give to the work of God
C. Thank God for the promise of God
- To provide YOUR needs in the future as you give.
- To provide the needs of the church as you give!
- Malachi 3:10 Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.
III. ALWAYS PRAISE GOD WITH THANKSGIVING
Psalms 26:7 That I may publish with the voice of thanksgiving, and tell of all thy wondrous works.
Psalms 100:4 Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.
Psalms 69:30 I will praise the name of God with a song, and will magnify him with thanksgiving.
Nehemiah 12:46 For in the days of David and Asaph of old there were chief of the singers, and songs of praise and thanksgiving unto God.
Thanksgiving should make us PRAISE GOD!
A. Praise God with sincerity
- I am SINCERELY thankful that God has saved me and showered me with blessings!
B. Praise God with song
- The reason why many Christians don’t sing with zeal and energy is that they are not thankful!
C. Praise God with shouting
- “Praise the Lord!”
D. Praise God with a sanctified life
- A thankful heart will praise God by living holy for Him!
IV. ALWAYS PRESENT THE GOSPEL WITH THANKSGIVING
Acts 26:2 I think myself happy, king Agrippa, because I shall answer for myself this day before thee touching all the things whereof I am accused of the Jews:
A. Thank God for the privilege
- The Bible calls the opportunity to preach Christ to anyone an “open door.” Thank God for open doors!
B. Thank God for the power of the gospel
- Romans 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.
- 1 Corinthians 15:3-4 For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; 4 And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:
C. Thank God for the Partner in witnessing
- The Holy Ghost!
- John 16:8 And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:
D. Thank God for the plain instruction that we have
- The gospel is simple – 1 Corinthians 15:3-4
- The guarantee is solid – Acts 16:31