Sunday, October 12, 2008

Thanksgiving


Psalm 138 “1 I will give You thanks with all my heart; I will sing praises to You before the gods. 2 I will bow down toward Your holy temple and give thanks to Your name for Your lovingkindness and Your truth; for You have magnified Your word according to all Your name. 3 On the day I called, You answered me; you made me bold with strength in my soul. 4 All the kings of the earth will give thanks to You, O LORD, when they have heard the words of Your mouth. 5 And they will sing of the ways of the LORD, for great is the glory of the LORD. 6 For though the LORD is exalted, yet He regards the lowly, but the haughty He knows from afar. 7 Though I walk in the midst of trouble, You will revive me; You will stretch forth Your hand against the wrath of my enemies, and Your right hand will save me. 8 The LORD will accomplish what concerns me; Your lovingkindness, O LORD, is everlasting; do not forsake the works of Your hands.

Over4.5 billion people do not have a relationship with Jesus Christ. Of these, 2 billion have never heard the Gospel message.
78 million people per year die due to poverty issues. Over 1 billion people live on less than $1 per day.
300 million people suffer from curable diseases, and most of these are under 5 years of age.

3 things we should be thankful for:
Stuff- David knew both times of great need as well as great plenty. He spent several years being chased by Saul in the wilderness, living in caves and off the land. He was also a king, and could have anything and everything he wanted. Stuff is nice to have. It doesn’t quite do what we think it would, but in many cases it does make life easier; that is, of course, if you haven’t financed everything in order to get it. There’s a favourite Herman comic of mine where the Psychiatrist is talking to the man on the couch and saying, “What’s wrong? You have a cabin, a yacht, nice cars a Lear jet?” The client’s reply is that he only makes $75 a week! You can only juggle things for so long. Take a moment and look at your life. Thank-God for your stuff: your vehicle if you have one, for your toys, for your family members, for a place to keep you warm in the winter, for friendships.
Health – David seemed to have good physical health over his life. He had to fake insanity for awhile so he could spend time with the Philistines while Saul was after him. What about you? The thing about health is there is always somebody worse off than you, who in spite of the aches and pains you do have, would love to change places with you. We have been praying for Pastor Rick Gibson for over a year. He still struggles with paralysis in his left arm between his shoulder and elbow. He still struggles with his short term memory… and that is after 6 months in the hospital and rehab center. And he would say he was blessed. You go to the cardiac ward at Sick Kids hospital in Toronto, and see the sad cases, and then go to the next ward, the cancer ward and are thankful. Take a minute now and thank God for what you do have, for the health that you can be here this morning.
Salvation – David knew what judgement was. He sinned many times, and not only suffered personal loss and strife in his family, but also in the country over which he reigned. But over all that we find that he is called the apple of God’s eye. He knew what it was to be saved from death and sin, from himself. And if you are here today and have accepted Jesus as Lord and Savior, you too know salvation. Isn’t it glorious?
It was free for us, a gift. And as we celebrate communion we recognize the price that was paid for us was the blood of Jesus Christ. We couldn’t do it, we still can’t, and we can’t add to what was done by God’s Son. Take a minute now and thank God for your salvation.


Taking it home:
Use your stuff for others. Stuff is just stuff. The Bible tells us that God is the Giver of all good gifts, that we are but stewards of all we have. A steward doesn’t own what he has. It belongs to another, but the steward is responsible for what happens to the stuff. You and I are just passing through this world… we have eternity to spend in heaven where there is no want of anything. So don’t hang on to stuff here too tight. Recognize that what you have is indeed because God has blessed you. Be thankful for it, but also turn around and see how you can bless someone else with the stuff you are stewarding for God. I took the stuff for Bridge on 20th this past week. Linda, the Director, was very grateful for the donations that go to people who don’t have much. I had someone come in this week one afternoon. He and his wife were heading to Maple Creek, were between cheques, he has a bad back, and just needed some gas. I met him at the Petro Canada by Market Mall and filled up his car. I also bought some pop and snacks so they would have something on their trip. It was a few bucks. I am not one to judge whose fault he was in that predicament. How could I not help him out when he requested it? He came to us because we are a church. And I blessed him in the name of Jesus and said I would pray for him. Don’t hang on to stuff – give it away in the name of Jesus.
Use today while it is still here. Wake up every morning expecting to be used of God to draw someone unto Himself. Ask God for those opportunities. Don’t put stuff off until tomorrow, for tomorrow may never come, for us or the other person. If you put stuff off you will wake up with regrets rather than a song of joy in your heart. When the harvest comes and the crops are ready, the farmer doesn’t think, I am tired today, so I think I’ll just relax and sleep in, and get out in the field tomorrow. The harvest would not get done! The rains would come and he would only be half done. He makes the hay while the sun shines, and when the sun goes down he turns the lights on his tractor. Jesus said that the spiritual fields are ripe and ready for harvest. When you lay down tonight, I pray that you can reflect on how God used you today. Don’t wait.
Rest in Jesus. Let everything of your life emanate from the place where you meet Jesus. Let Jesus colour your conversations with your friends and families and neighbours. Let Jesus motivate your actions, where you spend your time. The Great Commandment is to love God with all your Heart and Soul and mind – let all of your being rest in who God is. Let all of your being reflect that you are a child of the Eternal God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. If you don’t know Jesus – you need to. Right now, as we close in prayer, ask forgiveness for your sins, and invite Jesus in to your life to be your Savior and your Lord.

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