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Give Thanks

Arrange ahead of time for a person to interrupt you as you begin welcoming the church people. Have the adult say to you, “Hey. I hate to interrupt, but I left my wallet at home and I really wanted a cup of coffee this morning. Can you give me a dollar?” Search your pockets and pull out a dollar. Hold it up and the adult will grab it–without saying thank you–and walk away. Stare at him as he walks away.)

Ask: I’m happy to give a dollar to my friend, but did anyone notice anything when he took my money? He did not say thank you. Say: I wonder why he didn’t say thank you. It’s sort of like he thinks he deserved that dollar. But, that was my dollar. I gave it to him to be nice. He didn’t deserve it. Or maybe he just doesn’t want to admit he needed my help. Either way, not saying thank you is really a sign of pride.

1 Thessalonians 5:18 (Berean Bible)Give thanks in every circumstance, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.

Build and altar of Thanksgiving!

Wherever Abraham went he built altars to the Lord God where he would worship Him (Genesis 12:7,8; 13:18).

Now, we have an altar (Hebrews 13:10) which is in Christ! Through His blood we have access at any time to Him.

We must start by building an altar of personal worship to God - spending regular time worshipping and meeting alone with Him every day before we can really worship together with our family at home or with our Church ’family’. Also we must have a healthy participation in Church worship if we are to be a true worshipper in our God-given ministry.

We can build altars:

  1. To show our Gratitude to the Lord
  2. To Worship Him with an extravagant offering
  3. In times of adversity and extreme requests

Learn to be Grateful as you Celebrate the Lord

Thanksgiving Day is a distinctive holiday. It doesn’t commemorate a battle or anyone’s birthday or anniversary. It is simply a day set aside to express our nation’s thanks to our nation’s God. I think also that there is a real danger in this season of determining our thanksgiving on the basis of how much we have.

"Do I have enough turkey to gorge myself sufficiently? Is my money in the bank secure? Am I healthy?" And we let these things determine whether we are or aren’t thankful.

Psalm 100

1 Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth.

2 Worship the LORD with gladness; come before him with joyful songs.

3 Know that the LORD is God. It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.

4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name.

5 For the LORD is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.


Now, as we look more carefully at this Psalm, we find that there is a series of 5 commands given.

1. The first command is in vs. 1, "Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth."

It means to "shout with the force of a trumpet blast," a shout of joy to the Lord that comes from the very depths of your being.

Maybe He solved your problem. Maybe He has given you the direction to go. Maybe He has provided a blessing, & you realize that it has come from God. So from the depths of your being you proclaim your praise.

And that is what the Psalmist is saying. "Suddenly you realize that God has been so good to you that you can’t keep it inside any more. From the depths of your being you shout your joy unto the Lord."

2. The second command is, "Serve the Lord with gladness."

The Bible teaches that if we witness on behalf of the Lord, if we feed the hungry, if we clothe the naked, if we do the work of the Lord, whatever it might be, we are serving the Lord.

In Matthew 25:40 Jesus said, "Inasmuch as you have done it unto one of the least of these little ones, you have done it unto me."

I’m not sure that we grasp that. Maybe we serve at times out of a feeling of obligation or a fear of guilt if we don’t serve, or maybe even because we want to draw attention to ourselves.

It’s natural for us to desire appreciation when we do something that is worthwhile. But the Psalmist says, "In whatever you do, serve the Lord with gladness."

3. The third command is, "Come before Him with joyful songs."

1 Thessalonians 5:18 (Berean Bible)Give thanks in every circumstance, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.

Have you noticed? In these first 3 commands, God has said, "I want you to be happy. Shout with joy, serve with gladness, and come with joyful songs."

Now just take a moment and look at the people around you. Do they look happy? Or are they just sitting there with scowls on their faces?

4. Command #4 is, "Know that the Lord is God. It is He who made us, and we are His; we are His people, the sheep of His pasture."

God took every bone, every joint, and He welded them together with sinews and muscle sand covered them with skin, gave us eyes that see, brains that think, and fingers that can pick things up. God made us, inside and out. He made you the way He wanted you to be. And He made me the way He wanted me to be.

God is your maker, and you are created in His image. Therefore give Him thanks for who you are.

Then He says, "We are His people, the sheep of His pasture." Most of us want to be shepherds, not sheep. "It’s not any fun being sheep," we say. But the problem is, we don’t know where the still waters and green pastures are. And every time we go out searching for them, we invariably end up in the far country. He is saying, "You be the sheep. Let me be the shepherd, and I will lead you beside the still waters & the green pastures. Just let me lead."

5. Command #5 is this, "Enter His gates with thanksgiving, and His courts with praise; give thanks to Him and praise His name. For the Lord is good and His love endures forever. His faithfulness continues through all generations."

In the O.T. the temple symbolized the presence of God. So whenever the people came to the temple & entered the courtyards they knew that they had come into the presence of God.

Now that temple no longer exists. But oftentimes the place where we meet to worship God is called a "sanctuary," indicating that God is there. But God is everywhere. You know that. He is with you as you drive on the highway. He is with you when you work. He is with you as you care for your children. He is with you every moment of your life.

What if He wouldn’t bless us today because we didn’t thank Him yesterday? What if God answered our prayers the way we answer His call for service? What if God decided to stop leading us tomorrow because we did not follow Him today?

Offer your Life to God!

Learn how to approach the Lord by building a personal altar of worship. Unfortunately, many Christians waste their lives worrying about too many things and they neglect the most important thing we can do with our life wish is becoming a living sacrifice.

Romans 12

1Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship.

2 Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

A “sacrifice” is something that is offered to God. The appropriate response for us to make to the sacrifice Christ has made on our behalf is to offer up our lives to God, by making Jesus not only our Saviour and Friend, but also our Lord and Master.

The movie "Saving Private Ryan" ends with Captain Miller(Tom Hanks’ character) sitting near a bridge after an attack by German forces. His life is ebbing away as he pulls Ryan (Matt Damon) down toward him. Struggling for breath he whispers, "Earn this, earn this." As Ryan stands his face morphs back into the present as a senior adult searching for Miller’s cross in the cemetery. Crying he turns to his wife and says, "Tell me I’m a good man."

Many people may believe that Christ died for them, but they have an attitude that Christ told them, "Earn this." They spend their lives through religion trying to receive validation so that people will tell them, "You are a good man or a good woman."

Grace is realizing that we can never earn Christ’s sacrifice for us on the cross. Our lives should reflect thanksgiving for what he has done instead of validation for being a good person. We can never earn salvation. We can only receive it.

1 Thessalonians 5:18 (Berean Bible)

Give thanks in every circumstance, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.

Thank-offerings to God produce results

Learn how to approach the Lord with your offerings of gratitude. When we give to God He will manifest His power to deliver.

Psalm 50:23 (NET)

Whoever presents a thank-offering honors me. To whoever obeys my commands, I will reveal my power to deliver.

I’m more than sure that giving thanks in a deliberate, proactive manner can somehow precipitate God’s providential involvement in my life—I’m convinced of it!

Philippians 4:4-7 (ESV)

4 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. 5 Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; 6 do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

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These are a few outlines from messages preached at the Passion Centre. We encourage you to preach these messages and make it yours in spite of thecopyright notice

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