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“Giving Thanks”

“Giving Thanks”

The mark of a real
Christian is love; the love that grows out
of thanksgiving. Hello, I’m Phil Sanders,
and this is a Bible study “In Search of the Lord’s
Way.” Today, we’re exploring our need
to give thanks. Stay
tuned. In all the hurry and hustle
and confusion of modern living, the Lord
has the way. We believe that the Bible is
the revelation of His way. We invite you to
join us In Search of the Lord’s Way
with Phil Sanders. Welcome to In SEARCH
of the Lord’s Way! We’re here to search the
Scriptures for God’s will. The Bible teaches us what
God has done for us and how He’s blessed us
every day of our lives. Paul realized that “In him
we live and move and have our being”; and “we are indeed his offspring” (Acts 17:28). God provides everything
we need physically and spiritually to live godly
lives filled with good works. Thanks for taking
time with us today. We want to be a part of
your life each week. William Law, in his book,
A Serious Call to a Devout and Holy Life, said,
“Would you know who is the greatest saint
in the world? It is not he who prays
most or fasts most; it is not he who gives most
alms, or is more eminent for temperance, chastity,
or justice; but it is he who is always thankful to
God who wills everything that God wills, who
receives everything as an instance of God’s
goodness, and has a heart always ready to praise God
for it.” One temptation of the maturing Christian
is the danger of getting accustomed to
his blessings. Like the traveler who has
been everywhere and seen everything, the maturing
Christian is in danger of taking his blessings for
granted and getting so accustomed to them that
they fail to excite him as they once
did. Emerson said that if the
stars came out only once a year, everybody would stay
up all night to behold them.” I fear we’ve seen
the stars so often we don’t bother to
look at them. We’ve grown accustomed
to our blessings. Psalm 92 verses 1 to 2
says, “It is good to give thanks to the LORD And to
sing praises to Your name, O Most High; To declare
Your lovingkindness in the morning And Your
faithfulness by night.” Are you
thankful? We offer this study
free on giving thanks. If you’d like a printed
copy or a CD of our study and you live in the United
States, mail your request to In Search of the
Lord’s Way, P.O. Box 371,
Edmond, OK 73083 or send an e-mail to [email protected] Or, you can call our
toll-free telephone number. That number
is 1-800-321-8633. We also have materials
free on our website at
www.searchtv.org. The Edmond church will now
worship in song, we’ll read from Psalm 103 verses
1 to 5, and explore the need to give
thanks. Our scripture reading
today comes from Psalm 103 verses 1
through 5. This is a psalm of David
talking about all the good that God
has done. Bless the LORD, O my soul,
And all that is within me, bless His
holy name. Bless the LORD, O my
soul, And forget none of His benefits; Who pardons
all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases;
Who redeems your life from the pit, Who crowns you
with lovingkindness and compassion; Who satisfies
your years with good things, So that your youth
is renewed like the eagle. That’s God’s
blessing for us. Let’s pray
together. Oh, Father we are so
grateful for all the good that You have
done for us. Help us to be faithful in
our commitment and our love for
You. This is our prayer in
the name of Jesus, Amen. Psalm 100 verse 4 says,
“Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His
courts with praise. Give thanks to Him, bless
His name.” This is really what those who love
God enjoy doing. Giving thanks takes place
when people think about all the good that
God has done. In the old Anglo-Saxon
tongue, thankfulness means “thinkfulness.” Thinking
of all that God’s goodness gives to us and how it draws forth from our heart’s
gratitude. When we count our
blessings, we begin to realize all the good God
has made possible for us. James 1:17 says, “Every
good thing given and every perfect gift is from
above, coming down from the Father of lights, with
whom there is no variation or shifting shadow.” Yes, every good thing is from our God! The Christian life should
be full of thanksgiving. Paul wrote in Colossians 3:15
to 17, “Let the peace of Christ rule in your
hearts, to which indeed you were called in one
body; and be thankful. Let the word of Christ
richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching
and admonishing one another with psalms and
hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness
in your hearts to God. Whatever you do in word or
deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving
thanks through Him to God the Father.” Gratitude
for the Lord leads us to forgive others, to sing
from our hearts and to serve the Lord
Jesus. When people fail to
respect and thank God, they give their lives to
things that can do them no good. Nothing substitutes
for God. Romans 1:18 to 23 says,
“For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven
against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men
who suppress the truth (and they suppress it) in
unrighteousness, because that which is known about
God is evident within them; for God made
it evident to them. For since the creation of
the world His invisible attributes, His eternal
power and His divine nature, have been clearly
seen, being understood through what has been
made, so that they are without
excuse. For even though they knew
God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks,
but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing to be wise,
they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the
incorruptible God for an image in the form of
corruptible man and of birds and four-footed
animals and crawling creatures.” Those who
forget God settle for useless idols and
futile speculations. Without God,
there is no hope. Don’t forget all the good
things that He has done for you. Moses warned the
Israelites not to forget God after they entered
the promised land. He said in Deuteronomy 8
verses 10 to 14, “When you have eaten and are
satisfied, you shall bless the LORD your God for the good land which He has given you. “Beware that you do not
forget the LORD your God by not keeping His
commandments and His ordinances and His
statutes which I am commanding you today;
otherwise, when you have eaten and are satisfied,
and have built good houses and lived in them, and
when your herds and your flocks multiply, and your
silver and gold multiply, and all that you have
multiplies, then your heart will become proud
and you will forget the LORD your God who brought
you out from the land of Egypt, out of the house
of slavery.” The book of Judges tells the sad story
of a generation that lost sight of God and had
to be disciplined. Joshua 2 and verse 7 tells
of the faithfulness of the people during the lifetime
of Joshua: “The people served the LORD all the
days of Joshua, and all the days of the elders who
survived Joshua, who had seen all the great work
(which the Lord, a, which) the LORD which He had done
for Israel.” However, verse ten tells what
happened later: “All that generation also were
gathered to their fathers; (the is the generation of
Joshua) and there arose another generation after
them who did not know the LORD, nor yet the work
which He had done for Israel.” The later
generation “did evil in the sight of the Lord and
served the Baals, they forsook the Lord, the
God of their fathers” according to verses
eleven and twelve. Judges 2:14 says that,
“The anger of the LORD burned against Israel,
and He gave them into the hands of plunderers who
plundered them; and He sold them into the hands
of their enemies around them, so that they could no longer stand before their
enemies. Wherever they went, the
hand of the LORD was against them for evil, as
the LORD had spoken and as the LORD had sworn to
them, so that they were severely distressed.” When
we forget the Lord, we put our lives and our
souls into jeopardy. God raised up judges to
deliver them from the hand of their enemies, but they
wouldn’t listen to the judges and they turned
quickly away from the Lord back to the
idols. On the other hand, Job
held fast to God even when he suffered great
anguish. According to Job chapter
one, Job suffered the loss of seven sons and three
daughters, 7,000 sheep, 3,000 camels, 500 yoke of
oxen, 500 female donkeys, and very many
servants. He was the greatest of
all the men of the east. Job 1:20 to 22 says, “Then
Job arose and tore his robe and shaved his head,
and he fell to the ground and
worshiped. He said, ‘Naked I came
from my mother’s womb, And naked I shall
return there. The LORD gave and the
LORD has taken away. Blessed be the name of the
LORD.’ And through all this Job did not sin nor
did he blame God.” In chapter two, Job suffered
a terrible disease that caused sore boils from the
sole of his foot to the crown of his
head. Job didn’t understand why
this happened, but he did not give up his
faith in God. When his wife told him to
curse God and die, Job said, “Shall we indeed
accept good from God and not accept
adversity?” In all this Job did
not sin with his lips. We all face adversity, but
we should never forget the good that God gives to us.
What does God do for us? Well, let’s count
our blessings. First, we should be
thankful we are not where we were
spiritually. Salvation is
no small gift. Paul realized what it
means to be saved from sin. He said in Romans 6:17
to 18, “But thanks be to God that though you were
slaves of sin, you became obedient from the heart to
that form of teaching to which you were committed,
and having been freed from sin, you became slaves of
righteousness.” On a very personal level, Paul knew
how important it was to be saved from
sin. He said in Romans 7:24
to 5, “Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from
the body of this death? Thanks be to God through
Jesus Christ our Lord!” I tell ya without Jesus,
we could never be free from sin’s control
and destiny. Second, we should be
thankful we have a Savior who loves us and is
interceding for us. 1 Timothy 2:5 to 6 says,
“For there is one God, and one mediator also between
God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave
Himself as a ransom for all, the testimony given
at the proper time.” Jesus not only died for us; He
serves as our mediator with God the Father and
makes intercession for us (Hebrews 7
verse 25). Third, we should be
thankful we have a Father in heaven to
bless and help us. The Lord Jesus said in
Matthew 6:31 to 33, “Do not worry then, saying,
‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we
drink?’ or ‘What will we
wear for clothing?’ For the Gentiles eagerly
seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows
that you need all these things. But seek first His kingdom
and His righteousness, and all these things will be
added to you.” God will take care
of us! Fourth, we should be thankful the Lord gives us strength. Isaiah 40 verses 28 to 31
says, “Do you not know? Have you not
heard? The Everlasting God, the
LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth Does not
become weary or tired. His understanding
is inscrutable. He gives strength to the
weary, And to him who lacks might He
increases power. Though youths grow weary
and tired, And vigorous young men stumble badly,
Yet those who wait for the LORD Will gain new
strength; They will mount up with wings like eagles,
They will run and not get tired, They will walk and
not become weary.” Fifth, we should be thankful that
our names are written in heaven. Luke 10 verses 17
to 20 says, “The seventy returned with joy, saying,
‘Lord, even the demons are subject to us in Your
name.’” And He said to them, ‘“I was watching
Satan fall from heaven like
lightning. Behold, I have given you
authority to tread on serpents and scorpions,
and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing
will injure you. Nevertheless do not
rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to
you, but rejoice that your names are recorded in
heaven.’” I tell ya even a miracle is not as great a
blessing as knowing that our names are
recorded in heaven. This is our
hope. Sixth, we should be thankful we have victory over death. Because Jesus arose from
the dead, we have hope in our bodily
resurrection. Paul wrote in 1
Corinthians 15:50 to 56, “Now I say this, brethren,
that flesh and blood cannot inherit the
kingdom of (Heaven. Or the kingdom of) God
(rather); nor does the perishable inherit
the imperishable. Behold, I tell you a
mystery; we will not all sleep, but we will all be
changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye,
at the last trumpet; for the trumpet will sound,
and the dead will be raised imperishable,
and we will be changed. For this perishable must
put on the imperishable, and this mortal must
put on immortality. But when this perishable
will have put on the imperishable, and this
mortal will have put on immortality, then will
come about the saying that is written, ‘Death is
swallowed up in victory. O death, where
is your victory? O death, where
is your sting?’ The sting of death is sin,
and the power of sin is the law; but thanks be
to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord
Jesus Christ.” Seventh, we should be thankful that we have an inheritance in heaven. Jesus went to the Father
in heaven to prepare a place
for us. 1 Peter 1:3 to 5 says,
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus
Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused
us to be born again to a living hope through the
resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to
obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and
undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in
heaven for you, (you) who are protected by the power
of God through faith for a salvation ready to be
revealed in the last time.” Yes, we have an
imperishable, undefiled, and unfading
inheritance. We serve a great
and loving God. Let’s praise God and thank
Him for all His blessings. Thanksgiving is the foundation of our love for God. Psalm 30 verses 4 to 5
says, “Sing praise to the LORD, you His godly ones, And give thanks to His holy name. For His anger is but for a
moment, His favor is for a lifetime; Weeping may last
for the night, But a shout of joy comes in the
morning.” Don’t let a single day, not even a
single day, pass without giving thanks to God for His love, His grace, and His
blessing! Without God we have no
hope; but with God in our lives, we have every
hope and promise. We can rejoice
in His love. We can face the future
with confidence, because God walks
with us. He walks with us
every step we take. And so, make this day
and every day a day of thanksgiving!
And never forget. Never, never forget, what
God has done for you. Let’s pray
together. Oh, Father we are so
grateful for every good thing and for every
blessing that comes our way. Father help us to count
our blessing, to remember Your kindness and goodness
and to devote ourselves to You in service
and in love. This is our prayer in
the name of Jesus, Amen. Leslie Flynn tells the
story about a farmer in Vermont. He was sitting on the
porch with his wife. He was thinking about how
much she meant to him. It was about time-for they
had lived together for forty-two years; and she
had been such a help, a willing a hard
worker. One day as they sat
together, he said, “Wife, you’ve been such a
wonderful woman that I can hardly keep from telling
you.” I’m sure it would mean much to her if he had
regularly told her how much he loved and
valued her as a wife. Should we be like this
thankless farmer and forget how good
God has been to us? You know everyone likes to
hear, “thank you.” Some people are kinder to the
store clerk than they are to their families; they
hardly say “thank you” to their
families. Others are kinder to the
store clerk than they are to God, because they
rarely if ever pray, study the Bible, or
attend worship. Some rarely think about
God or respect His words. When people live more like
the world than they do the Lord, their hearts
are far from God. If you’re grateful
to God, say so! If you’re grateful
to God, show it! Gratitude for the cross of
Christ, revealed in the gospel, calls us to deny
ourselves, to take up our cross daily, and to
follow the Lord Jesus. Love calls us to believe
and trust the Lord and His teaching, to turn away
from sin and evil, to confess our faith in Jesus
Christ, and to be baptized into Christ for the
forgiveness of our sins. Baptism into Christ washes
away our sins, and adds us to the church, and makes
us children of God. We hope that today’s study
about thanksgiving has stirred you to recognize
your responsibility to the Lord
Jesus. If you live in the United
States and you want a free printed copy or a CD of
this message, mail your request to In Search of
the Lord’s Way, P.O. Box 371,
Edmond, OK 73083 or send an e-mail to [email protected] Or, you can call the
Search office toll-free
at 1-800-321-8633. You can download these
lessons or a newsletter online at our website:
www.searchtv.org. There’s also a schedule
of our programs and a map with the location of
churches that are in your area. You can watch SEARCH
anytime on YouTube! Just subscribe
to our channel, “SearchTVMinistry.” And I
believe you’ll enjoy it. We also offer free Bible
Correspondence courses. Now if you get a hold of
us, don’t worry, we’re not here to get
your money. We’re here to help
you get to heaven. We do ask that you
give thanks to God by worshiping at church.
Getting involved there. There’s probably a church
of Christ in your area. Why not worship
with them today? Find out all you can,
become a member of the Lord’s church by
obeying the gospel. And if you’re looking for
a healthy, Biblical church home, we’ll be happy
to help you find one. We’ll be back next
week, Lord willing. So, keep searching God’s
Word with us and tell a friend about
this program. As always we say, God
bless you and we love you from all of us at In
Search of the Lord’s Way.

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