Thanksgiving (John #20)

Text: John 6:11, 23

What I’m thankful for.

Gratitude Gives God Opportunity to Work

  • John 6:23 has an interesting note.  They did eat bread after that the Lord had given thanks:)
    • Not that they ate bread after it was multiplied.
    • Not that they ate bread after the disciples distributed it.
    • The power stems from the thanksgiving: gratitude.
  • Sanctifying power of gratitude
    • 1 Timothy 4:3-4
    • Thankfulness is the open hand that God can fill
  • Gratitude is the will of God concerning you in Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:18
    • People say I just want to know the will of God for my life.  Start with something that’s simple and knowable.  In everything give thanks...
  • The poison of ingrates – Romans 1 neither were they thankful
    • Grumbling and murmuring has the opposite effect.
    • God can’t use it even if He’s given it to you because of your attitude about it.
    • Manna in the wilderness as an example.

Gratitude Looks to the Hope of the Future

  • In everything give thanks – that’s hard sometimes. Preposterousness of gratitude sometimes.
  • Romans 8:18 I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to by compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.
    • Do you know that you’ll endure a surgery if you know it’s going to fix ailment you’re enduring?
    • Knowing your future hope helps you have gratitude in trying times
  • If you know the Lord is working things toward an end that is better than the beginning then being thankful for the surgery is easily managed.

Gratitude Focusses on What Is, not What Isn’t

  • the attitude of Jesus Christ versus the attitude of the disciples
    • he saw what they had, they saw what they didn’t have – gratitude
    • it scared them, but it filled the Lord Jesus Christ with expectation
    • 5 loaves and 2 fish, the Lord could’ve said, This isn’t enough.
  • If you’re saved here today it’s because God took a mess and changed it.  What do you have in Christ?
    • Future glory – hope, not comparable to suffering now
    • standing with God – justified, washed, redeemed, eternal life, open line of communication, vessel of the Holy Spirit, peace of God, joy of God, love of God
  • What do you have in the way of possessions?  Not what you don’t have, but what do you have?
  • Don’t let your attitude be dictated by what you don’t have.  In leadership scenario, sure, you have to be mindful of the needs, and shortcomings, but don’t let those dictate your attitude.  Get your attitude from what is there, not from what is not.

Gratitude is Peace

  • peace of God
    • Philippians 4:6 – this is the model prayer the Lord Jesus Christ used when praying for the food that day.
    • He wasn’t careful or full of care.  He wasn’t worried how it would turn out.  He took what little was there and then gave thanks for it and allowed the Father to multiply it.
    • Colossians 3:5
  • Peace Offering made with thanksgiving
    • saying Thank You is one thing – Parents tell kids to say “Thank You,” so they say “Thank You” and its a good habit, but it isn’t a “Thank You” because of gratitude
    • Leviticus 22:29-30 – sacrifice of thanksgiving
      • military friend of mine put it very well.  He said there is a sense in all of us of wanting to deserve what we’ve been given.  That’s what leads some men to become soldiers.  There is a desire in some way to earn their liberty.  But you would never go to the mother of a fallen soldier and say “I deserved what he did for me.”  Because as much as you want to deserve it, you know you can’t ever deserve it.
      • This Thanksgiving offering is just that.  It’s not the people that say “Thank You”, but the people that willingly offer of themselves, their livelihoods to God Almighty and as much as they desire to own some part of that grace given to them, we know, we’d never look at the Lord Jesus Christ and say, I deserved what you did for me.

Invitation – Conclusion

1 Thessalonians 5:18 – you can do the will of God right now.  Come to the altar and be grateful for what the Lord has done for you.