(Go To Meeting)

Tom Fannin—November 18, 2023

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Today we're going to be talking about thanksgiving! Here in the United States we're getting ready to have the holiday of Thanksgiving. It's a time of year that personally I like, because it's late fall and there's a lot of beauty around. On Thanksgiving Day for me personally it's a day off from work, get some time to spend with my family, get some good food, fellowship, and hopefully take some time that day to just reflect on the blessings that have been given to me and my family and to this nation!

It would be nice to know that everybody in the United States that are keeping this Day of Thanksgiving would take time to give thanks to God for all He's done, and the promises that He's kept. We know promises that he made to Abraham and to his seed and what a great blessing this nation has received through the promises!

Leviticus 22:29: "And when you will offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving to the LORD, offer it at your own will."

Here we have God saying that when you offer this sacrifice of thanksgiving it's to be done at your own will and we know God does desire for us to give thanks to Him, but in a certain way with a certain attitude, but it's to be done at your own will!

Verse 30: "On the same day it is to be eaten. You shall leave none of it until morning. I am the LORD. And you shall keep My commandments, and do them. I am the LORD. And you shall not profane My Holy name. But I will be Holy among the children of Israel. I am the LORD Who is sanctifying you, Who brought you out of the land of Egypt, to be your God. I am the LORD" (vs 30-33).

Later on we'll talk more about God and remembering who God is and remembering His name! But certainly, as we look at this, and apply it to ourselves and what has God done for us in sanctifying us through the Holy Spirit and bringing us out of this world and calling us! So, we have in the Church much to be thankful for!

What we'll be talking about is God loves a cheerful giver, so in whatever we present or give to God He wants us to do it with the right mind, the right attitude.

2-Corinthians 9:6: "But this I say: the one who sows sparingly shall also reap sparingly; and the one who sows bountifully shall also reap bountifully. Each one as he purposes in his heart, so let him give, but not grudgingly or by compulsion; for God loves a cheerful giver" (vs 6-7).

When we think about thanksgiving, there is a way we approach God with thanksgiving it's not by compulsion, or as it says here grudgingly. It's willfully from the heart and cheerfully!

Verse 8: "For God is able to make all grace abound toward you so that in every way you may always have sufficiency in all things, and may abound unto every good work, according as it is written: 'He has scattered abroad, and he has given to the poor; his righteousness remains forever.' Now, may He Who supplies seed to the sower, and bread to eat, supply your seed and multiply your sowing; and may He increase the fruits of your righteousness" (vs 8-10).

Yes, we'll when we think about all of us, may God do that for all of us; increase our fruits the fruits of righteousness!

Verse 11: "So that you may in every way be enriched unto all bountifulness, which causes thanksgiving to God through us. For the administration of this service is not only filling to overflowing the deficiencies of the saints, but is also abounding by the giving of many thanks to God" (vs 11-12).

Paul's talking about the brethren giving to brethren and helping out the brethren, but also, part of the message here was:

  • the abounding of thanksgiving, the attitude we need to have toward God
  • the cheerfulness of giving from the heart willfully

Where there'd be thanksgiving to God or what we do for one another, the attitude God wants us to have is with the right attitude. It enhances our ability be more thankful to God for what He's done.

While we're on this thought of thanksgiving and our attitude toward thanksgiving, let's review back what Paul wrote in 1-Cor. 4.

Sometimes it's easy to forget what we've been given and Who it comes from and Paul makes it clear here that there's nothing that we have that we haven't received!

1-Corinthians 4:5: "Therefore, do not judge anything before the time; wait until the Lord comes, Who will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the motives of all hearts; and then shall each one receive praise from God."

Yeah there will be a time where the motive of the hearts, those type of things, will be revealed by God, and we'll know. We don't know all these things now but at some time we will.

Verse 6: "Now these things, brethren, I have applied to Apollos and myself for your sakes; that in us you may learn not to think of men beyond what is written, so that no one among you is puffed up on behalf of one of us against the other. For what makes you superior to others? And what do you have that you did not receive?…. ]that's the point here: what do any of us have that we didn't receive] …But if you also received it, why are you boasting as if you did not receive it?" (vs 6-7).

It's something for us to keep in mind, that whatever God's given us whatever God gave Paul and Apollo's to do, it was all received!

  • our talents
  • our abilities
  • the blessings we have
  • all the things that occur in our lives

We receive it from God, it's not of our own!

We know we all have to be on guard that we are careful not to be boasting in ourselves or become puffed up in ourselves in anything. But just recognize God that He gave it to us, everything!

That's the kind of mindset God wants us to have when we consider being thankful.

We certainly see a spirit in the world today that's not thankful and doesn't recognize God. This is brought out in:

Romans 1:18: "Indeed, the wrath of God is revealed from heaven upon all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the Truth in unrighteousness; because that which may be known of God is manifest among them, for God has manifested it to them; for the invisible things of Him are perceived from the creation of the world, being understood by the things that were made—both His eternal power and Godhead—so that they are without excuse" (vs 18-20).

As I mentioned in the beginning of the message that I really like the fall time of the year here where I'm at in Ohio. We enjoy the seasons in this area, and the fall time is a beautiful time. When you give God thanks… I look around and see the beauty of His creation obvious to me these things came into being by Him and by Christ for our enjoyment for our pleasure! So it's beautiful time to look around and give thanks to God for all that He's given us. It's seen what He's done—His power His creative ability—in the plan through what we see!

Verse 21: "Because when they knew God, they glorified Him not as God, neither were thankful…" That's the key they weren't thankful for the things that were received from God:

  • His creation
  • His beauty
  • His design
  • His purpose for mankind

"…but they became vain in their own reasonings… [we talked earlier about being puffed up, boasting in self] …and their foolish hearts were darkened. While professing themselves to be the wise ones, they became fools" (vs 21-22).

Verse 24: "For this cause, God also abandoned them to uncleanness through the lusts of their hearts, to disgrace their own bodies between themselves, who exchanged the Truth of God for the lie; and they worshiped and served the created thing more than the One Who is Creator, Who is blessed into the ages. Amen. For this cause, God abandoned them to disgraceful passions…" (vs 24-26).

There is an abandoning from God for those who don't recognize God and give God thanks for what He's done!

You can be turned over as we see this world to a different mind, a mind that rejects God and accepts all types of wicked things

2-Timothy Paul writes to Timothy about that we're going to be seeing in the end-time and we're saying this now.

2-Timothy 3:1: "Know this also, that in the last days perilous times shall come; for men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, braggarts, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, implacable, slanderers, without self-control, savage, despisers of those who are good, betrayers, reckless, egotistical, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God; having an outward appearance of Godliness, but denying the power of true Godliness. But as for you, turn away from all these" (vs 1-5).

So, we see again as we're talking about here this spirit, this attitude within people and you lump all these things together and you see an attitude or spirit that's not thankful. A lot of the attributes same attributes you see here apply to that mind and again that's what's seen today

Luke 6:35—Christ says here: "But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again…"

This is what we just read there in Timothy; these are attributes that don't apply to the  people of God. Paul was talking about there we would see or those attitudes we would see in the end-times it says:

"…and your reward shall be great, and you shall be the children of the Highest… [that's who we are, God's children] …for He is good to the unthankful and the wicked" (v 35).

Here you see the groups that are lumped together, unthankful and wicked, but it says here God's good to them, an attribute we should all have.

So God, in His love and  mercy, is even good to them. My point here is that maybe with us as God's people having a right attitude of being very thankful to God could help us with our attitude even toward the ones who are wicked and not thankful.

But having an attitude where Christ talks about here or we have a different thought about our enemies or a different thought about having lending and expecting nothing in gain and doing good all these attributes that God and Christ want us to have. Being thankful ties into those. Of course, we want to be building that mind of God in Christ.

Matthew 15—we know God's attitude is that He wants all everyone to repent and be a part of the Kingdom.

Matthew 15:8: "These people have drawn near to Me with their mouths, and with their lips they honor Me; but their hearts are far away from Me."

A lot profess to be thankful this time of year here in the United States, but you know that God is looking at what's in our mind and heart true thankfulness. He knows, so that's what we need to be looking for within ourselves.

Hopefully none of us have a wrong spirit about us, but that we have the right spirit with God's Spirit working within us and we really understand what this sacrifice we're talking about of Thanksgiving to God what it is and how much it means to God and how important it is for our conversion.

We want to be giving God thanks that is true a thanks that is from the heart.

Psalm 107:1: "O give thanks to the LORD, for He is good, for His steadfast love endures forever. So, let the redeemed of the LORD say, whom He has redeemed from the hand of the enemy" (vs 1-2).

That really ties back to what we read there in Lev. 22 about the sanctification; about Him delivering us. But there's thanks to be given to God for Who He is and what He's done.

Let's read what's written that describes this more in the New Covenant with us.

Colossians 1:12: "Giving thanks to the Father, Who has made us qualified for the share of the inheritance of the saints in the Light; Who has personally rescued us from the power of darkness and has transferred us unto the Kingdom of the Son of His love; in Whom we have redemption through His own blood, even the remission of sins; Who is the image of the invisible God, the Firstborn of all creation" (vs 12-15).

So, doesn't this explain more to what we have and what we've been given:

  • God rescuing us for from the power of darkness personally
  • doing this and through the sacrifice and the blood of Jesus Christ being redeemed
  • being able to give thanksgiving for that

Certainly that's what's it being talked about here also as we'll go back in Psa. 107

Psalm 107:21: "Let them praise the LORD for His goodness and for His wonderful works to the children of men! And let them sacrifice the sacrifices of thanksgiving, and declare His works with rejoicing!" (vs 21-22).

So, that's what God wants from us as His people, this sacrifice of thanksgiving; one that's from a broken contrite spirit and a right heart and mind with the understanding we had as we talked about in Colossians. This understanding we have of the Truth and what God's done for us.

When we're thankful, when we offer these sacrifices of thanksgiving that God, and we have a thankful mind, it does something for us; it's healthy for us.

1-Timothy 2:1: "I exhort, therefore, first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made on behalf of all men; for kings and all who are in authority, in order that we may lead a quiet and peaceful life in all Godliness and respectability. For this is good and acceptable before God our Savior" (vs 1-3).

Being thankful—offering prayers, intercession and supplications—but also these thanksgivings we give to God it's as it says here on behalf of all men! When we do these things it does something for us; it brings a different piece to us a different understanding to us.

It helps us lead a right life a life has it talks about here that's quiet and peaceful and respectable, and this is something that's acceptable to God. So, when we have this sacrifice that we give to God of being thankful it does something to our mind, and it helps us to have a better understanding of how we should conduct ourselves especially as we live in this world and the difficulties of it.

1-Thessalonians 5:16: "Rejoice always! Pray unceasingly. Give thanks in everything, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you" (vs 16-18).

We need to have an attitude where we can give thanks in everything. Now that may be hard to do at times, because sometimes we face difficulties and problems in life and it has an effect on us. But we need to reach a point where we give thanks to God in everything. Sometimes we really need study and think about meditate on the circumstance and think through all the circumstances we enter into and our even our problems and difficulties.

Once we process it and think through it then we may find things in there that are like you know what yeah there was something in that that I'm thankful for to God and it could be it could be anything but sometimes we focus on maybe the negative things but there are things within there that maybe we see later, and say,

God, thank You for intervening; thank You for the timing of that. Or thank You for what I've learned from that.

So, there are things to be thankful for to God and Christ and in everything! We need to be mindful of that!

At times we have things that aggravate us and I know I do, too. I get I have to check my attitude at times, because I'll get upset about things. How many times I can say for myself kind of back to that thought of giving,  giving God thanks and everything that I've had certain things happen to me and maybe one example would be something as simple as getting a flat tire. but maybe it happened at a convenient time at the right place or you're able to get it fixed and repaired and you thank God well thank you that it happened here could have happened in the middle of the busy highway somewhere and it didn't. The tire was flat where I could get it done and taken care of.

Having the mind where we look at the entire situation and thank God that it worked out the way it did.

True thankfulness is an indication that we're rooted in Jesus Christ and don't we all want to be rooted in Jesus Christ?

Colossians 2:6: "Therefore, as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, be walking in Him."

That's what we all agreed to when we entered into baptism into this covenant, we agreed to walk as Jesus Christ walked when we received Christ. In other words when we receive the understanding of Who Jesus Christ is.

Verse 7: "Being rooted and built up in Him, and being confirmed in the faith, exactly as you were taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving."

So, giving thanks to God, the sacrifice of thanksgiving is an indication:

  • that we're rooted in Jesus Christ
  • that we're built up in Jesus Christ
  • that we are remembering Who Christ is
  • that we are remembering what we received when we were called and we got this understanding

The point here is when we give thanks to God, it shows that we're rooted in Christ! When you read through the Scriptures Jesus Christ continually gave God thanks, but particularly He thanked God for the spiritual things that God was doing through Him and through us!

An attribute of thankfulness is giving glory to God! Have you ever thought about that when you offer thanks, the sacrifice of thanks to God, you glory Him'

Luke 17:12—it says of Jesus Christ: "And as He went into a certain village, He was met by ten leprous men, who stood at a distance. And they lifted up their voices, saying, 'Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!'" (vs 12-13).

Verse 14: "And when He saw them, He said to them, 'Go show yourselves to the priests.' And it came to pass that while they were going, they were cleansed. Then one of them, seeing that he was healed, turned back, glorifying God with a loud voice; and he fell on his face at His feet, giving thanks to Him; and he was a Samaritan" (vs 14-16).

Verse 17: "And answering, Jesus said, 'Were not ten cleansed? But where are the other nine? Are not any found returning to give glory to God except this stranger?' Then He said to him, 'Arise and go. Your faith has healed you'" (vs 17-19).

Here just one returned after seeing he was cleansed and probably with a with a heartfelt thanks gave that to Christ glorifying God.

So whatever God does for us when we give Him thanks we glorify Him so it's something for us to remember, because we all want to be glory glorifying God right in our actions and what we do but being thankful does this the glory God in this.

The righteous that we talked about this earlier in Lev. 22, but the righteous remember God's name and Who God is and Who Jesus Christ is. They give thanks and praise to his name.

Psalm 140:13: "Surely the righteous shall give thanks unto Your name; the upright shall dwell in Your presence."

Lev. 22 talked about the sacrifice of thanksgiving and finished up the chapter talking about remembering God and His name and Who He is and what was done for them. As we think about today what's been done for us.

"…the righteous shall give thanks unto Your name…" What is the name to Whom we give thanks to? Jesus Christ!

Philippians 2:6—speaking of Jesus Christ: "Who, although He existed in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God"

We understand what this is talking about, Jesus Christ being the Lord of the Old Testament.

Verse 7: "But emptied Himself, and was made in the likeness of men, and took the form of a servant; and being found in the manner of man, He humbled Himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Therefore, God has also highly exalted Him and bestowed upon Him a name, which is above every name; that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow took the form of a servant, of beings in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father" (vs 7-11).

So, we give thanks to God we give thanks to the Most High and Who He is to His name, and we give thanks to Jesus Christ in His name, a name given to him by God. A name that's been given above all other names in the authority that was given to Him, and what was able to be done through Him through His name. We give, as God's people, thanks to His name, because we know what it means, we know what He had to do to be the Savior of mankind and the plan that God and Jesus Christ came up with.

So, we have so much to be thankful for particularly thinking about this giving thanks to the name of God and the righteous, God's people, do that because of the understanding we have.

Hebrews 13:14: "For we do not have a continuing city here on earth; rather, we are seeking the one that is coming. Accordingly, let us offer the sacrifice of praise continually to God through Him; that is, with the fruit of our lips openly professing our faith in His name" (vs 14-15).

We talked about the sacrifice of thanksgiving, but along with that it's the sacrifice of praise to God for all that's been done for us; thinking about all the good that's been done for us.

I know for a lot of people the circumstances they're in it's pretty tough at times especially those who face a lot of serious health issues as they get older and things like that. But whatever situation we find ourselves in, we just need to remember that God's with us God provides and takes care of us.

Sometimes it's good to reflect on what God has done maybe not presently, but praise God and thank God for what He's done in our lives before. It's easy for us sometimes to get caught up on the current situation the current moment we're in. It's good to reflect back maybe on what God has done for us before in our lives and all the blessings and opportunities that's been given to us.

It's good to remember the past, too, what God's given to us in the past.

We all like benefits, the good benefits that come from God. I just want to talk a little bit here about the benefit we get from being thankful!

Philippians 4:4: "Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!"

Seems like we've read that in a few different Scriptures already this message. But God expects us to rejoice. Rejoicing, thanksgiving and praise all kind of tie together, don't they? It's kind of hard to have thanksgiving, true thanksgiving, without thinking about the rejoicing with that.

Verse 5: "Let your moderation be known to all men; the Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything… [it's hard to do] …but by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God in everything" (vs 5-6).

Now, earlier we read that we need to have an attitude where we're thankful in everything. "…let your requests be made known to God in everything." So, if we're doing this in a right way and with prayer, supplications and in thanksgiving, being told not to be anxious, then what is the benefit?

Verse 7: "And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, shall guard your hearts and your thoughts in Christ Jesus."

So, part of our prayers, brethren, all the time when we're having:

  • problems
  • difficulties
  • worry
  • anxious

Or we just don't know how things are going to work out, especially in the difficult times we're going to be facing, and some are facing now, remembering to always give thanks to God will help us through this!

It will, and God will give us that peace we need. We may not understand how we're going to get through certain situations, but God does. He'll give it to us, but our part, again, is to offer those thanksgivings to God, those sacrifices.

Let's go back to Psa. 100; we'll conclude here by reading this chapter. As we read this—this is actually called a Psalm of Thanksgiving—something for us to think about is:

  • How do we approach God?
  • How do we come before His presence?

Not only that, but when we're together as God's people:

  • How do we come before each other when we fellowship?

Now, we didn't read this, but back in Heb. 13 it talks about there's fellowshipping that needs to be done, and there's a sacrifice there. That sacrifice is fellowship.

  • How do we approach God and Jesus Christ?
  • How, again, do we come into their presence
  • How do we come into the presence of one another continually?

Psalm 100:1: "Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth. Serve the LORD with gladness; come before His presence with singing. Know that the LORD, He is God. He has made us, and we are His; we are His people and the sheep of His pasture" (vs 1-3).

So it's all from God. He made us. Everything we've received has come from Him!

Verse 4: "Enter into His gates with thanksgiving and into His courts with praise; give thanks unto Him and bless His name."

God the Father and Jesus Christ and Who They are and what those names mean.

Verse 5: "For the LORD is good; His steadfast love is everlasting; and His faithfulness endures to all generations."

So, brethren, just remember to be thankful to God! To glory Him! Our thanksgiving does this. It's a sacrifice from us. He asked us to give it to Him at our will.

But we should give it with the right spirit and the right mind; our love to God and Jesus Christ!

Scriptural References:

  • Leviticus 22:29-33
  • 2 Corinthians 9:6-12
  • 1 Corinthians 4:5-7
  • Romans 1:18-22, 24-26
  • 2 Timothy 3:1-5
  • Luke 6:35
  • Matthew 15:8
  • Psalm 107:1-2
  • Colossians 1:12-15
  • Psalm 107:21-22
  • 1 Timothy 2:1-3
  • 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
  • Colossians 2:6-7
  • Luke 17:12-19
  • Psalm 140:13
  • Philippians 2:6-11
  • Hebrews 13:14-15
  • Philippians 4:4-7
  • Psalm 100:1-5

Transcribed: 11/30/23

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