What Is Your Motivation For Thanksgiving

Why do you give thanks? Is it because you love God, or because it seems to be the right thing to do?

If you have your Bibles with you, though, turn with me to Psalms Chapter 100. I was contemplating and Im praying what to preach about today. And one topic just kept coming back to me and that is Thanksgiving. And as I was thinking about Thanksgiving, I was like, well, its still a week, week and a half out we could preach on it later and the Lords like "no preach on Thanksgiving today, because next week, youll preach on Thanksgiving again." So Ive got two messages on thanksgiving for you guys. Today is about Thanksgiving in general. And next week tune in we will be talking about giving thanks when it seems as if there is nothing to give thanks for. 

Psalms Chapter 100, verse.. verses one to five, "Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all ye lands. Serve the Lord with gladness: come before his presence with singing. Know ye that the Lord he is God: it has he that hath made us and not we ourselves;"

Verse three, "know ye that the Lord he is God: it is he that has made us, and not we ourselves: we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name. For the Lord is good; his mercy is everlasting; and truth endureth to all generations."

I love the psalm. Its simple, but its a call to praise. Its a call to give thanks; to have gratitude; to worship The Lord. I think in 2020, its this is very appropriate to call out and worship the Lord. 2020, its seemed like a year that cannot end. It seemed like a year thats just been glitched from the first day. And it seemed as if theres nothing to be thankful for. I know thats not true, though. Theres, theres so much to be thankful for. And so this little reminder, the short chapter in the Bible that extorts us to praise the Lord, its a good reminder. And its, its an appropriate reminder for the times that we are in. "Make a joyful noise unto the Lord." And I started thinking about Thanksgiving, and what causes us to get things, what is our motivation for given things? What drives that? 

And as I was thinking about that, I was thinking about a particular beggar that my wife and I ran into. Six years ago, shell probably remember the story is to start telling it, I was working as an independent sales rep for a company called Legalshield. And we were in Salt Lake, Utah for a convention. They had a convention every month on Saturday; and we were in Salt Lake, Utah for this convention. And I cant remember if we were early or stayed late, but we were at the mall that had the conference room that we were meeting in; and we were sitting in our car, we are just talking and up from out of nowhere, knock, knock, knock, just on our car window. I look and theres this homeless guy knocking on my window, and I roll down the window. And I asked him what we can help him with and he says, sir, is there any way that you can help me with clothing, its cold and Im homeless. 

Now normally, I get suspicious of anyone who is begging on the street. I... youre all familiar with the people who are filthy rich, are not in need. They sit there every single day of the week, live locally, but they have signs that say broken down live so far away, but this day, I did not feel that. I felt Yeah, we should help him. So my wife and I havent time to spare got out of the car. We walked into the mall with him. We should, upon a review, we should have gone to Walmart or something. But we walked into Macys and Kohls right there in the mall. And we took this guy shopping and we bought him thermals. Its Salt Lake, Utah in the middle of winter, we bought him great big wool socks, we bought him a coat. We let him pick out whatever he wanted and we went and bought it for him. And he just he was so joyful and so thankful. And Ive never really experienced that with a beggar on the street. Just that joy and that... that gratitude and he really made sure to thank us and let us know what it meant. 

And so as I reflect on what drives us to thanksgiving, what motivates us to thanksgiving. I want... I transition to what motivates us to think the Lord, to praise the Lord. I think the first thing that should motivate us to thank the Lord is we have an invitation. Verse one says "make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all ye lands." This is an invitation to be joyful. Now, in the King James Version here we have the phrase joyful noise. And this I think could be better translated as singing songs of praise unto the Lord. We have an invitation to thank him and I think weve got good reason to thank him. Just in 2020 alone, I can find reason to thank him. Ive got a home that Im getting sick and tired of right now because I havent left it in 10 days. But I have a home. A roof over my head; a heater running while I am on quarantine. I have a wife with a work from home job. While we are quarantined she is still getting paid. We are still able to provide for our bills and necessities we are not lacking I can name the countless times that God is protecting me and my car. I can in the countless times God has looked into the future, knowing before I will, I will go with thru and He has worked out a plan to work on things as Romans 8:28 says together for me, that they are good. Although it didnt seem like it in the time. But we can find reason. How about our salvation? Well touch base on that a little bit later. But, not only have we been given these things, we have a inventation to be joyful, and make noise unto the Lord. The Psalmist, writes, "Serve the Lord with gladness and come before his presence with singing." Says, "Serve the Lord of gladness." 

I wrote down another scripture to go with this its second Corinthians nine, verses six and seven. Its at the bottom of that list, Shawnee, so Second Corinthians nine, verses six and seven. This is, Im not reading this in the context of what its meant to be. This is.. and actually, Im just going to read verse seven. This is not the context. But youll get the point. "Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly or a necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver." 

Now God will take any praise we give him. Hell take any sowing we give Him. He will take... if we want to give a gift to God, He will take it. But what does God love? It says he loves a cheerful giver. When we sing songs of praise we, this should be all the time, not just Sunday morning. I feel like most of us do this on Sunday morning. But how often do we sing the songs of praise at the frown on our face, because its just the appropriate time to praise God. Were not doing it out of the overflowing abundance of joy from our heart. Were doing it because, well, its time to sing praises of joy to God. But our hearts not in it. Our emotion is not in it. Were doing it grudgingly. Were doing it out of necessity. Its that time of the week. But God He wants us to give him thanks. Because we really have something to thank him for. He wants us to give him give him thanks because our hearts are overflowing joy. Theyre overflowing with blessings from on high. Theyre overflowing with an abundance of gratitude. And the only way we can express that gratitude is to burst out with songs of joy. It says to come before his presence with singing. In Psalms 100, verse two the second part of it. You know that the Bible tells us also, in the New Testament, Paul tells us to go before the throne of singing.

In First Corinthians 14 verses 18 through 19, Ive a bad feeling that I did I selected the wrong one here.

Okay, its going to be in Colossians 3:15-17. I do apologize. Were told to go before the Lord of singing. It says "And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the words also youre called in one body; and be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in songs and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him."

This tells us a couple of things here to be thankful, to do and be thankful for. But it tells us to come before God and admonished one another and psalms and hymns and singing. And then it says singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. When we come before the Lord it should be with us. a grateful heart with a joyful heart with a heart that recognizes and understands what weve been given, who we are, and who gave to us. 

This passage also tells us here to be grateful for the church. That, you know, we come together; it says that we are one body. Were called to one body, and be ye thankful. Because as one body, we have a lot to be thankful for we, we have the church that Christ is founded, to be thankful for; we have the support system the church gives to be thankful for. We get mocked and ridiculed in the outside world, but inside of the church, we can uplift each other, we can serve one another, we have things to be grateful for. 

And then it also says whatsoever you do in word or deed, do in the name of the Lord Jesus, but says, given thanks to God, and the father by hand. In everything we do, we are to give thanks. Now I have some friends on Facebook have been watching and I have one friend in particular. And I know that he watches my videos, hes gonna feel called out, so Im not gonna name you, you know who you are. And I apologize If you feel called out here. Every single month, he has something new he does on Facebook, where for the 28 days in February, or 30 days or 31 days, however many days of the month, he has a theme that every day of the month he post, a post that for certain that theme. Last month, October he did pastors appreciation, where every month he posted a short thing about a pastor and his wife, the month before that was something else this month, thats Thanksgiving. Next month, itll be something else and so on and so on. And as I watched that, though, I started to realize there are many people who only pick the month of November, to give things. And I cant help but think how sad that is. How sad it is that we have, or that we have this illusion of so little to be grateful for for that we can only give thanks in November or Thanksgiving week or Thanksgiving Day. When we have so much to be grateful for that. The Bible tells us in everything good things every day, every minute, every hour, we are to be a walking body of gratitude. 

I cant help but think that God feels sad as well. When he gave so much, including his life for us. And as people as a whole, Im not calling any individual out, but as a whole. Were so unthankful, We only give thanks once a month or week of the year. And how sad He must feel. But the Bible extorts us to have a heart full of gratitude. And you know what, Im going to tell you a secret. Do you want to receive more blessings from God? Then give thanks. Because the more we thank God for what we have, the more he wants to give us. And we know this is true because this is the same of our own personality. When we go out of our way and help people and do stuff for people give them gifts, always showering them with blessings. And they always hold a grudge or always. They just like we read in Second Corinthians nine its grudgingly received an accept that we dont want to give more than you know God will give us more but how much more will he want to give us when we are grateful for what we have. If we want to deepen our walk with the Lord, let us develop a heart of gratitude. Because we cannot truly get close to the Lord until we are grateful for the Lord. We can know Him we can be saved but we cannot truly develop that close, intimate relationship without a heart of Thanksgiving.

It says in verse three, "Know ye that the Lord He is God." Now through the entire Bible, God has been in particular about this. He says, "I am the Lord and there is no other. Thou shalt have no other gods before me." And Isaiah he constantly repeats: "I am the Lord I am God. There is no other beside me. I am the first and I am the last; I am Alpha I am Omega; I am the beginning, I am the end." He is very particular about this. He is the Lord, He is God, and we have something to be thankful for in that. But then says it is He that hath made us and not we ourselves. Now, Im going to take this to me more than one thing. God obviously made us physically by He made us us as well. God sustains us Is it not his breath in our lungs. He makes us. He provides for us! I can tell you its not Shawnee and its not I thats provided for this home. Our God makes us. We dont make ourselves. We dont make ourselves successful. We dont make ourself live! Not by our own will; if God took his breath from our lungs we would drop right now. It is God, that makes us. Dont we have that to be thankful for? Our own life, our bodies, our provision, we have that to be thankful for. It says we are his people and the sheep of his pasture. I cant think of anything to be more grateful for from the fact that we are called by his name, that we are His people. He loves us. he cherishes us. He wants to give to us, he wants the best for us. He wants us to live with him through eternity. 

And then verse four, we are invited to enter into his gates. It says to "enter into escapes with thanksgiving and into His courts with praise." We have that inventation. "Enter into his gates with thanksgiving and into His courts with praise. And be thankful into him and bless his name." We have an invitation to enter His gates. He has a banquet table. Hes going to have the wedding supper of the Lamb and we are invited to it. But look at what he wants. He wants us to come but he wants us to come with thanksgiving. He wants us to enter the courtroom with praise and bless his name. 

And verse five gives us here another reason, "for the Lord is good. His mercy is everlasting and his truth endureth to all generations." If you have nothing else to be grateful, for be grateful for the Lord is good. And if you have nothing else to be thankful for be thankful because his mercy is everlasting. Tomorrow His mercy will not end. For he already died! He already clothed us with his white robes; with the blood of the Lamb. And at no point will that be gone that Mercy is ever lasting. And if you have none else to be thankful for his truth endureth to all generations. His truth does not end, does not stop, it does not change. No matter how much our scientists and secular worldviews want to change on today we think this is how the earth was formed and tomorrow we think another thing. Or today we think that we have global warming and tomorrow were in fear of another ice age and the next day its just climate change. No matter how much the truth of our reality changes around us or our perceived... perceived reality, the truth of God endureth all generations; it never changes. We have that to be grateful for. 

Turn with me to Second Samuel 22. I have a couple examples of biblical gratitude for you verses 49 and 50. "And that bring me forth from mine enemies: thou has also lifted me up on high above them that rose up against me: now has delivered me from the violent man. Therefore I will give thanks unto thee, O Lord, among the heathen, and I will sing praises unto thy name." This is David and around this time, if you remember David, was fleeing from King Saul. He was an enemy to King Saul. He has hidden in caves. He had a warrant on his head. And then the Lord made him king over Israel. The Lord hath removed Saul. And David is given thanks unto the Lord. He says, I give you things, because he brought me forth from my enemies, you lifted me on high above them that rose against me, and you delivered me. So Ill give you thanks. This is a biblical example of given things, one that we can follow. For we have been delivered from our enemies. Weve been delivered from our biggest enemy, the devil. He cant touch us, save God let him and all that he could do is persecute us, he cant kill our soul. We have been delivered from the gates of hell. There are countless times we have been delivered from enemies that are flesh and blood, like us, or the Lord has been kind to us, and has gotten us out of situations we never should have been in. 

In first Chronicles 29, in verses 12 and 13, it says, "both riches and honor come of thee, and thou reignest over all; and in thine hand is power and might; and in thine hand it is to make great, and to give strength unto all. Now therefore, our God, we thank thee, and praise thy glorious name." This is David once again. He has given thanks for the riches that God gave him. God had made him to prosper. God has given him gold; had given him all these riches beyond anything I could imagine. Now you will remember that King David did not get to build the house of God. The Lord said that he had blood on his hand. And his son Solomon built him the temple, what his son Solomon did not have the honor of designing the temple. David did that. And David did that to give thanks. And David says, You have made me rich, you have given all of this to me. Youve made me great, youve given me strength. So therefore, we thank thee. I think we too can associate with this. We too have been made to prosper. I think weve been made to prosper more than any other people group who has ever existed. Now we may not be wealthy in material or money. But we are wealthy when you consider the aspects of the vehicles we drive. We are wealthy when you consider the homes we live in the electricity, the running water, the air conditioner, the heater, indoor plumbing, praise God. When its negative 20 degrees and blizzarding outside we dont have to walk 30 yards to the latrine. He has made us wealthy beyond measure. And like David, we can praise Him by giving that wealth back we can use our cars to glorify Him. We can use our homes to glorify Him, we can use all that He has given us to share him and bring glory to His name.

And Psalms 119 verse 62, "At Midnight our rise to give thanks into the because of the righteous judgments." Praise never stops. "At midnight, I will rise," He says, "and give thanks." This reminds me of Paul when he was in prison. And then it says that at the hour of midnight Paul just bursted out with songs of praise. Now I have to be honest, I have never randomly gotten up at midnight and started singing songs to God. But why not? Why not? All throughout the Bible we see in the middle of the night when people are low, when people are down when people are joyful, they get up in the wee hours of the night when no one is awake, and they just pour out their hearts unto God. 

In Daniel 2:23... Daniel 2:23... says, "I thank thee, and praise thee, O thou God of my fathers, who hast given me wisdom and might, and hast made known unto me now what we desired of thee: for thou hast now made known unto us the kings matter." This is early on in the book of Daniel, the early chapters, and Daniels praising God. If you remember, King Nebuchadnezzar had a dream and he demanded of all the magicians and you know, the magi, all the wise men to interpret and understand the dream for him. And Daniel gives thanks to him, because he has given him wisdom, he has given him understanding. And Daniel is grateful for that. Remember what came of this? Daniel got a high position in the kingdom. Daniel became a prized servant, to Nebuchadnezzar. But Daniel recognized also where this came from; that wisdom, that knowledge, and understanding of the kings matter came from God. Now too often, I think we go through our life. And we find ourself in a situation. And we have this brilliant idea to get us out of it. And we get through it. And were like, Oh, Im so glad Im through that. And then we pat ourselves on the back, good boy, Matt. That was a creative idea you had and we never stop and acknowledge where that source of information came from. The fact that it was God who gives wisdom of might; God, that makes known unto us what we desire; and God who makes known unto us matters beyond our own understanding. 

In Acts 27:35, "And when he had thus spoken, he took bread, and gave thanks to God, in presence of them all: and when he had broken it, he began to eat." If you had been going through the study of Acts with me on Friday nights, if youre watching this, you will remember that during this time, Paul, was a prisoner on a ship headed to Rome, and they got drugged out in a storm. And the storm was breaking the boat and they had to toss food and cargo and grains overboard to survive. They went, was it 10 days without eating. And then right before they had a swim to an island after they were shipwrecked Paul says to them, "Eat for we will need strength." But then before he ate, he took it and he thanked God, and I cant imagine the look on the faces of the prisoners and Roman guards and the ships crew, you know, "Hey God, I know that we just spent 10 days being drug by Hurricane type storms, and winds and waves, that our boats falling apart. We lost all of our cargo. We are cold and sick. But thank you. Thank you, Lord." Now, I kind of gave not really a heartfelt thanks right there. I was kind of making light of the situation, but I can assume and I can relate to Paul that his gratitude was really heartfelt. Paul truly felt gratitude boiling over his heart and overflowing and in the midst of everything going wrong. He found it in him to have a thing for heart. In the midst of everything going wrong and 2020 in our lives, even before 2020, in the year to come. We can find it in us to give thanks because the Lords hand alone is sovereign. 

In Acts 28:15-16, "And from thence" 15 and 16 "and from thence, when the brethern heard of us, they came to meet us as far as Appii forum, and The three taverns: When Paul saw, he thanked God, and took courage. And when we came to Rome, the centurion delivered the prisoners to the captain of the guard: but Paul suffered to do all by himself with a soldier that kept him."

After all Paul got through, he arrives to Rome and when he gets there the church is there to greet him. And he says, I thank God for the people. This is just another example of how we can be thankful. We easily will give thanks for the car, and for our our bread, and for our home. But its not very often that we give thanks for the people in our life; for the people that God has put here to support us; for the people that God has put here to give us joy; are put here for us to serve. We dont give gratitude for the people. The things in our life that are so much more precious than our home, or then the bread on our table, or our car that we drive to Walmart to get said bread. But Paul, consistently he gave thanks for his brethren. Not just here, we see him give thanks in the book of Philippians, we see him give thanks in Ephesians, we see him give thanks in almost all of his letters, he is grateful for the people. 

My last biblical... biblical example of a grateful heart is in First Corinthians 14 verses 18 through 19. He says, "I thank my God, I speak with tongues more than ye all: Yet in the church Id rather speak five words with my understanding, that by my voice might teach others also, than 10,000 words in an unknown tongue." I picked this one for two reasons. Reason one was just to be funny, and pick on our Pentecostal brothers. Pastor Tim, I love you very much. I just have to tell you that before I pick on you, Paul says I would rather speak in understanding and other words hed rather speak words that can be understood by all around and then jibberish that he might teach others. He says, even if its only five words, Id rather speak that than the unknown tongue. But notice, he gives things for here. He gives thinks that he is able to teach. He gives thanks that hes able to share the gospel. He has given thanks because God has enabled him to share what God has given him. And what a thing to be thankful for. Weve discussed today, reasons to be thankful, we have discussed examples to be thankful. We have discussed that God wants us to be thankful that he commands us to be thankful; commands us to sing. But what else can we be thankful for? In this season, in our life, in our walk with Christ?

Ephesians chapter five, verses 19 and 20. It says, "speaking to yourself in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, sing in a making melody in your heart to the Lord; giving thanks, always." Highlight, underscore, circle, whatever you want the word always, "always given thanks for all things under God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;" All things we are to get things for. Everything; the good; the bad. Paul encourages us in other letters, or... or Peter to be thankful in tribulation. So when things go wrong, be thankful for that tribulation because through that tribulation, God... our weakness, will make... will bring up Gods strength. God will be glorified in our weakness he will show himself in our weakness and in our tribulation when things go wrong. Just pour out a grateful heart unto God when he blesses us be thankful; when he punishes us, you know, when he chastises us, be thankful. In all Things be thankful. And church, I promise you if we develop a grateful heart, not just in the things that we like, but in all things, we will deepen our walk with the Lord. But not only will we deepen our walk in the Lord, we will also find for ourself an easier life to live. 

In closing, if youre listening to this message today, and youre saying, Well, I dont have these things that you speak of, to be thankful for. I dont know what your salvation you talk of is. I dont know the goodness of the Lord. Ive never experienced that. And you talk about these things. What are they? Well, I have to tell you, the bad news. And that bad news is that we are sinful fallen people. But theres even worse news. And the worst news is, we are on a path to a place of eternal torment called hell. And there is nothing we can do about it. But let me tell you the good news. And this is the salvation The good news is that God became flesh, the guy who created us, the guy who created the earth, the world, the guy who will known as perfect and holy became flesh. And he died on a cross that we would be saved from that eternal destination of torment in hell, that we will not go there. And that there was nothing we could do of our own, that we still had that escape. And the best news is, he gives it freely, because He loves us. If you have never experienced the goodness of God, lets experience that goodness together today. And lets give you something to be thankful for. 

The Bible says in John 3:16, that "God so loved the world He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him will not perish but have everlasting life." Okay, whosoever will believe. So the first step is being willing to believe in your heart. Be willing to believe what we speak of what the Bible speaks of, that then tells us in Matthew 10:32-33, that "whosoever will confess Him before his fellow man, he will confess before the Father."

 So the next thing is being a being willing to confess get and before your fellow man and saying, Jesus is My Lord and my Savior. He goes forward though to say that if you deny Him, He will deny you before the Father. 

And Romans 10:9 tells us "if you confess with your mouth, the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart, that God raised Him from the dead out shall be saved." Okay, a confession and a belief. There is a period at the end of that, I am not here to tell you, by the way, you have to do a, b, and c. And after you do that, I need you to run halfway around the world, and get a special rock and bring it back and then do all these special ceremonies and secrets and whatnot. In order to enter the kingdom, there is a period at the end of that, confess and believe and you shall be saved.

And if you want to know the Lord and His goodness today, its as simple as doing these things. I will walk you through what... were gonna have a time of prayer, where we will admit, we are sinners, we will admit who God is, and what he has done and we will confess Him and ask for salvation. If you are already saved, we are praying for our one to get saved. This year, the one person we want to reach I encourage you take this time and pray for them. If you are not saved and you want what I talk of repeat the following prayer after me:

 Father God, Lord Jesus, Lord, I come to you broken. I come to you a sinner. Lord, I come to you. At a time where weve had a rough year a rough season and Lord I dont have much to be thankful for right now. But you word tells me that I can have a lot to be thankful for. And what I want to experience this the Lord I believe, and agree, that I am a sinner in need of saving. And Lord, I believe you are God in the flesh. You have come to earth, you have died on the cross for my sins. And I believe as your Word tells me, that you rose again, the third day, given victory over sin and death. Lord, I pray for you to enter my heart at this time. Lord, I pray for that salvation. But Im here and I pray to experience the goodness that Im hearing of Lord, I pray to experience the truth that endures for all generations, and I will commit to following you the best of my ability. The day of my life, in Jesus name, amen. 

If you have said that prayer for the first time, the Bible tells us the entire host of heaven is rejoicing right now. They are rejoicing that you have joined in the ranks of God that they rejoicing that you have believed. Let us rejoice with you. Drop me a comment, call me on the phone, email me. Whatever you got to do, let me know that you are now one of my brothers, so that I can rejoice with you. And dont forget to confess your Lord before your fellow man. 

Churches we end today and go into the week to come and Thanksgiving. Let us develop a heart of gratitude. Let us develop a sense of who we are, but more so a sense of what weve been given. And let us not just be grateful this month or the week to come, or on Thanksgiving Day, but let us be thing for all times. Always, as Ephesians says, verse 20, let us be thankful always and let us be thankful on all things and let us see what God does in our life. Lets pray. 

Father, God or Jesus, Lord, I thank you and praise you and Lord, You are just an awesome and mighty God, Lord, You are the God of our salvation. You are the God our rock, you are our banner, you are our hope, our peace, our strength Lord, you our... our... you are our provider. Lord, there is so much to be grateful for I couldnt name at all in this prayer and... and people will begin to get unthankful that I talked so long. But Lord, we just thank you. But Lord more, moreso we ask for you to give us one more thankful heart. We ask you to give us a heart thats overflowing with gratitude, a heart that is so thankful we shout out with joy, a heart that so grateful people see how grateful we are, that it will glorify you, Lord. Lord, we ask that you will do this in Jesus name. And when we pray for illness we and whoever has it that you will heal them. Lord, we pray for those who are depressed, that you will fill them up and let them up. We pray for those who are cold that you will shelter them. We pray for those who are hungry you will feed them and Lord, we give you the things that you deserve. And we ask for these things and for your spirit to be with us till we come together again in Jesus beautiful and precious name. Amen.