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Entering God's Gates with Thanksgiving
Entering God's Gates with Thanksgiving
PROPOSITION: We enter God's gates with thanksgiving because 1) thanksgiving is the only appropriate response for what God has done for us, 2) thanksgiving brings about a change of attitude in our lives, 3) thanksgiving spurs us into action for the welfare and benefit of others.
OBJECTIVE: The hearer should be able to state why he ought to have a heart of thanksgiving and how that relates to Christian living.
Aim: That each one would harbor a heart of tremendous gratitude toward God for the blessings he has given us in our lives.
1. Read: Psalm 100
2. About the Text:
1) Psalm 100 is a psalm of praise.
2) It is what we would consider an "opening song."
3) It speaks of coming before God's presence and entering His gates.
4) The Psalmist speaks of the relationship God's people have to Him like sheep to a shepherd.
5) It speaks of the goodness and mercy of the Lord.
6) Verse 4 says, "Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name."
7) When we come to worship God, we should come with thanksgiving in our hearts.
8) Thursday is our holiday known as "Thanksgiving."
9) It's an appropriate holiday.
10) As a Christian people, we must be thankful.
11) Not only on Thanksgiving, but every day of the year.
DISCUSSION: We enter God's gates with thanksgiving because . . .
I. THANKSGIVING IS THE ONLY APPROPRIATE RESPONSE FOR WHAT GOD HAS DONE FOR US.
1. God is . . .
1) Our creator Isaiah 45:12 "I have made the earth, and created man upon it: I, even my hands, have stretched out the heavens, and all their host have I commanded."
2) Our sustainer Isaiah 26:3 "Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee."
3) Our redeemer Isaiah 44:6 "Thus saith the LORD the King of Israel, and his redeemer the LORD of hosts; I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no God."
2. Because God is these things, we have no right to be anything but thankful.
1) Thankful for our existence Ephesians 5:20 "Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ."
2) Thankful for our daily bread 1 Timothy 4:4 "For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving:"
3) Thankful for our salvation Romans 6:17 "But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you."
3. How could we be anything other than thankful for what God has done?
1) Thanksgiving requires us to focus on the blessings that God has provided.
2) When we stop focusing on the blessings God has provided, we lose our perspective regarding thanksgiving.
3) When we lose our perspective regarding thanksgiving, our relationship with God will begin to suffer.
4) Thanksgiving is the only appropriate response if we wish to maintain our relationship with God.
II. THANKSGIVING BRINGS ABOUT A CHANGE OF ATTITUDE IN OUR LIVES.
1. What attitudes does thanksgiving affect?
2. Just about all of them, but let's look at three key attitudes.
3. Thanksgiving leads to humility.
1) Proverbs 29:23 states, "A mans pride shall bring him low: but honour shall uphold the humble in spirit."
2) To say "thank you" to someone means acknowledging someone else's contribution to your success.
3) That is an attitude of humility when you recognize that you haven't gotten to where you are alone.
4) Thankful people are humble people.
5) When we are thankful we will be much less likely to be lifted up with pride.
4. Thanksgiving leads to dependence on God in prayer.
1) Philippians 4:6 "Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God."
2) Prayer and thanksgiving go hand in hand.
3) The thankful person is the praying person.
4) When we are thankful in prayer, we recognize our reliance upon God in all things.
5) Recognizing our dependence on God keeps out an attitude of selfishness.
5. Thanksgiving leads to joy.
1) Psalm 97:12 "Rejoice in the LORD, ye righteous; and give thanks at the remembrance of his holiness."
2) People who are thankful are people who are content.
3) People who are content are people who rejoice.
4) People who rejoice are people who are happy.
5) Thankfulness and joy go hand in hand.
6) If you want to be happy, then be thankful to everyone you meet.
7) But most importantly be thankful to God!
8) If we fill our thoughts with gratefulness, there won't be room for ingratitude and discontent.
III. THANKSGIVING SPURS US TO ACTION FOR THE WELFARE AND BENEFIT OF OTHERS.
1. When we're thankful, we want others to have the same blessings we have.
1) Psalm 107:22 "And let them sacrifice the sacrifices of thanksgiving, and declare his works with rejoicing."
2) When we're thankful for food, clothing, shelter, we want others to have these things also.
3) When we're thankful for a good life, we want others to have a good life as well.
4) When we're thankful to God for our salvation, we want others to have salvation also.
2. When we want others to have the blessings we have, we'll work toward that end in our lives.
1) Consider the example of Jesus in John 6:11when he fed over 5000. "And Jesus took the loaves; and when he had given thanks, he distributed to the disciples, and the disciples to them that were set down; and likewise of the fishes as much as they would."
2) Jesus' thankfulness for the bread and fish was translated into an overflowing abundance of food.
3) So much so that they picked up 12 baskets of fragments.
3. Consider also the meaning and significance of the Lord's Supper.
1) This is supposed to be a time of thanksgiving.
2) Luke 22:19 "And he took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me."
3) It reminds us of what God and Christ did for our welfare and benefit.
4) It reminds us of what we also must do for the welfare and benefit of others in God's service.
5) Hence we will be spurred into action
a. To worship God
b. To keep ourselves pure.
c. To help others.
4. Hebrews 13:15 "By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name."
1. We enter God's gates with thanksgiving because . . .
1) Thanksgiving is the only appropriate response for what God has done for us.
2) Thanksgiving brings about a change of attitude in our lives .
3) Thanksgiving spurs us into action for the welfare and benefit of others.
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