It’s “that” time of year again – Thanksgiving week!
As we enter this week we pause and reflect on the state of our lives, our families, our jobs, our community, our country, and the world at large. There are many things that can be concerning for us including family difficulties, relationships, a challenging economy, wars, and so much more. So what do we do with Thanksgiving? What if it’s hard to be thankful? Should we even bother? Does God and His Word give us any direction about giving thanks?
The problem with the Thanksgiving Holiday
Friendsgiving – Thanks for Giving – Thanks Savings
Main Idea: Thanksgiving is more than a US Holiday celebrated on the Third Thursday in November. Thanksgiving is an intentional attitude that leads to an action of expression.
…giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, … Ephesians 5:20 (ESV)
The parts of thanksgiving
- Thanks: __________________________________________________________________________
- Giving: __________________________________________________________________________
Make the best use of the time…
Giving thanks ____________________ and for _______________________________
To __________________________________ in the name of of our Lord Jesus Christ
This Thanksgiving I will…
Main Verses: Ephesians 5:15-21
TALK IT OUT:
- Pastor Jeff observes that in recent years our culture has been moving away from the traditional form of Thanksgiving. However, he reminds us that there are over 300 examples of thankfulness or gratitude recorded in the New and Old Testaments. Why is being thankful so important to God?
- The central theme of Pastor Jeff’s message is that “Thanksgiving is an intentional attitude that leads to an action of expression.” Why should Thanksgiving be connected to both our attitudes and actions?
- In Ephesians 5, Paul teaches us what living in gratitude to God looks like. Consider the words of verse 21 and then write a description of what giving thanks looks like for believers.
- Pastor Jeff suggests that thanks is, “an attitude of gratitude,” however, over the last few years our culture has been shifting from this general attitude. We don’t often hear the words “thank you” enough. What are you thankful for: 1) Today? 2) This week? 3) This month? 4) This year? 5) In the last 5 years? and 6) In your entire life?
- So many times, we’re so busy preparing for life that we miss out on life’s meaning. This is particularly true when it comes to being grateful for our blessings. Pastor Jeff observes, “To be thankful requires us to be mindful of the multitude of blessings we experience on a regular basis.” How can we better do that?
- Pastor Jeff suggests that we don’t just say we are thankful, but that we: 1) say it to God in prayer, 2) say it to our spouse, 3) say it to our children and 4) say it to our family, friends, and co-workers. Which of these is most challenging to you?
- At the top of every Christ-followers list of things to be grateful for should be the gospel message since it is the way God has rescued us from sin and death. Pause for a moment right now and express your gratitude to God for salvation.