In this sermon, Pastor Neil preaches on thankfulness, giving thanks to God as a way of life, not just during the Thanksgiving holiday. Here are some excerpts:
Thankfulness is intended to be one of the distinguishing marks of a Christian. I am not a Shakespeare expert, but there is a line in King Lear that says: “How sharper than a serpent’s tooth it is to have a thankless child.” I have no experience with a serpent’s bite, and hope I never do. But it is true that ingratitude in children, or in anyone, can cause great pain and may do great harm. From a spiritual point of view, how much more grievous, how much more tragic and outrageous, is ingratitude in the lives of those who profess to be the children– sons and daughters – of the true and living God, who loves us with an everlasting love and has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in Christ (Ephesians 1:3).
Thankfulness to God is meant to be a way of life. Spurgeon said that thanks-living is even better than thanksgiving. How is thanks-living to be done? Here is what Spurgeon says: “By a general cheerfulness of manner, by obedience to the command of Him by whose mercy we live by a perpetual, constant delighting of ourselves in the Lord, and by a submission of our desires to His will.”
The American way of celebrating the Thanksgiving holiday, of course, is unique. The late, great Johnny Carson said this about Thanksgiving: “Thanksgiving is an emotional holiday. People travel thousands of miles to be with people they only see once a year. And then they discover once a year is way too often.” Regardless of how far you travel, or how far others travel to be with you, I hope your experience will be different from Carson’s take.
Then there is football. To paraphrase the late, great Erma Bombeck: “Thanksgiving dinners take 18 hours to prepare. They are consumed in 15 minutes. Half-times take 15 minutes.This is not coincidence.” If you enjoy football, enjoy it. It is one of God’s gifts to bereceived with thanksgiving. But do not let it consume your day. And do not let it or anything else replace thanksgiving in your life.