[Slide #1]I wash my hands in innocence, and go about your altar, Lord, proclaiming aloud your praise and telling of all your wonderful deeds. Lord, I love the house where you live, the place where your glory dwells. (Ps 26.6-8)
(People were not able to enter God’s presence empty handed. It was how their guilt (punishment) was shifted to another creature. Praise is equally powerful (as a sacrifice) and we should NEVER be without it. Praise brings us into God’s presence!)
[Slide #2] Sermon Title: Thankful Hearts
Sermon Text: Psalm 26/Exodus 11-13
- Thanksgiving is important to God, because it tells that you know the story
- You know the background
- You know the outcome
- You know your role
- You understand and expect the Lord to be faithful to His role
• C.S. Lewis “Therefore praise is not merely expresses but completes the enjoyment; it is its appointed consummation…In commanding us to glorify Him, God is inviting us to enjoy Him”
• In other words, gratitude is its own reward!
- Thanksgiving usually means that you see what others have refused to look into yet.
- Thankfulness is twofold.
- It acknowledges the strength of your recent victory...
- And it prepares you by elevated your heart & vision to places where God shows your more of what is to come.
- Thankfulness, therefore, is a connector of the soul!
- It is the cord between where you have been and where you going
- These two places (been/going) are more connected than what you think
☞Story of the Exodus (Exodus 12)
- Thankfulness is an attitude, which shapes...
- How you think
- What you expect
- What your first item of business is when you see victory
- What your first item of business UNTIL you see victory
- What your first item of business AFTER you see victory
- Because...how you treat victory determines IF/HOW you’ll see continued victory.
- Celebrating victory thru thanksgiving was so important that God did the following things:
- Told Israel to celebrate
- Told Israel when to celebrate
- Told Israel how to celebrate
- Thanksgiving was never to empty handed.
- Israel celebrated that God had spared their firstborn while killing Egypt’s first born...
- However, God’s idea of celebrating is the dedicate to Him what he saved/spared.
[Slide #4] When Thanksgiving lacks a sacrifice...it communicates 3 things to the Lord:
1. You trust your own strength (not the Lord’s)...and you’re no different that Pharaoh & Nebuchadnezzar who challenged God. You become God’s opponent. God ALWAYS wins.
2. You miss WHY the Lord spares us.
- He spared Israel’s firstborn & then asked them to become dedicated to God.
3. You miss the clearest reminders of God’s faithfulness, love and abiding presence.
*Webster says that to be grateful is to have a sense of benefits received. It means to be thankful. It is derived from an old English word that means thought. Lately, I have been giving a lot of thought to this topic and I have realized the following things about gratitude:
- It is hard to remain angry while being grateful, truly grateful.
- It is hard to be selfish while being grateful, truly grateful.
- It is hard to keep score on the times you’ve been wronged while being grateful, truly grateful.
- And it is hard to be greedy and self-centered while being grateful, truly grateful.
[Slide #5] ☞Thanksgiving changes the make-up of the heart!
Proverbs 4:22-24 (AMP) 22 For they are life to those who find them, healing and health to all their flesh. Keep and guard your heart with all vigilance and above all that you guard, for out of it flow the springs of life.
Proverbs 17:22 A cheerful heart makes you healthy. But a broken spirit dries you up.
Proverbs 12:25 Anxiety weighs down the heart, but a kind word cheers it up.
Proverbs 15:13 A happy heart makes the face cheerful, but heartache crushes the spirit.
Proverbs 15:15 All the days of the oppressed are wretched, but the cheerful heart has a continual feast.
Medicine /med·i·cine/ (med´ĭ-sin)
1. any drug or remedy.
2. the diagnosis and treatment of disease and the maintenance of health.
- the treatment of disease by nonsurgical means.
- The science or practice of the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disease (in technical use often taken to exclude surgery).
- Peace is a sense that wherever I am...God is present and shaping me through and with everything that looks like success or failure. This calm is ever with my soul.
- Peace = absence of war. I’m not fighting with life because God is blocking for me...I can thrive wherever I am. I can relax and roll with punches life offers me or scale the walls that life presents me with.
- Joy = rooted in the fact that that my life isn’t haphazard. God is not bothered nor surprised by whatever comes my way...everything leads me closer to God.
- Peace rests and heals us. Joy fuels and energizes us.
[Slide #6] Challenge/Next Steps:
- Tweet/text/FB/journal relentless statements about what you’re grateful for this week
- Ask others what they are grateful for
- Decide how and where will you schedule opportunities praise?
- Ask God to help you to grow in thanksgiving and praisewww.folmadison.org