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)
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
- It is your first item of business UNTIL you see victory
- It is your first item of business AFTER you see victory
- Because...how you treat victory determines IF you’ll see continued victory.
- Celebrating victory thru thanksgiving was some 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.
When Thanksgiving lacks a sacrifice...it communicates 3 things to the Lord:
- 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.
- You miss WHY the Lord spares us.
- He spared Israel’s firstborn & then asked them to become dedicated to God.
- 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.
- 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