SERMON DATE AND TITLE: 2008-11-23: "Reasons To Give Thanks"

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          Several things remind me to be especially grateful at Thanksgiving this year. One of our friends of the Sheepfold dropped by with a couple of bags of old clothing for re-cycling. Lois and I have several locations for distributing the clothing. Occasionally she looks through the items to see if we or any of the people attending the Sheepfold can use them. She went through one of the bags and noticed an older woman’s dress that was particularly heavy.

          There was a pocket that was sewn shut. She carefully removed the stitching and found over $1,000 in old currency bills! In another un-sewn pocket she found several hundred dollars in the same type of currency!

          With Lois there was no hesitation. She called the donor of the clothing and told her what she had found. The woman gasped, “That was my grandmother’s dress! “She must have been saving that money and forgot to tell us about it before she passed away!”

          The next day when she came for the money, she told Lois, “My refrigerator just died and I didn’t know how I was going to be able to replace it. I don’t know how to thank you for returning the money!” There were tears of gratitude. Is there a question about whether that was the right thing to do? Or, can we ask were the lady’s tears genuine? Now that’s thankfulness!

          I am grateful that my wife’s integrity exceeds my own. I would have done the right thing here, but I would have struggled over it. With Lois there was no hesitation. I am also grateful that Lois was an instrument of love in God’s Hands to meet immediate needs in that lady’s life.

          Another issue for which I am grateful is that God has placed us strategically in one of the most poverty stricken regions of the country. Our personal needs are being met and we have enough to help the immediately hungry family that knocks on our door. That’s my definition of prosperity: having your own needs met and having enough left over to reach out to the stranger that comes to your door.

Those are just two of the reasons that I am giving thanks today.

Today’s sermon explores seven reasons Christians can give thanks.


Pastor Phil  <><<


George Washington as President set aside the last Thursday in November, 1789, as a day of Thanksgiving "to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God."   Few Presidents followed Washington’s example. Thanksgiving was celebrated, however, in a growing number of states, often on the last Thursday in November. It was not until 1863, in the midst of the Civil War, that the first of an unbroken series of annual national Thanksgiving proclamations was issued by President Abraham Lincoln.  Every year since Abraham Lincoln’s 1863 proclamation, the president then in office has issued a national Thanksgiving proclamation.


I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart;
I will recount all of your wonderful deeds.

Psalm 9:1    


  1. 1.Psalm 50:23

The one who offers thanksgiving as his sacrifice glorifies me;
to one who orders his way rightly
I will show the salvation of God!”

Psalm 50:23    


Psalm 92:1

92:1 It is good to give thanks to the Lord,
to sing praises to your name, O Most High;

Psalm 92:1 


Psalm 97:12

Rejoice in the Lord, O you righteous,
and give thanks to his holy name!

Psalm 97:12    



Psalm 100:4

Enter his gates with thanksgiving,
and his courts with praise!
Give thanks to him; bless his name!

Psalm 100:4    



November 23, 2008

Sheepfold Ministries – Pastor Phil Roland



PSALM 103:1-5

"Our people are weary from attempting to find happiness through politics, materialism and consumerism. Thanking God is vital for the soul.”               Pastor Phil


“In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”

1 Thes. 5:18


Seven Reasons FOR Christians to Be THANKFUL:

I.   FORGIVEN – We Thank God Because We Are Forgiven

            God is the one who “pardons all our iniquities;”

            A. Our Confessed Sin is Forgiven Sin – Psalm 32:1,2

            “Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, Whose sin is covered.

             Blessed is the man to whom the LORD does not impute iniquity, And in

             whose spirit there is no deceit.” Psalm 32:1,2

                        1. Confess to God – 1 John 1:9

                        “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our

                          sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”                                                       2. Confess to Yourself

                        3. Confess to Others – 1 John 1:7

                        “But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship

                        with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us

                        from all sin.

            B. Forgiven, We Are “IN CHRIST” - 2 Corinthians 5:17

            “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have

              passed away; behold, all things have become new.”

                        1. We Are Grateful God has forgotten sin’s accusations

                        2. We are Grateful We have newness of life in Christ


II. SALVATION – We Thank God Because We Are Saved

          “who redeems your life from the pit;”

          A. Mankind Needs Salvation - John 3:16

            "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that

            whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

            "For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but

            that the world through Him might be saved.”

          B.   We are Saved from the Wrath to Come - 1 Thes. 1:10b

                        “Jesus (who) delivers us from the wrath to come.”


III. SECURITY – We Thank God Because In Him We Are Secure

          A. We are secure in Christ – John 10:27-29

            "My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.  "And I give

            them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch

            them out of My hand. "My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than

            all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father's hand.”


            B. We Have the Son, We Have Life – 1 John 5:11-13

            “And this is the testimony: that God has given us eternal life, and this life is

            in His Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of

            God does not have life.  These things I have written to you who believe in

            the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life,

            and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God.”


IV. PRAYER – We Thank God Because We Can Pray

          A. Prayer Grants Instant Access to God’s Throne and Heart

            “'Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things,

which you do not know.'” Jeremiah 33:3

            B. God Searches for those Who Will Pray – 2 Chron. 16:9

        “"For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to

            show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him.”


V. BLESSINGS – We Thank God Because of His Favor

          “who crowns you with loving-kindness and compassion;”

          A. He Favors us with Long Life

                        “who satisfies your years with good things;”

            B. He Favors us with Health

                        “who heals all your diseases;”

            C. He Favors us with Strength

                        “your youth is renewed like the eagle;”

VI. SERVICE – We Thank God Because We Can Serve Him

  1. A.     We serve Him as His Ambassadors – 2 Cor. 5:20

“We are therefore Christ's ambassadors, as though God were making his

 appeal through us. We implore you on Christ's behalf: Be reconciled to


B. Our Service is to God and Him Alone – Joshuah 24:24

"The LORD our God we will serve, and His voice we will obey!"


VII. HEAVEN – We Thank God Because We Have A Home

        A. Heaven is a Destination – John 14:2,3

            "In My Father's house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have

            told you. I go to prepare a place for you. "And if I go and prepare a place for

            you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you

            may be also.”

  1. B.    Heaven is a Person

                        1. Heaven is where Jesus is

                        2. We long to be with the Lord