SERMON DATE AND TITLE: 2010-11-21: "In Everything Give Thanks"

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Some years ago, the cartoon pictured Charlie Brown bringing out Snoopy’s dinner on Thanksgiving Day. But it was just his usual dog food in a bowl.
Snoopy took one look at the dog food and said, "This isn’t fair. The rest of the world today is eating turkey with all the trimmings and all I get is dog food. Because I’m a dog," he said, "all I get is dog food." He stood there and stared at his dog food for a moment and said, "I guess it could be worse. I could be a turkey."
There was a young girl who went with her mother to an art store, as the mother was looking for new decorations for the house. The little girl did her own exploring. She came to that famous painting called "Our Daily Bread." It shows an older gentleman seated at a very small table. His hands are folded in prayer, his head is bowed, and on the table before him is a single, small loaf of bread. The little girl looked at it intently, and looked at it some more, and finally her mother came over and said, "Honey, what's wrong?" The little girl responded, "The poor man, he doesn't have any peanut butter!"
There was another family with a little first-grader named Robbie. Robbie found great joy in the time of prayer at family dinner. Most of us like to kind of race through that, because we know "better" things are coming. But Robbie enjoyed the prayer, and he asked his dad several days before Thanksgiving if he could say the prayer. The father said yes. He began to coach his son, but Robbie protested, "Dad, I know how to do it. I've listened to you. I know how to do this." So the family gathered, grandparents, aunts and uncles, cousins, a great extended family, they were all there. It came time, they sat at the table. "Robbie, it's your turn." Robbie said, "Now everyone, fold your hands, bow your head, close your eyes, and pray with me." He had heard his dad say it so many times, he knew exactly what to do.
"God is great, God is good, and we thank him for this food." There was a slight hesitation, but then he continued on,
"And we thank him for the hands that have repaired it."
Now there is a slight difference between repairing a meal and preparing a meal. But that was lost on Robbie at that moment. It is not lost on Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is often a time for repairing-repairing family relations as we come together. There's something about the sentiment of the gathering that enables us to reach out across the divides and bring repair to the family.

In 1621 the Plymouth pilgrims gathered. They gathered to give thanks because they had been able to construct some lean-tos that protected them somewhat from the weather. They gathered to give thanks because they had found kindness in their native neighbors. They gathered to give thanks because they had received an adequate harvest from the land-barely adequate. They gathered to give thanks for those things, but they looked beyond those things and they gave thanks to the God who stood behind those things. If it hadn't been for the lean-tos and for the few friendly folk, and for the little bit of corn and grain they were able to raise, they could not have survived. But they survived and were thankful because they knew something behind those things existed, that was foundational in their lives and could keep them going: the everlasting love of God.

In 1863 Abraham Lincoln made a national proclamation, setting aside a day for Thanksgiving. It was the midst of the Civil War. No one in their right mind would thank God for the Civil War; but in the midst of the war, Lincoln knew that the nation would only survive if it looked beyond the immediate situation, and found its strength in God. So he called for a nation divided to be at one in prayer.

November 21, 2010

Sheepfold Ministries – Pastor Phil Roland



1 Thessalonians 5:12-18
"Listening to the media-whiners about how terrible things are, it’s easy to forget how abundantly God has blest us, physically, spiritually and materially.”                                                                                                                                            Pastor Phil

1 Thessalonians 5:18
In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”
 “Give thanks in all circumstances”

 Dr. Dale Robbins writes, “I used to think people complained because they had a lot of problems. But I have come to realize that they have problems because they complain. Complaining doesn’t change anything or make situations better. It amplifies frustration, spreads discontent and discord, and can invoke an invitation for the devil to cause havoc with our lives.” Complaining makes us miserable.”

Psalm 77:3 says, “I complained and my spirit was overwhelmed.”

Philippians 2:13 “Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe.”

 1 Thess. 5:18 “Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”

Three Simple observations about giving thanks:

1. We have it so good
2. We enjoy it so much
3. We express it so little

I.  WE HAVE IT SO GOOD - 1 Tim. 6:17
 “Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment.”  NIV
A. Americans are Rich in this World
          1. Go to a Flea Market or Yard Sale: look in your garage or attic
          2. We are overflowing with the “Stuff” of this life
B. Annual Income in Third World Countries far beneath us
          1. Sixteen countries have Annual Incomes less than $1,000
              Afghanistan, Somalia, Yemen, Ethiopia, Liberia
2. Average Annual Income in China
                              a. Shanghai - $6687
                              b. Beijing - $6481
                              c. Shenzhen - $5872
          C. I grew up in the World War II and Post-war Nineteen Forties
                    1. Before Refrigerators, Rural Electric Associations
                    2. Before Forced Air Heating, Air Conditioning
                    3. Before Yellow Margarine, Pasteurized Milk
                    4. Before Cable TV, DVD Movies, Laptops, Notebooks
                    5. Before Cell Phones, Video Games, I-Pads
          D. Ask yourself a series of questions:
                    1. Is your Food Pantry at home filled with food?
                    2. What era are you from?
                    3. How poor was your childhood?
                    4. What do you have now that you didn’t have then?
          E. We who are rich in this present world need to search our hearts
                    1. Give up arrogance and pride
                    2. Have you counted your blessings lately?
                    3. We have it so Good!
II. WE ENJOY IT SO MUCH – Luke 12:18,19
“Then (the rich man) said, 'This is what I'll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. And I'll say to myself, "You have plenty of good things laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry."'
          A. Are we having Fun with the stuff we’ve acquired?
                    1. Ask the weary Black Friday shopper at noon Friday
                    2. Ask the tired mother with several crying kids in the Mall
                    3. Ask the businessman launching his costly boat at the lake
          B. We have the energy to play with our stuff
                    1. Too tired from the weekends to go to work Mondays
                    2. Too weary to go to church Sundays
          C. We worship our work, work at our play and play at our worship
          D. End Time Warnings
                    1. Terrible Times Ahead - 2 Timothy 3:1
                       “But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days.”
                    2. End-Time Mankind will Love Pleasure – 2 Timothy 3: 2-5
“People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful,
                          proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy,
                          without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal,
                          not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of
                          pleasure rather than lovers of God--having a form of godliness but
                          denying its power. Have nothing to do with them.”
E. Increase in Sedentary Activities: Obese, Lethargic, Depressive
1. Increased 4.5 times since 1950
2. Children and adults now spend 45 weekly hours sitting
          a. Viewing Television
          b. Working on Computers
          c. Playing Video Games
          d. Watching DVD movies    (6/2/05, News-medical.net)


F. DO NOT FORGET GOD – James 1:17
            Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father
                of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.”
          G. The Lust for money and what it buys Dilutes Faith - 1 Timothy 6:10
               “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager
                 for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with
                 many griefs.”

III. WE EXPRESS IT SO LITTLE – 1 Thessalonians 5:16,17
     “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing,”
         A. Search out ways to express gratitude
                    1. Find someone who can’t pay you back and help them
                    2. Look for way to help others anonymously
          B. Leave people and circumstances better than you find them
          C. I am Thankful for. . .
                    the taxes I pay because it means I’m employed
                    the clothes that fit a little too snug because it means I have                                enough to eat
                    my shadow who watches me work because it means I am out

                         in the sunshine
                    a lawn that needs mowing, windows that need cleaning and
                         gutters that need fixing because it means I have a home
                    the spot I find at the far end of the parking lot because it

                         means I am capable of walking
                    my huge heating bill because it means I am warm
                    all the complaining I hear about our government because it
                          means we have freedom of speech
                    the lady behind me in church who sings off key because it
                          means that I can hear
                    the piles of laundry and ironing because it means my loved
                          ones are nearby
                    the alarm that goes off in the early morning hours because it
                          means that I’m alive
                    the weariness and aching muscles at the end of the day
                          because it means I have been productive
          D. We come into this world w/nothing/We leave/nothing - Job 1:21

               “Job)said: "Naked I came from my mother's womb, and naked I will
                   depart. The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; may the name
                   of the LORD be praised."
                    1. We can leave with the Love of Christ

                    2. We can depart this life with His Salvation
                    3. Accept Him into your Heart and Give Thanks
Closing illustration(s)

The young man was feeling very proud of himself. As a brand new college graduate he had taken the C.P.A. Exams and passed with flying colors. Now he was a full-fledged Certified Public Accountant.

His father had been an immigrant to the U.S., and now owned his own little business. Filled with self-importance, the young man began to criticize his father’s way of keeping books. He said, “Dad, you don’t even know how much profit you’ve made. Over here in this drawer are your accounts receivable. Over there are your receipts and you keep all your money in the cash register. You don’t have any idea how much money you’ve made.”

The father answered, “Son, when I came to this country the only thing I owned was a pair of pants. Now, your brother is a doctor, your sister is an art teacher, and you are a C.P.A. Your mother and I own our home. We have a car and we own this little business. Now add that up, subtract the pants and all the rest is profit.”

ADD IT UP! That’s exactly what we need to do at Thanksgiving. Add it all up. We came into this world with nothing but the eternal soul that God gave us. Everything else is profit. We can never give too much thanks to God!


A 12 year old boy named David was born without an immune system. He underwent a bone marrow transplant in order to correct the deficiency. Up to that point he had spent his entire life in a plastic bubble in order to prevent exposure to common germs, bacteria, and viruses that could kill him. He lived without ever knowing human contact. When asked what he’d like to do if and when released from his protective bubble, he replied, "I want to walk barefoot on grass, and touch my mother’s hand."

Get it right. We have it so good. We enjoy it so much. And often, we express it so little.

1 Thess. 5:18 “Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for ... you in Christ Jesus.”




1 Thessalonians 5:12-18 NKJV
12 And we urge you, brethren, to recognize those who labor among you, and are over you in the Lord and admonish you,
13 and to esteem them very highly in love for their work's sake. Be at peace among yourselves.
14 Now we exhort you, brethren, warn those who are unruly, comfort the fainthearted, uphold the weak, be patient with all.
15 See that no one renders evil for evil to anyone, but always pursue what is good both for yourselves and for all.
16 Rejoice always,
17 pray without ceasing,
18 in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.








Christ Jesus for you.

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

Psalm 9:1    

  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    

Psalm 105:1-2
105:1 Oh give thanks to the Lord; call upon his name;
make known his deeds among the peoples!
Sing to him, sing praises to him;
tell of all his wondrous works!

Psalm 105:1-2 
Philippians 4:6
do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.
Philippians 4:6    

Oh give thank to the Lord, call upon His name; Make known His deeds among the peoples. -Psalms 105:1

Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise. Give thanks to Him; bless His name. -Psalms 100:4

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. -Philippians 4:6

It is good to give thanks to the Lord, and to sing praises to Thy name, O Most High; to declare Thy loving-kindness in the morning, and Thy faithfulness by night... For Thou, O Lord, hast made me glad by what Thou hast done, I will sing for joy at the work of Thy hands. How great are Thy works, O Lord! -Psalm 92:1, 4-5

Speak to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord; always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father... -Ephesians 5:19-20

Bless the Lord, O my soul; and all that is within me, bless His holy name. Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget none of His benefits; Who pardons all your iniquities; Who heals all your diseases; who redeems your life from the pit; Who crowns you with loving-kindness and compassion; Who satisfies your years with good things, so that your youth is renewed like the eagle. -Psalm 103:1-5