AN ATTITUDE MORE THAN AN EVENT
Come, let us sing for joy to the LORD; let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation. 2 Let us come before him with thanksgiving and extol him with music and song. 3 For the LORD is the great God, the great King above all gods. 4 In his hand are the depths of the earth, and the mountain peaks belong to him. 5 The sea is his, for he made it, and his hands formed the dry land. 6 Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the LORD our Maker; 7 for he is our God and we are the people of his pasture, the flock under his care. Today, if you hear his voice, 8 do not harden your hearts as you did at Meribah, as you did that day at Massah in the desert, 9 where your fathers tested and tried me, though they had seen what I did. 10 For forty years I was angry with that generation; I said, “They are a people whose hearts go astray, and they have not known my ways.” 11 So I declared on oath in my anger, “They shall never enter my rest.” Psa. 95:1
AS WE CELEBRATE THIS THANKSGIVING IT’S IMPORTANT TO LOOK UP Abraham Lincoln in his Thanksgiving Proclamation of 1863 said this: The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God. He goes into a brief mention of the waste and loss of the war that is underway. How industry continues and the population grows and all of it is because of God. In Lincoln’s day abd right up to this minute, • people become so puffed up and prideful of their own abilities that they need to be reminded to be thankful to God. • We even forget to pray and ask for mercy. • We forget that everything comes from God.
The Psalmist said, it a long time before Lincoln. • Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as you did at Meribah, as you did that day at Massah in the desert, where your fathers tested and tried me, though they had seen what I did. • The psalmist is referring to the time when the people were complaining desert as they fled the slavery of Egypt. • They accused Moses of bring them out to the desert so that they might die of thirst.
o Meribah = quarreling, strife; rebellion o Massah = testing. Both Lincoln and the psalmist speak to the basic flaw of mankind, • not being satisfied with what we have. • Developing an attitude of entitlement: “I deserve it.” When King David wrote this Psalm he understood • that Thanksgiving was an attitude cultivated in our hearts o It’s important because when gratitude takes root in our hearts: § We are apt to repeat the mistakes of the past. § And it helps us to move into a new day
Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. 23 They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness Lamentations 3 22
So it’s important on this new day is to LOOK UP
After all, He created us for His glory and so we should give Him the glory!
-‐-‐A man was lost and walking in the desert for about five days…he comes to the home of a preacher. Tired and weak, he crawls up to the house and collapses on the doorstep. The preacher takes him in and nurses him back to health. Feeling better, the man asks the preacher for directions to the nearest town. The preacher tells him the directions, and offers to lend him his horse. The preacher says, "However, there is a special thing about this horse. You have to say ’Thank God’ to make it go and ’Amen’ to make it stop."
Anxious to get to town, the man says, "Sure, okay" and gets on the horse. He says, "Thank God" and, the horse starts walking. A bit later he says louder, "Thank God, thank God," and the horse starts trotting. Feeling really brave, the man say, "Thank God! Thank God! THANK GOD!" and the horse is soon up to a full run! About then he realizes he’s heading for a huge cliff and yells "Whoa!" But the horse doesn’t even slow! It’s coming up REAL QUICK and he’s doing everything he can to make the horse stop. "Whoa, stop, hold on!" Finally he remembers "AMEN!!! The horse stops a mere two inches from the cliff’s edge, almost throwing him over its head. The man, panting and heart racing, wipes the sweat from his face and leans back in the saddle. Gasping for air he says with relief, "Thank God." In Looking up we should notice the presence of God • In Looking Up we should notice the plans of God • In Looking Up we should notice the protection of God. •
Having the right heart attitude helps us first to LOOK UP And second A thankful attitude helps us to LOOK AROUND
AS WE CELEBRATE THIS THANKSGIVING IT’S IMPORTANT TO LOOK AROUND
says: for he is our God and we are the people of his pasture, the flock under his care Verse 7
There is a certain blessedness of knowing we are under his care, Psalms 116, 118, 139 and yet we are prone to be shortsighted in that we don’t know what we’ve got until it is gone… until we lose it. Some people suffer from a condition known as MYOPIA of the heart • Medically speaking MYOPIA is the term for short-‐sightedness
• Spiritually speaking our distance vision becomes blurred, we don’t
appreciate the large picture of what the Lord is doing in our lives
"A lady known as an incurable grumbler constantly complained about everything. At last her preacher thought he had found something about which she would be happy, for her farm crop was the finest for miles around. When he met her, he said with a beaming smile, `You must be very happy Mary. Everyone is saying how healthy your potatoes look this year.’ `True they’re pretty good, but what am I going to do when I need bad ones to feed the pigs.’" Does this ever happen to you? That you don’t appreciate all the good things that are happening because our minds are focused on the negative? • memory loss is one symptom our minds experiences when we deprived of sufficient amount of oxygen. o Ingratitude has the same effect •
A thankful attitude helps us to LOOK AROUND • you’re satisfied with what you have — that is until we start noticing what someone else’s has. • you’re satisfied with your life — until we start comparing with someone else’s life. WE’re looking around alright, but the problem isn’t our eyes, its our heart. •
This is the job of modern advertisement. You didn’t know you needed something until an advertisement has told you that your life would better, more complete, happier if get o A new car o A new computer o The latest smartphone o A new golf club o A new job or new boss o A new tool, unless they are a set of Japanese chisels
I didn’t realize this until I saw an advertisement that informed me that I needed a Set of 10 Japanese Chisels made of Damascus Steel by Teijiro Ohkubo on www.fine-‐tools.com. I didn’t know this until then. But then you might ask “How did you find this website?” “Well, I was led to it. But I can’t positively verify that the leading was of a divine nature.”
Sometimes we look around and we just get selfish.
We are much like the little boy who was given an orange by a man. The boy’s mother asked, “What do you say to the nice man?” The little boy thought and handed the orange back and said, “Peel it.” In regions of Mexico hot springs and cold springs are found side by side, and because of the convenience of this natural phenomenon the women often bring their laundry, boil their clothes in the hot springs, and then rinse them in the cold springs. A tourist watching this procedure commented to his Mexican guide: "They must think Mother nature is generous to freely supply such ample, clean hot and cold water." The guide replied, "No senor, there is much grumbling because she supplies no soap." WE Christians look around, we see through a different set of corrective lenses. •
Looking around me I am thankful for the generous provision of our God.
• Looking around me I am thankful for the scenery which changes every season to something new and amazing.
• Looking around me I am thankful for the people that God has placed around me.
We’ve LOOKED Up We’ve LOOKED AROUND, and now
How about LOOKING INWARD to ourselves? In a sense, thanksgiving is an expression of modesty. To offer thanks is to confess dependence, to acknowledge that others have the power to benefit you, to admit that your life is better because of their efforts. I am Thankful for... ....the taxes I pay (sort of) ....because it means Iâ€™m employed. ....the clothes that fit a little too snug ....because it means I have enough to eat. ....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 heating bill ....because it means I am warm. ....all the complaining I hear about our government ....because it means we have freedom of speech. ....weariness and aching muscles at the end of the day ....because it means I have been productive. [thatâ€™s sincere gratefulness]
The yearly celebration of Thanksgiving should only be highlight of a year of thanks-living The art of thanks-living. It is gratitude in action. It is thanking God for the gift of life by living it triumphantly. It is thanking God for your talents and abilities by accepting them as obligations to be invested for the common good. It is thanking God for all what others have done for you and
showing youâ€™re thankful by doing things for others. It is thanking God for beauty by helping to make the world more beautiful. A sincere heart will recognize the privileges of serving God/others. An Inward Look at our Health Makes us Thankful. It is attitude that makes the event a true Thanksgiving. Â