The Looks of Thankfulness
Ps 95:1-11
1 O come, let us sing for joy to the LORD; let us shout joyfully to the rock of our salvation. 2 Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving; let us shout joyfully to Him with psalms.   3 For the LORD is a great God, and a great King above all gods, 4 In whose hand are the depths of the earth; the peaks of the mountains are His also. 5 The sea is His, for it was He who made it; and His hands formed the dry land. 6 Come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the LORD our maker. 7 For He is our God, and we are the people of His pasture, and the sheep of His hand. Today, if you would hear His voice, 8 Do not harden your hearts, as at Meribah, as in the day of Massah in the wilderness; 9 "When your fathers tested me, they tried me, though they had seen My work. 10 "For forty years I loathed {that} generation, and said they are a people who err in their heart, and they do not know My ways 11 "Therefore I swore in My anger, truly they shall not enter into My rest." (NAS)

Introduction
Rudyard Kipling at one time was so popular that his writings were getting ten shillings per word. A few college students, however didn't appreciate Kipling's writings; they facetiously sent him a letter enclosing ten shillings. It read, "Please, send us your best word." They got back a letter from Kipling, "Thanks."

An Upward Look Should Make Us Thankful.

An Outward Look Should Make Us Thankful.

An Inward Look Should Make Us Thankful.
 
 

1.    An Upward Look Should Make Us Thankful.


A.    An Upward Look Brings Thanks for the . . Power of God.

1 O come, let us sing for joy to the LORD; let us shout joyfully to the rock of our salvation. 2 Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving; let us shout joyfully to Him with psalms. 3 For the LORD is a great God, and a great King above all gods,
 

B.    An Upward Look Brings Thanks for the . . Plans of God.

4 In whose hand are the depths of the earth; the peaks of the mountains are His also.    5 The sea is His, for it was He who made it; and His hands formed the dry land.

Jer 29:11 'For I know the plans that I have for you,' declares the LORD, 'plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope. (NAS)
 

C.    An Upward Look Brings Thanks for the . . Presence of God.

2 Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving; let us shout joyfully to Him with psalms. 6 Come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the LORD our maker. 7 For He is our God, and we are the people of His pasture, and the sheep of His hand. Today, if you would hear His voice,

Ps 46:1 God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. (NAS)
 

Illustration FOLK PSALMS OF FAITH,
Ray Stedman tells of an experience H.A. Ironside had in a crowded restaurant. Just as Ironside was about to begin his meal, a man approached and asked if he could join him. Ironside invited his to have a seat.

Then, as was his custom, Ironside bowed his head in prayer. When he opened his eyes, the other man asked, "Do you have a headache?" Ironside replied, "No, I don't." The other man asked, "Well, is there something wrong with your food?" Ironside replied, "No, I was simply thanking God as I always do before I eat." The man said, "Oh, you're one of those, are you? Well, I

want you to know I never give thanks. I earn my money by the sweat of my brow and I don't have to give thanks to anybody when I eat. I just start right in!" Ironside said, "Yes, you're just
like my dog. That's what he does too!"
 

Illustration
In Vermont a farmer was sitting on the porch with his wife. He was beginning to realize how much she meant to him. It was about time--for they had lived together forty-two years, and she had been such a help, a very willing worker. One day as they sat together, he said, "Wife, you've been such a wonderful woman that there are times I can hardly keep from telling you."
 

Application

An Upward Look Brings Thanks for the . . Power of God.

An Upward Look Brings Thanks for the . . Plans of God.

An Upward Look Brings Thanks for the . . Presence of God.
 
 

2.    An Outward Look Should Make Us Thankful.


A.    An Outward Look at . . Supplies Make Me Thankful.

7 For He is our God, and we are the people of His pasture, and the sheep of His hand. Today, if you would hear His voice,

Illustration
Negro Mamie's Prayer , 'Much obliged, Lord, for my vittles.' 'Anna,' I asked, 'what's a vittle?' 'It's what I've got to eat and drink, that's vittles. 'But you'd get your vittles whether you thanked the Lord or not.' 'Sure, but it makes everything taste better to be thankful.'"
 

B.    An Outward Look at . . Scenery makes me thankful.

4 In whose hand are the depths of the earth; the peaks of the mountains are His also. 5 The sea is His, for it was He who made it; and His hands formed the dry land.    6 Come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the LORD our maker.
 

C.    An Outward Look at . . Sinners makes me thankful.

8 Do not harden your hearts, as at Meribah, as in the day of Massah in the wilderness; 9 "When your fathers tested me, they tried me, though they had seen My work. 10 "For forty years I loathed {that} generation, and said they are a people who err in their heart, and they do not know My ways. 11 "Therefore I swore in My anger, truly they shall not enter into My rest." (NAS)

D.    An Outward Look at . . Salvation makes me thankful..

6 Come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the LORD our maker. 7 For He is our God, and we are the people of His pasture, and the sheep of His hand. Today, if you would hear His voice, NAS
 

Illustration
In October, 1942, Captain Eddie Rickenbacker was on a mission in a B-17 to deliver an important message to General Douglas MacArthur in New Guinea. But there was an unexpected detour which would hurl Captain Eddie into the most harrowing adventure of his life. Somewhere over the South Pacific the Flying Fortress became lost beyond the reach of radio. Fuel ran dangerously low, so the men ditched their plane in the ocean...

For nearly a month Captian Eddie and his companions would fight the water, and the weather, and the scorching sun. They spent many sleepless nights recoiling as giant sharks rammed their rafts. The largest raft was nine by five. The biggest shark...ten feet long.    But of all their enemies at sea, one proved most formidable: starvation. Eight days out, their rations were long gone or destroyed by the salt water. It would take a miracle to sustain them.    And a miracle occurred.

In Captain Eddie's own words, "Cherry," that was the B-17 pilot, Captain William Cherry, "read the service that afternoon, and we finished with a prayer for deliverance and a hymn of praise. There was some talk, but it tapered off in the oppressive heat. With my hat pulled down over my eyes to keep out some of the glare, I dozed off." Now this is still Captian Rickenbacker talking..."Something landed on my head. I knew that it was a sea gull. I don't know how I knew, I just knew. Everyone else knew too. No one said a word, but peering out from under my hat brim without moving my head, I could see the expression on their faces. They were staring at that gull.

The gull meant food...if I could catch it." And the rest, as they say, is history. Captain Eddie caught the gull. Its flesh was eaten. Its intestines were used for bait to catch fish. The survivors were sustained and their hopes renewed because a lone sea gull, uncharacteristically hundreds of miles from land, offered itself as a sacrifice. You know that Captain Eddie made it. And now you also know...that he never forgot. Because every Friday evening, about sunset...on a lonely stretch along the eastern Florida seacoast...you could see an old man walking . . . white-haired, bushy-eyebrowed, slightly bent. His bucket filled with shrimp was to feed the gulls...to remember that one which, on a day long past, gave itself without a struggle...like manna in the wilderness. ("The Old May and the Gulls" from Paul Harvey's The Rest of the Story by Paul Aurandt, 1977, quoted in Heaven Bound Living, Knofel Stanton, Standard, 1989, p. 79-80
 

Application

An Outward Look at . . Supplies Make Me Thankful.

An Outward Look at . . Scenery makes me thankful.

An Outward Look at . . Sinners makes me thankful.

An Outward Look at . . Salvation makes me thankful..
 
 

3.    An Inward Look Should Make Us Thankful.


A.    An Inward Look at my . . Heart Makes me Thankful.

7 For He is our God, and we are the people of His pasture, and the sheep of His hand. Today, if you would hear His voice,    8 Do not harden your hearts, . . . "

        1.    I have a grateful heart.

B.    An Inward Look at my . . Health Makes me Thankful.

Illustration
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."
 

C.    An Inward Look at my . . Home Makes me Thankful.

Ps 127:3-5 3 Behold, children are a gift of the LORD; the fruit of the womb is a reward. 4 Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, so are the children of one's youth. 5 How blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them; they shall not be ashamed, when they speak with their enemies in the gate. (NAS)
 

Illustration POEM Forgive Me When I Whine
Today upon a bus, I saw a lovely maid with golden hair;

I envied her -- she seemed so gay, and how, I wished I were so fair; When suddenly she rose to leave, I saw her hobble down the aisle; she had one foot and wore a crutch, but as she passed, a smile. Oh God, forgive me when I whine, I have two feet -- the world is mine.

And when I stopped to buy some sweets, the lad who served me had such charm; he seemed to radiate good cheer, his manner was so kind and warm; I said, "It's nice to deal with you, such courtesy I seldom find"; he turned and said, "Oh, thank you sir." And then I saw that he was blind.

Oh, God, forgive me when I whine, I have two eyes, the world is mine.

Then, when walking down the street, I saw a child with eyes of blue; he stood and watched the others play, it seemed he knew not what to do; I stopped a moment, then I said, "Why don't you join the others, dear?" He looked ahead without a word, and then I knew he could not hear.

Oh God, forgive me when I whine, I have two ears, the world is mine.

With feet to take me where I'd go; with eyes to see the sunsets glow, with ears to hear what I would know. I am blessed indeed.

The world is mine; oh, God, forgive me when I whine.

Conclusion

An Upward Look Should Make Us Thankful.

An Outward Look Should Make Us Thankful.

An Inward Look Should Make Us Thankful.




 


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