The biggest Thanksgiving killer, is the day after when Christmas shopping begins in earnest and we stop thinking about what we have and start thinking about what we want.
Many of us like to peruse the Christmas catalogs looking at all the neat stuff we want. We ought spend more time looking at the neat stuff we already have. In Psalm 103 we find Gods Catalog of Blessings, not a Christmas catalog but a Thanksgiving Catalog.
Psalm 103: 1-5
Let all that I am praise the LORD; with my whole heart, I will praise his holy name. 2 Let all that I am praise the LORD; may I never forget the good things he does for me. 3 He forgives all my sins and heals all my diseases. 4 He redeems me from death and crowns me with love and tender mercies. 5 He fills my life with good things. My youth is renewed like the eagle’s!
There are 5 blessings we can Praise God for:
1. He forgives our sins
2. He heals us from our diseases
3. He redeems our life
4. He crowns us with love and compassion (tender mercies)
5. He fills (satisfies) my life with good things.
Most blessings are taken for granted.
If you woke up this morning with more health than illness…you are more blessed than the six million who will not survive this week.
If you have never experienced the danger of battle, the loneliness of imprisonment, the agony of torture, or the pangs of starvation…you are ahead of 500 million people in the world.
If you can attend a church meeting without fear of harassment, arrest, torture or death…you are more blessed than three billion people in the world.
If you have food in the refrigerator, clothes on your back, a roof overhead, and a place to sleep…you are richer than 60% of this world.
If you have money in the bank, in your wallet, and spare change in a dish someplace…you are among the top 8% of the world’s wealthy.
What if you had to put a price tag on your other blessings?
For example, if you bought a new Chevy Spark, it would cost you between $13,000-$18,000. If you took that same car to the junkyard and sold it off, one piece at a time, at junkyard prices, it would be worth over $50,000.
I’ve read that the human body, with market prices on all our minerals and compounds, is worth about $0.47. If you took this same body and sold it off for parts, how much would you be worth? Estimates as high as $45M
Look with me at what you are willing to pay, in the time of a tragedy to restore something you are currently blessed with:
1. Coronary artery bypass surgery $25,000 – $40,000
2. Heart transplant $210,000
3. Gastrointestinal Surgery $35,000
4. Fertility Treatment $40,000 – $100,000
5. Kidney Transplant $72,000
6. Liver Transplant $215,000
7. Bone Marrow Transplant $106,000
8. Lung Transplant $190,000
God forgives our sin and then forgets about them. “I will forgive their iniquity and remember their sin no more.”
Guilt, regret, and the anger of unforgiveness are at the root of much of the psychological, emotional and physical duress that robs our daily joy and peace. What price tag would you be willing to place on real peace and real joy? When we know we are forgiven and we have forgiven others it is easy to be thankful and rejoice
God heals our diseases. It may be a physical healing but that may not be God’s first priority. It may lead, in fact, to a spiritual healing. So many in this room have experienced physical and spiritual healing and as we grow older the blessings of good health become so much more valuable but God promises to give this to us freely if we simply keep our eyes on Him, maintaining an attitude of gratitude
God redeems our lives. Redeem means to obtain by paying a price, to buy back. God has paid the price to redeem us.
I know it is hard some times to wrap our minds around eternity and the joy that awaits us. But as we recognize that his redemption means we can have real, tangible relationship with the Lord now that builds so the day we go home it is a very natural process and it really feels like home and we long for it
God crowns us with love and compassion. He has given us true honor and great honor. And what greater blessing than to be brought into the love and favor of God?
This “crown” is the crown awarded to a victor as a prize. God gives us the love and compassion as a reward that others can sense and be touched by and know that we have something that they want and we can share with them how they can “win” the love and compassion we have.
God satisfies our desires with good things. List the things you have; SOMEONE TELL ME SOMETHINGS YOU HAVE THAT YOU ARE THANKFUL FOR!
God gave you those things for your pleasure. Your attitude about those things determines your satisfaction. Half the world is unhappy because it can’t have the things that are making the other half unhappy. The unhappy person isn’t someone who didn’t get what he or she wanted. The unhappy person is the one who got what he or she wanted and then found out that it wasn’t as wonderful as expected. The secret of a happy life is not to get what you want but to live with what you’ve got. Many spend their lives concentrating on what they don’t have instead of thanking God for what they do have.
Our problem is that we are looking at the Christmas catalogs focusing on what we want rather then rejoicing in what we have!
There’s a great paradox here. We’re satisfied but never satisfied. I love dark chocolate and Zero bars. I’m always satisfied when I eat some, but I always want more because what I’ve experienced makes me want to taste it again and again. So it is with God’s blessings. We’re filled and the filling is so sweet and so rich and full that we want more.
That is why Thanksgiving is so important each year. We need this reminder. We need it because it forces us to add it all up & recognize where all these things we enjoy actually come from.
We need to look at the correct catalog to keep things in proper perspective. We need to remember to think about what we have instead of dreaming about what we want.
I know so many things have been difficult this year but an attitude of gratitude and a grateful heart make a world of difference even in the most difficult of times
We need to remember to thank God for ALL of his blessings. Let me end with this scripture to help you to remember the value and promise of being thankful and satisfied with what you have.
Oh, the joys of those who do not follow the advice of the wicked, or stand around with sinners, or join in with mockers. 2 But they delight in the law of the LORD, meditating on it day and night 3 They are like trees planted along the riverbank, bearing fruit each season. Their leaves never wither, and they prosper in all they do.