A Sermon Outlione by Gerald Cowan
1. Thanksgiving Day is not in the same class as some other religious and pseudo-religious holidays. But surely nobody thinks being grateful on one day is enough.
2. A true gratitude attitude is enhanced by knowledge of our own history and heritage.
+ Israel learned how to be grateful to God by remembering their history.
+ We may learn something about gratitude from the pilgrims. Perhaps we should fast rather than feast, to enter into their spirit.
3. We can improve the experience and expression of gratitude.
+ Avoid materialism as the basis for gratitude.
+ Do not assume material well-being is evidence of God’s approval.
+ Focusing on the giver and not just the gift will help us evaluate the gift properly and receive it properly.
+ What it meant to the giver is more important than benefit to receivers.
4. Results of focusing on both the giver and the gift.
+ A sense of obligation – a debt of gratitude – a desire to reciprocate.
+ The supreme gift of all time was from God. "For God so loved...that He gave His only begotten Son."
+ Though Jesus was and is a gift, the one who agrees to receive him is placed under a great obligation.
5. Everyone of us is a debtor.
+ ...To those who prepared the way and secured for us the freedoms and blessings we now enjoy.
+ ...To those who work with us now and are giving to us now.
+ ...To God for His blessings and gifts, especially for Jesus.
Only when we are grateful and show it do we have the right to ask for the good things to continue.
- Gerald Cowan preaches for the Dongola church of Christ in Dongola, IL. He may be contacted at Geraldcowan1931@aol.com