God wants us to be thankful more than one time a year. The Bible is packed full of examples of how we can live a life of thanksgiving.
Foundational Scripture - Psalms 100:1-5
Point 1: We live a life of thanksgiving by worshiping him
We shouldn't just worship God one day a week. We should worship him all week long.
Pastor provides 12 different ways to worship God. They are:
- Shout - We shout because we have an awesome God. It is a shout of joy! Are we shouting with joy? Some of us shout at athletic games while others shout because they got a good deal on Friday (Black Friday). It is the stirring of the inside that causes one to shout.
- Gladness - Worship is a happy time. Our God is alive and he is an awesome God.
- Come before him - This implies that we're approaching God. This is where we lean into God. Put another way it is to anticipate something from God.
- Singing with joy - You don't have to be a perfect singer, just make a joyful noise.
- Acknowledge that He is God and YOU are NOT - We are made in his image. Keep in mind who we are worshiping. We are putting on a concert of one...a concert for Jesus.
- We belong to Jesus - We are his. He is our shepherd and we are his sheep.
- Enter his gates with thanksgiving - We prepare our hearts for worship. Pastor Matt talks about his time in Israel and explains about the gates and how people prepare for worship. Climbing the steps toward the gates discouraged running. They also had cleansing pools outside of the gates. In both cases, people prepared themselves. Today, we should read the scripture, listen to Christian music, or pray.
- Go into His courts with praise
- Give thanks and praise His name - We should thank him for what he has done and not complain about the things he hasn't done.
- Remember that God is good
- His unfailing love continues
- His faithfulness continues to each generation - He is a faithful God to our generation and many generations to come.
To practice the point: Pastor asks us to spend a few minutes and worship through song.
Point 2: We live a life of thanksgiving by praying to God
Foundational Scripture: Philippians 4:4-7 (NIV)
Give thanks to God in (the midst of) everything. We don't need to give thanks to God for everything. The difference is that when bad things happen, we don't have to be thankful for the bad things. However, in the middle of those difficult times, we should be thankful to God. God is still on the throne.
It's easy to thank God when things are going good. One way to thank God is in prayer. "God, I thank you for...[fill in the blank]."
To practice the point: Pastor asks us to break into small groups and pray.
Point 3: We live a life of thanksgiving by giving to Him
Many believe that we have to be in just the right place to give. Pastor talks about people in India who make very little, but give from what they have.
The Bible has a lot to say about giving a tithe (10%). This is where the first 10% of what we make goes to God. In 1 Corinthians 16:2, Paul talks about bringing a tithe to God.
To practice the point: We are asked to give our tithes and offering.
Point 4: We live a life of thanksgiving by sharing a testimony about him
Foundational Scripture: Psalm 105:1-2 (NIV)
People can argue theology, but they cannot argue your story (testimony). It is through the blood of Jesus and through your testimony that you can defeat the enemy.
Marty shares his testimony on how God touched his life. A moving part of his story was how his son was burned and the Church actively prayed for him and his family. "If you're not in a connect group, I encourage to join one."
Pastor Matt encourages us to think about our testimony. Answer the following questions:
- What was your life before Jesus?
- How did you receive Christ?
- What has he done in your life since then?
Making A Fresh StartIf you would like to make a fresh start in your life and receive God's love, pray this prayer:
Dear God, I realize I've sinned and I need you. Thank you for dying on the cross and rising from the grave. Come in to my heart and save me. Thank you for giving me eternal and abundant life. Help me to live for you, for the rest of my life. In Jesus' name. Amen.
To share your story, want more information about next steps, or just in need of prayer, please contact Pastor Matt Fry.