THE UNTHANKFUL GENERATION Sermon Illustrations

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THE UNTHANKFUL GENERATION


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THE UNTHANKFUL GENERATION

 

Psalm 100, "Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all ye lands. Serve the LORD with gladness: come before his presence with singing. Know ye that the LORD he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name. For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations."

 

Monday being Veteranís day, ABC showed this week the movie, ASaving Private Ryan.@

It memorializes the WWII generation that paid a huge and sacrificial price to stop Hitler.

 

The WWII Memorials in towns across America are a constant reminder of that great generation.

 

However, if someone in the future were to comment on this generation in America,

I believe it would be called "The Unthankful Generation".

We have everything that the WWII generation did not have, yet we are so selfish and unthankful.

 

This time each year in America, our families set aside a special day for Thanksgiving.

We join hands around the dining table and offer praise to God for all His blessings.

We then enjoy a sumptuous meal of turkey, ham, vegetables, pumpkin pie and all the trimmings.

In our churches and Christian schools, we sometime re‑enact the first American Thanksgiving when our forefathers and the Indians, after surviving a bitter season, joined hands and hearts to give God thanks.

 

This pilgrim scene was staged in many public schools when I was young.

The history revisionists have censoblack the true story from our textbooks,

and our liberal courts††††††††††† have outlawed any mention of God in the schools.

 

But, our forefathers knew that God had miraculously raised up this "nation under God".

Our ancestors therefore always stopped to thank God when He provided a harvest, or when He gave them a special deliverance.

A drought would have been their end, so they were thankful for God=s provision.

 

Sadly, we are no longer a people who practice thanksgiving.

We think that we will eat, with or without Godís help.

America is guilty of mass national ingratitude.

May God help us individually to do our part to turn the tide in America.

Every child of God should be thankful.

 

I. THANKFUL PEOPLE ARE HAPPY PEOPLE.

 

Philippians 4:4‑7, "Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice. Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand. Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus."

If you are a trusting, grateful child of God, you will experience God's peace,

which is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand.

 

His PEACE will keep your hearts contented and joyful as you trust in Christ Jesus.

 


You will be filled with JOY also, as you serve Him

Ps. 100:2 "Serve the Lord with gladness..."

Philippians 4:4 "Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice.

You can be ever thankful for your:

(1) salvation.

(2) the privilege of serving Him.

(3) daily provision of every need. (Thank him for water, food, friendship, etc.)

(4) protection from evil.

(5) family and friends who love you.

I received an email yesterday at 12 noon, from Greg Quist.

If you can, call me at (15 digit #). My reserve unit is presently serving in the gulf. I am ten hours ahead if you're on central time.††† Greg Quist

I am thankful for this dear friend.He has meant so much to me.

We had a joyful reunion on the phone.

Thankful people are a HAPPY people.

 

II. THANKFUL PEOPLE ARE PRACTICAL PEOPLE.

 

(1) Thankful people have common sense, merged with the will of God.

Believers living outside God's will are living ignorantly.

God has a wonderful plan for the life of every believer.

Sadly, too few find that plan.

 

(2) Thankful people understand that life is very short.

The Pennsylvania Dutch have a saying, "Too soon old and too late smart."

Many believers spend years wasting time,

and are very late determining God's will for them.

Some never do.

 

†††† Illus.‑ ††††††††††† A 60 year old man in a church I was pastoring 20 years ago: he was brilliant ‑ eloquent ‑ had a marvelous knowledge of the Bible.

He told me God had called him to preach early in his life.

Even attended Bible College.

He preached many sermons with great results.

He married a beautiful and talented girl

But, she would not let him enter the ministry.

She was self-centeblack and adventurous

She turned to alcoholism and cablack nothing for her husband=s wishes.

He was never able to follow in the plan of God for his life.

He wasted his life.

 

†††† Remember, you don't have a lot of time to waste.

The average person's lifetime includes 20 years of sleeping,

6 years of watching television,

5 years of bathing, dressing and primping,

3 years of waiting for others,

1 year on the telephone,

and 4 months of tying shoes.

 

(3) Thankful people realize God's will always includes others.


Tragedy has to do with people.

A loss of property means nothing, except as it touches lives.

Christianís life lived selfishly is not only boring, but mainly wasted.

The people you touch in your life, simply go untouched by the Saviour.

Family, neighbors, co‑workers, even church friends

We all need you to be thankful

It makes all of our lives better.

 

(4) Thankful people know that God's will is always expandable.

Don't drive your stakes too deep.

As we grow, we see the picture more clearly.

God's will becomes more encompassing.

We need to be able to respond to God=s will for our lives.

Called Missionaries need to be able to pull up stakes and travel.

Pastorís need to be able to pastor churches in remote towns and cities.

 

(5) Thankful people also know God's will is clear and certain.

Itís not always good to put out a fleece to know God's leading, but

God gives an inward and outward witness to that which pleases or displeases Him.

I John 2:27 declares "But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him."

 

(6) They know God's will is always spurblack by conviction.

Conviction is the unshaken confidence

that I am His and He is mine

that His Word is true

that He knows, cares and watches over me

that where He guides, He provides

that His grace is always sufficient

that he will never put more on me than He will put in me to bear it up

that He may humble me but never humiliate me

that He will never leave me alone.

 

II Tim. 1:12 "For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day."

 

(7) Thankful people understand that God's will is not limited by past actions or failures.

 

†††† The Christian walk is along a new path:

As Joshua told the people of Israel

"...for ye have not passed this way heretofore. . . sanctify yourselves: for tomorrow the LORD will do wonders among you."Joshua 3:4‑5

 

†††† Age does not stop God=s servant:

John Calvin was a pastor at 17.

George Whitfield was preaching to great crowds by the time he was 21.

Charles Spurgeon was a famous pulpit orator when he was only 16, and became pastor of the Metropolitan Tabernacle at 20.


The three Hebrew children and Daniel were teenagers.

Caleb was 85 when he claimed his mountain.

Abraham was nearly 100 when God gave him a son (Sarah was 90‑ think what the National Enquirer would have done with that story) and, ultimately, a nation.

Some of God's greatest preachers today are past 80 (Dr. Tom Malone, Dr. Lee Roberson is in his 90's).

 

I Corinthians 1:27‑29 "But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: That no flesh should glory in his presence."

 

(8) Thankful people know that God's will is always simple.

II Cor. 11:3 "But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtlety, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ."

 

†††† God uses people to accomplish His purposes.

Evangelism is always the heartbeat of His work.

The local church is His primary agency.

The gospel (Christ's death, burial and resurrection) is His message.

The salvation of souls is the goal of His gospel.

The exaltation of Jesus Christ is the outcome of surrender to God=s will.

 

III. THANKFUL PEOPLE BLESS OTHER PEOPLE.

 

(1) Thankfulness is contagious.

 

Psalm 23:5 "... my cup runneth over".

Some have been such to me through the years.

We all live off the bounty of the spirit-filled people.

(2) Thankfulness encourages and motivates people.

(3) Thankfulness brightens dark corners.

(4) Thankfulness strengthens faith...yours and others.

 

IV. THANKFUL PEOPLE HONOR THE LORD.

 

Ps. 100:1 "Make a joyful noise unto the Lord...".

Ps. 103: 1‑2 "Bless the LORD, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name. Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits:"

 

(1)Thankfulness fills the church.

a. It produces joy in our services.

b. It produces love among the brethren.

(2)Thankfulness sends forth missionaries.

(3)Thankfulness motivates our service.

 

Conclusion: Take this opportunity to examine your heart.Be ye thankful . . .

 

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