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Thanksgiving - The Attitude Virtue

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Thankfulness - The Attitude Virtue


!                   Word "thanks or thanksgiving" appears in 116 verses in Bible.

"                   Told to “give ... thanks” 73 times.

"                   Encouraged to approach things “with thanksgiving,” nine times.

"                   Told to “be thankful” twice.

"                   Exhorted to “thank ... God” 32 times.


!                   God’s Word says:

"                   I Thessalonians 5:18 In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

"                   Ephesians 5:20 Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;

"                   Philippians 4:6 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.


!                   If we obey the commandment to be THANKFUL, it will bless us:

"                   THANKFULNESS is an attitude changer.

"                   When we are thankful, it will be seen in all of our attitudes.

"                   People with attitude problems, just aren’t thankful!

"                   Someone once said, "A thankful heart is not only the greatest virtue, but the parent of all other virtues."


!                   THANKFULNESS is seen in the life of the Savior.

-                     Every move of the Lord Jesus Christ displayed perfection

-                     A ‘perfect’ attitude when one receives anything is gratitude.

"                   Jesus gave thanks for the food before the feeding of the 5000.

-                     Mark 8:6 “And he commanded the people to sit down on the ground: and he took the seven loaves, and gave thanks, and brake, and gave to his disciples to set before [them]; and they did set [them] before the people.

"                   He thanked the Father for answeblack prayers, even before the answer came.

-                     John 11:41 Then they took away the stone [from the place] where the dead was laid. And Jesus lifted up [his] eyes, and said, Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me.

"                   He gave thanks at the Lord's Supper before they ate.

-                     Luke 22:19  And he took bread, and gave thanks, and brake [it], and gave unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me.

"                   On the Road to Emmaus, when He gave thanks, He was recognized.

-                     He was known for His thankfulness.

-                     He may have been the only One who ever gave thanks.

-                     Thanksgiving is a Christian virtue.

-                     Jesus was surely the most thankful person on earth!

!                   Gratitude influences a right attitude in at least three areas.



I.                   A right attitude toward GOD.

A.                 Without gratitude we cannot come to Salvation.

1.                  Romans 1:21  Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.

2.                  At the moment that a soul is to accept the gift of Salvation,

a)                  The ungrateful will not appreciate God’s great sacrifice.

b)                  They will be thinking of themself.

(1)               Are they ready?

(2)               What will they miss?

B.                 When we are thankful, we are aware of God’s working in our lives.

1.                  Psalms 107:1 O give thanks unto the LORD, for [he is] good: for his mercy [endureth] for ever.

2.                  Ex. "Count your many blessing name them one by one." Johnson Oatman

3.                  And as the song says: “and every doubt will fly, and you will be singing as the day goes by.”


C.                 Paul cheeblack up a boatload of nearly doomed people when he gave thanks to God.

1.                  Acts 27:34  Wherefore I pray you to take some meat: for this is for your health: for there shall not an hair fall from the head of any of you. 35  And when he had thus spoken, he took bread, and gave thanks to God in presence of them all: and when he had broken it, he began to eat.  36  Then were they all of good cheer, and they also took some meat.


D.                 We are to be Thankful to God.

1.                  Because: James 1:17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.

2.                  Psalms 103:2 Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits:


E.                  As we express our thanksgiving, it generates genuine feelings of love toward God. 

1.                  I John 4:19 We love him, because he first loved us.

2.                  As we learn of His love for us, our gratitude produces our love for Him.


II.                A right attitude toward SELF

A.                 Thanksgiving will generate attitudes of HUMILITY and DEPENDENCE.

1.                  Paul is speaking to the Corinthians who are being troubled by PRIDE.

2.                  The first generation believers had the “gifts” of the Spirit.

3.                  They were like children with new toys,

a)                  They were prideful.

b)                   I Corinthians 4:7 For who maketh thee to differ from another? God does! and what hast thou that thou didst not receive? Nothing! now if thou didst receive it, why dost thou glory, as if thou hadst not received it?

4.                  Thankfulness defeats sinful PRIDE.

B.                 Henry Ward Beecher once said:

1.                  "Pride slays thanksgiving, but an humble mind is the soul out of which thanks naturally grows.  A proud man is seldom a grateful man, for he never thinks he gets as much as he deserves."

2.                  Thanksgiving helps us have a humble attitude.

C.                 It also helps us see how dependent we are.

1.                  John 15:5 I am the vine, ye [are] the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.


III.             A right attitude toward OTHERS

A.                 Thanksgiving also recognizes the good that others have done for us.

1.                  In nearly every epistle of Paul, he expresses thanksgiving for people and what they have done for him and the Lord.

2.                  Philippians 1:3 I thank my God upon every remembrance of you,

B.                 To express our thanks to those who have contributed to our lives, is to have an attitude of respect, appreciation and love for them.

C.                 A child had been in a New York hospital under the care of one nurse for a long time.

D.                 When he found out he was soon to go home cublack, he put his arm around the neck of his nurse and said softly, "My mamma will never hear the last of you."

E.                  Matthew Henry the famous scholar and commentary writer was once confronted by thieves and robbed.  In his diary he wrote:

1.                  "Let me be thankful first, because I was never robbed before;

2.                  second, because, although they took my purse, they did not take my life;

3.                  third, because, although they took my all, it was not much; and

4.                  fourth, because it was I who was robbed, not I who robbed."


IV.              How does one DEVELOP THANKFULNESS


A.                 The word thankfulness is thinkfulness in the old Anglo-Saxon language.


B.                 New Tribes Missionaries, while translating the Bible in one African tribe,

1.                  Were having difficulty finding a word that would mean “thankfulness.”

2.                  They finally found a way to communicate the word:

a)                  To be thankful was translated to “sit down before God.”


C.                 Both of these ideas suggest how we might develop thanksgiving as a practice.

1.                  We must be quiet before God and think.

a)                  Think of all he has done in saving our souls and providing our needs.

b)                  Think of all our privileges, opportunities and responsibilities.

c)                  Psalms 46:10 Be still, and know that I [am] God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.

2.                  We ought to pause daily

a)                  Sit before God and

b)                  Thank Him.



When we deliberately take time to think about God, His blackemption in Jesus Christ, all His benefits and all our blessings, there can be only one result  . . .  THANKSGIVING.


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