Eternal Savior Lutheran Church

A member of the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod

2688 North Park Drive
Lafayette, CO 80026
303-665-6105
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November 22 – Thanksgiving Day – Deut. 8:1-10 – A Life Of Thanksgiving

Introduction:  Grace be to you and peace, from God our Father, and from our Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ.  Our text is the Old Testament Lesson just read, from Deut. 8.  We begin with prayer.

Dear fellow disciples of our Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ:

 

  • Many people live virtually the entirety of their lives with little or no thanksgiving.  They are not thankful to God.  They are not thankful to their parents.  They are not thankful for government.  They are not thankful to their teachers.  They are not thankful toward their boss.  They are not thankful for the church.  They are not thankful for God’s Word.  They are not thankful for their possessions.  They are not thankful for the food they eat, the water they drink, or the air they breathe.
  • Instead, they look only at the difficulties of life, only at the failures of other people, only at what they want but don’t have.  Unfortunately, this is severely exacerbated by television and other forms of advertising – all of which are intended to create discontentment and lack of thanksgiving, so that people will desire products and purchase them.  Some people never get over this – and spend the vast majority of their lives in discontentment, sadness, jealousy, and anger over what they lack.
  • We suffer the same temptation – and no matter what you have, you can always look around and see something that you don’t have.  But such a miserable life is certainly not what God intends for us, or for anyone.  Rather, His Word makes clear that He desires for all of us to live “A LIFE OF THANKSGIVING.”  Such a life is filled with contentment and joy in God’s rich blessings, and with thanksgiving, praise, and worship of God.  But we can choose – and this is the compulsion of our fallen, sinful nature – to live a miserable life of discontentment, jealousy, and anger. 
  • To counteract this sinful tendency, God gives us His Word, so that we can arrive at “A LIFE OF THANKSGIVING.”  But:

 

I.  A Life Of Thanksgiving Begins With Recognizing God’s Blessings

 

A.  First That He Gives Us Life And All Earthly Blessings

 

Text:  “For the LORD your God is bringing you into a good land, a land of brooks of water, of fountains and springs, flowing out in the valleys and hills, a land of wheat and barley, of vines and fig trees and pomegranates, a land of olive trees and honey, a land in which you will eat bread without scarcity, in which you will lack nothing, a land whose stones are iron, and out of whose hills you can dig copper.  And you shall eat and be full, and you shall bless the LORD your God for the good land He has given you.”

 

B.  More Importantly, He Has Provided Us With His Forgiveness, That We May Live In Peace With Him And In The Hope Of Eternal Life

 

1 John 1:8,9  “If we say we have no sin we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.  But if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

 

1 John 2:2  “He is the blood atonement for our sins, and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.”

 

John 3:36  “He that believes the Son has everlasting life.”

 

Rom. 5:1  “Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.”

 

C.  That We May Come To This Faith And Salvation, And Live A Great And Decent Life Of Thanksgiving, God Has Blessed Us With His Word

 

Romans 10:17  “Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of Christ.”

 

Text:  “The whole commandment that I command you today you shall be careful to do, that you may live and multiply, and go in and possess the land that the LORD swore to give to your fathers. . . . So you shall keep the commandments of the LORD your God by walking in his ways and by fearing him.”

 

Statement:  I can assure you that the “land” in which we live is just as blessed, bountiful, beautiful, and abundant as the land of Israel.  I can also assure you that even the poorest among us live better than the vast majority of the ancient Israelites did.  God has blessed us richly.  Further, we have the same blessings of forgiveness, peace with God, and eternal life that they had – and even more of His written Word to bless us! 

 

Application:  We should see this and recognize it for what it is, the great blessing of God to us.  Apart from His Word, His guidance and instruction, why shouldn’t people be greedy, selfish, angry, and vicious?  If our hope is for this life only, all we have to look forward to ultimately is aging, pain, sorrow, and death! 

 

Through His Word God assures us that this isn’t the case.  In the gift of His Son He has given us eternal life in the age to come.  He has promised us the complete blessings of eternal life in His heaven.  And truthfully, the blessings of this life are pretty wonderful as well – and most people cling to this life!  But through His Word God enables to have peace and joy no matter what our circumstances – so that we are blessed always to live “A LIFE OF THANKSGIVING.”

 

Transition:  But we are human, and our eyes can be diverted so that our hearts become discontented and restless, and then our peace and our life of thanksgiving can be destroyed!  So we must remember that:

 

II.  The Nature Of This Life Of Thanksgiving Is Constant Attentiveness To God’s Word

 

A.  First, So That We Remain At All Times Strong And Firm In Our Faith In God’s Great Love For Us

 

John 3:16  “God so loved the world that He gave His only-begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

Rom. 8:32  “He that spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not also along with Him freely give us all things.”

Rom. 8:28  “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.

 

B.  This Compels Us To Learn And To Live God’s Good And Gracious Will For Human Life And Being – Always With Thanksgiving To Him

 

1 John 4:11  “Beloved, if God so love us, we ought also love one another.”

 

2 Tim. 3:14-17  “But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.  All Scripture is breathed out by God and is profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.”

 

C.  All Of These Blessings Make Us Eager Also To Share These Blessings Of God With Others – Especially With Our Children And Family

 

Deut. 4:5-9  “See, I have taught you statutes and rules, as the LORD my God commanded me, that you should do them in the land that you are entering to take possession of it.  Keep them and do them, for that will be your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the peoples, who, when they hear all these statutes, will say, ‘Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.’ For what great nation is there that has a god so near to it as the LORD our God is to us, whenever we call upon Him?  And what great nation is there, that has statutes and rules so righteous as all this law that I set before you today?  Only take care, and keep your soul diligently, lest you forget the things that your eyes have seen, and lest they depart from your heart all the days of your life. Make them known to your children and your children’s children.”

 

Statement:  Those who have understood and experienced the blessedness and joy of “A LIFE OF THANKGIVING” do not want to forfeit it, but to be strengthened in it constantly.  Therefore they are eager to take up the blessings which God imparts to us through His Word.  Understanding these to be the greatest blessings that we can have in this life, we are also eager to pass these blessings on to our children, grandchildren, and great granchildren – indeed to all people everywhere!  We recognize that there is no greater love, no greater purpose, and no greater good that we can do in this life! 

 

Application:  But all of these blessings come to us through God’s Word – and so we are attentive to it constantly.  We are well aware of the dismal circumstances that prevail when people forsake and abandon God’s Word and blessings!  We would not want such misery for anyone, not even our worst enemies!  So we pray that even they might come to understand and recognize the blessedness and joy that God also desires for them to have! 

 

Conclusion:  I’m sorry that so many people around us seem to have forsaken the blessing of “A LIFE OF THANKSGIVING,” and have instead embraced the misery and slavery of discontentment and “consumerism.”  Pray God that we be delivered from all such temptation – and pray God that our lives may exemplify the kind of peace and joy that comes from truly knowing Him and the greatness of His love for us, in “A LIFE OF THANKSGIVING.”

 

May we all recognize His blessings – forgiveness, life, and salvation, and the great abundance He has blessed in this with in this earthly life, so that every day we are also blessed to live this great LIFE OF THANKSGIVING.  Amen. 

 

Votum:  And the peace of God, which surpasses all human understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds in the true faith, which is in Christ Jesus, even unto life everlasting, Amen.