A. We have just celebrated the "Thanksgiving" holidays1. Historically, we get this holiday from the Pilgrims who landed at Plymouth Rock.B. Our Children's prayers - "thank you for the bed, the sheets, the carpet, the cat, the cat's collar, the cat food bowl...
2. They had endured many hardships and many of them had died.
3. This was a feast of thanksgiving and celebration for God's goodness in sparing those who had survived.1. When you think of your blessings, What do you think of: Wonders of the world, flowers, sunshine, cats to catch the mice, cool breeze on a hot day, warm fire on a cold day, rain, sunshine, etc.C. Thanksgiving was a regular part of the New Testament Christian's life.1. 1 Thess.5:18 "Give thanks in all things for this is the will of your father in heaven"D. Let's consider some of the things we owe God thanks for, and see if we can identify our greatest blessings:
2. Paul usually states in his letters how thankful he was for those he was writing to.
3. 2 Tim.3:1-5 Being unthankful is listed as a serious sin marking a time of evil.
2. Our Families:
A. Proverbs 18:22
B. Proverbs 127:3-7
C. Old people are never happier than when they are surrounded by their children & grandchildren.
D. Just imagine your life without your family? What would it be like?
E. Someday you will lose your family, or they will lose you.
F. Greater Blessing: We are part of the family of God. Romans 8:14,15
3. Our Health:
A. The "miracle" of modern medicine
B. Psa.139:14 "I am fearfully and wonderfully made"
C. Imagine life without the health you have.
D. 1 Tim.4:8 "bodily exercise profiteth little"
E. Someday, "modern medicine" won't be able to help you anymore. Your body wear out and you will die.
F. Greater Blessing: A new body, incorruptible 1 Cor.15:51-58; Rev.21:4
4. Our Nation:
A. We live in the greatest nation on earth. Tremendous freedom and liberty, luxury beyond the wildest belief of most who have ever lived. Freedom from oppression.
B. Romans 13:1 God Bless America. "In God We Trust" He has allowed this nation to be.
C. In the current concern about the leadership of our nation, we must remember that "the heart of the king is in the Lord's hand" Prov.21:11. We should all pray for our leaders, always, but especially in this difficult time of uncertainty.D. Imagine life without these freedoms. (e.g. Bosnia, or Iraq where Christianity is against the law.)
E. Someday, our nation will probably fall. Or it will at least change.
F. Greater Blessing: We are part of God's eternal Kingdom Dan.2:44. That will never change, & will last forever.
5. Our Church:
A. We have a wonderful church here.
B. We have our little problems, you might even be a bit dis-satisfied about something here. But overall, we have great peace and a wonderful church here.
C. We have people with faults to be sure, but we are all joined together in a great quest. That of living a life of faith in Christ Jesus.
D. Imagine your life without a church: Many people don't have such a church. Lady in Lebanon.
E. This congregation won't last forever. Those here we know & love will die, or move away. Some will fall away, new Christians will join, but no congregation is eternal on this earth. Where is the church in Jerusalem? Corinth? Ephesus? Or Rome?
F. Greater blessing: We, as Christians, are part of the great invisible church, that exists always. Remember Elijah.
6. Conclusion: Our Greatest Blessing is our Salvation in Jesus!
A. Romans 4:1-6. It is greater than we could ever afford or pay for. It cannot be earned. It is a tremendous gift, with no downside.
B. The greatest Blessing: John 3:16; Romans 5:8-10