Five Reasons for Being Thankful by J. Gerald Harris

Five Reasons for Being Thankful
Dr. J. Gerald Harris
Psalm 103:1-5

I love to interact with the kids in our Christian school. I was walking down the hall last week, and I noticed that one of the classes had made some things to commemorate the Thanksgiving season. And so I asked the kids this question: What do you get if you cross a turkey with an ostrich? Do you know the answer to that question?

All right, here's the answer. A Thanksgiving bird that buries its head in the mashed potatoes.

Now, if you don't like that, you'd better cheer up now because they get worse. What do you get if you cross a centipede with a turkey?

Answer: fewer fights over who gets a drumstick at Thanksgiving.

Well, are you thankful? Someone said, "If you can't be satisfied with what you have received, be thankful for what you have escaped."

Or you may want to look at it like this. "Compare what you want with what you have and you'll be unhappy. Compare what you deserve with what you have and you'll be happy."

Every day should be Thanksgiving Day, so why has one day in the year been designated specifically as "Thanksgiving Day?"

Well, the Pilgrims came to America to make a home in the wilderness. They came to this country looking for freedom to worship God according to the dictates of their own conscience. They had their first harvest in 1621.

So, at Plymouth, Massachusetts, in the fall of 1621 a little handful of devoted people, in the midst of many perils and great hardships, set apart a day for thanksgiving to God. And on that day they feasted and gave thanks.

President Lincoln appointed the last Thursday of November, 1864, as Thanksgiving Day. Now the Thanksgiving Day tradition is firmly established in America.

Every person who has a grateful heart should devoutly thank God, take stock and count his blessings. Actually, Thanksgiving Day should simply get us in the mood and in the spirit to be thankful throughout the entire year. In fact, David, the psalmist, wrote: "I will bless the Lord at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth" (Psalm 34:1).

Again he said, "And my tongue shall speak of thy righteousness and of thy praise all the day long" (Psalm 35:28).

How fitting that a child of God should praise the God of heaven. If praise should continually be in the mouth of David; if David's tongue talked of God's righteousness all the day long, surely we, as a mark of blessed, born again believers, should also praise God continually.

In Psalm 103 David, moved by the Spirit of God, exalts himself (read verses 1 & 2).

Now, there are five things in this passage of scripture which prompt us to offer our thanksgiving to God.

I. THANK HIM FOR HIS FORGIVENESS

Look in verses 2 and 3a (read). The greatest blessing that God has ever given to a mortal being is forgiveness of sins. This is the very reason that God gave His Son -- to forgive our sins and save our poor souls. It is for this cause that Jesus came into ...


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