by Dave Gustavsen

How to Ruin Thanksgiving
Dave Gustavsen
Nehemiah 8:1-2

So - three ways you can ruin Thanksgiving. I want to look at passage in Nehemiah chapter 8. Let me give you a little bit of background. The people of Israel had been taken captive by a foreign invader. And many of them had been forcibly taken out of their country. Over a hundred years had gone by. And now, a group of them were allowed to return to Jerusalem, and rebuild the wall around the city-which had a lot of significance. Now, they were still under the control of Persia-they weren't independent-but rebuilding your wall was a very symbolic thing. So there was this massive building project, and they finished the wall in 52 days-incredible feat. And something happened after the completion of that wall, and that's what I want to focus on today.

Look at Nehemiah 8, verse 1: [1] all the people assembled as one man in the square before the Water Gate. They told Ezra the scribe to bring out the Book of the Law of Moses, which the Lord had commanded for Israel. [2] So on the first day of the seventh month Ezra the priest brought the Law before the assembly, which was made up of men and women and all who were able to understand.

So there's this massive gathering of people, right next to this new wall that's been built. And I want you to think about the mindset of these people. They have been exiles. They've been in disgrace because their city has been destroyed. And now it's this feeling of a new start. Their wall's been rebuilt. And so they have this sense of identity as God's people. And this sense of security. And as you read the chapter, they so don't take it for granted. They're deeply aware, and deeply appreciative of what they now have!

So here's the first way you can ruin Thanksgiving this year: Take God's Blessings for Granted.

I just heard a new term last week that I had never heard before. ''The Hedonic Treadmill.'' You ever hear of that? The Hedonic Treadmill. It's a pretty accepted t ...

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