Thanksgiving 2008

Posted on 11/30/2008 by Rev. Benjamin R. Faust D.D.

AUDIO: dialup - broadband - podcast

TRANSCRIPT: (may not contain everything found in the audio above)

*** listen to the audio for introduction and prayer ***



Public Prayer Requests:




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Please turn around and click one of the offering plates by the doors, and give as the Lord leads.


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MAKES ME WANT TO SHOUT


When I think about the Lord

how he saved me, how he raised me

How he filled me with the Holy Ghost

He healed me to the uttermost


When I think about the Lord

how he picked me up, turned me around

How he set my feet on solid ground


Makes me want to shout

Hallelujah, thank you Jesus!

Lord you're worthy

of all the glory

and all the honor

and all the praise!




REASON TO REJOICE


I have a reason to rejoice

I have a reason to clap my hands

I have a reason to lift my voice

and sing praises to the great I Am


I have a reason to move my feet

and take the Gospel into the street

I have a reason to lose my will

and let Jesus take full control



For you have set me feet to dancin'

You have filled my heart with joy

You have freed me from my passions

and filled me with the Holy Ghost


You have set my heart on fire

Fill my soul with your desire and

Melt me Lord 'til only you remain!




TO HIM WHO SITS ON THE THRONE


To him who sits on the throne

      and unto the Lamb

To him who sits on the throne

      and unto the Lamb


Be blessing and honor

      and glory and power forever

Be blessing and honor

      and glory and power forever




HOLY HOLY HOLY


Worthy is the Lamb who was slain

      holy holy is he

Sing a new song to him who sits on

      heaven's mercy seat


Holy holy holy is the Lord God Almighty

      who was and is and is to come

With all creation I sing praise to the King of Kings

      you are my everything and I will adore you


Clothed in rainbows of living color

      flashes of lightning, rolls of thunder

Blessing and honor, strength, glory and power be

      to you the only wise king


Filled with wonder, awestruck wonder

      at the mention of your name

Jesus your name is power, breath and living water

      such a marvelous mystery



*** listen to the audio for the message introduction ***



This past Thursday, many of us celebrated Thanksgiving Day. We may have gathered together with family, or we may have stayed at home, like my wife and I did.


I think we would all agree that the most important thing is that we remembered to be thankful. Thankful that even though we may not have expensive cars or live in huge mansions, we are bountifully blessed in too many ways to number.


In just a few minutes, I'd like to give everyone an opportunity to share what God has blessed you with and for which you are thankful. But first, I'd like for us to take just a moment to reflect upon the true history of the first Thanksgiving Day.


Today our children are taught that the first Thanksgiving Day was a day on which the Pilgrims wished to show their gratitude to the Indians for showing them how to farm corn, and for their generosity. But while the Pilgrims were indeed thankful for their Indian neighbors and the invaluable help they were to their survival, the focus of thanksgiving that first Thanksgiving Day was not to the Indians, nor was it to the Pilgrims. They were simply the ones who both gave thanks, and their thanksgiving was to God.


And here, taken from hiddentreasures.workpress.com, is a brief history of the first Thanksgiving Day.



The Pilgrims barely survived their first winter on the Cape. Only four families escaped without burying at least one family member. And yet, in the midst of their great loss, God was still faithful.


In the spring of 1621, an indian who had learned how to speak English during his time as a slave, came to the Pilgrims. He was one of the few Indians from that area who had not died of the plague, and he offered to teach them how to survive in this strange new land.


Out of all the many things he taught them, perhaps the most important was how to plant corn. And as Squanto taught the Pilgrims how to meet their physical needs, the Pilgrims taught Squanto how to meet his spiritual needs. And before his death a year or two later, Squanto accepted Jesus as his Savior.


During those years, Squanto introduced other Indians to the Pilgrims, who were also impressed with the Pilgrims' God.


During the summer of 1621, when the year's corn harvest appeared to be completely lost because of a severe drought, the Pilgrims called for a day of fasting and prayer. And God heard them. By the end of the day, it was raining. The corn miraculously sprang back to life.


One of the Indians who observed this miracle remarked that their God must be a very great God. He explained that when the Indians pow-wowed for rain, it always rained so hard that the corn stalks were broken down. But the Pilgrim's God had sent a very gentle rain that did not damage the corn harvest.


It was this same miraculous harvest of corn, an answer to fasting and prayer to the God who had created both the corn and the rain, that provided the grain for the Pilgrims' first Thanksgiving meal with their Indian friends.


On this first Thanksgiving Day, both the Pilgrims and the Indians gave thanks to God for His great goodness toward and provision for them all.



In 1789, Congress approved the Bill of Rights, the first 10 Amendments to the Constitution, and they recommended a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to thank God for blessing America. President George Washington declared November 26, 1789, as the first national day of prayer and thanksgiving to the Lord.


75 years later, after the Civil War had ended, President Abraham Lincoln established the last Thursday in November as a day to acknowledge, as he put it, the gracious gifts of the Most High God bestowed upon America.


Every single president did the same until 1941 when Congress officially made Thanksgiving a national holiday. Thanksgiving Day, the day originally set aside as a day of thanksgiving and prayer to the God of the Pilgrims who had blessed America and had miraculously brought her through times that should have brought her to an end before she even began.


And this drought through which God brought them in response to their fasting and prayer is now being echoed once again in a severe spiritual drought that is not limited to a colony, or even to a continent, but which has been growing steadily for years.


And instead of corn, we see the crops of righteousness, holiness, and sound doctrine withering away in an alarming portion of the present-day Church.


As a whole, we've become numb to, and even some of us support, the murdering of unborn children, the ordaining of homosexual ministers, and the removal of Jesus from the public square.


Some major church websites no longer have a doctrinal statement of beliefs, but have replaced it with generalities that hopefully won't offend those not ready to hear the truth.


We've replaced the whole truth of the Scriptures, the fallen state of man, our utter wickedness and depravity of sinners headed for hell in desperate need for a Savior, with a feel-good series of motivational speeches that tickle our ears and ease our consciences.


In the meanwhile, we give satan and his demons the freedom to set up strongholds of deception and sin, because we will not stand up for the truth and expose him and his wiles.


But an eternal Thanksgiving Day is coming! The drought will continue to scortch the fields, but the rain is also going to fall from heaven, bringing back to life all those who love the truth and are true to his Name, those who will humble themselves and pray. Those who will not compromise the truth of the Word of God given to us in the Holy Bible, but will call righteousness good and all else evil.


Yes, an eternal day of thanksgiving is quickly approaching, that day in which sin and death are brought to an end, and we will be changed, in an instant, in the twinkling of an eye, as we behold, no longer through a dim glass but face to face, the glory of God and of the Lamb!


So let's thank him now. Let's live a life of thanksgiving. The Bible tells us in 1 Thessalonians 5:18, "In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you." This is God's will for you, no matter what you're going through; it's to live a life of thanks giving to God for what he's done and how awesome he is.


And let's remember and tell to others the true origin of Thanksgiving, and let us both be thankful for what we have, and also remember that an even more serious drought is upon us, as we set aside times to fast and pray to God for his gentle rain to start falling on his Church once again, to bring back to life that which is withering and dry.



Let's take a while now to share what God's done for us, those many blessings for which we're thankful. Please take a moment to turn on voice, if it's not already on for you. You don't have to have a microphone to just hear.


Those of you who'd like to share, please right-click my avatar and start an Instant Message with me, and just say you'd like to share. I'll call on you in order. And if you want to share in text chat, just let me know.



*** listen to the audio for the message closing and altar call ***