November 23, 2008pm  Generations of Appreciation    Psalm 100

by Ron George Jr. at the Fayetteville Baptist Church

We have been the recipients of the choicest bounties of heaven.  We have been preserved, the many years, in peace and prosperity.  We have grown in numbers, wealth and power, as no other nation has ever grown. But we have forgotten God.  We have forgotten the gracious hand which preserved us in peace and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us; and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own.
   Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self- sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to God that made us!  It behooves us, then to humble ourselves before the offended Power, to confess our national sins, and to pray for clemency and forgiveness.
   -- April 30, 1863, President Abraham Lincoln's Proclamation for a National Day of Fasting, Humiliation and Prayer 

Psalm 100 1 Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth. 2 Worship the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful songs. 3 Know that the Lord is God. It is he who made us, and we are hisa; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture. 4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. 5 For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.

  1. Shout for Joy to the Lord:  What has the Lord done for you that would cause you to shout for Joy?  Come before the Lord with joyful songs.  Would you sing without reservation to the One who died for you? 

At the time of this writing most of the bars have what is called a “happy hour.” I wish we had a “happy hour in church, without the liquid. Let’s tune up and get ready to worship the Lord.

  1. Worship the Lord.  Would you bow before the Lord and honor Him with your life?  He is worthy or our lives.  Let us give ourselves to Him who gave His life for us.  Thanksgiving is giving of your self. 

 

  1. Enter into His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise.  You are welcome to enter His presence with thanksgiving and praise.  You can come, but you must come humbly before Him.  Give Thanks to Him and Praise His Name.  With humility remember who He is and who we are.  Be thankful for all that you have and all that you are come from Him who is the true and living God.  As we enter into His presence we realize that He is the true and living God that wants to be known by us.  What do you know about Him? 
  1. Know the Lord.  Invite Him into your life and know Him as a friend who is your God.  How do you know the Lord?  Is He an acquaintance?  Have you heard His name?  Is He a friend that you can trust with your deepest cares?  What do you know about Him? 

 

    1. Know that the Lord has made us.  We have a divine purpose and plan.  He is your heavenly Father.  You are not an accident of nature.  You are His.
    1. Know that we are His.  He is our Father and we are his.  We belong to Him because He has created us and He has paid the price for our sins.  We are His because we have given ourselves to Him. 

 

    1. Know that we are His people and the sheep of His pasture.  He cares for us as someone who loves us and thinks that we are valuable.
    1. Know He is good.  What kind of God is He?  He is good all the time.  He is good to you.  How good is He to you?  Will you pass it on? 

 

    1. Know His love endures forever.  He loves you forever.  His love is unconditional.  He loves you so much that He came to die for you. 
    1. Know that His faithfulness continues to all generations.  The wise men saw the star.  It is still there.  Have you seen it?  The star pointed the way to the new born King of kings.  For generation after generation people have looked up to the Lord in praise and thanksgiving.  Will we look up today?  One generation passes on to the next what they know. 

This year at our Thanksgiving celebration we will have five generations present and together.  What will one generation pass onto the next?  What will you pass on to the next?  You can only pass on what you know.  Do you know the Lord? 

Expressing Gratitude In Africa
In another African dialect, the Karre, the expression for thankfulness is “to sit down on the ground before” another. A thankful Karre will go to the home of his benefactor and sit on the ground before his hut. No word need be spoken; his silent vigil signifies his gratitude. The man who is thankful to God, therefore, sits before God to enjoy his presence. He is never satisfied merely to tip his hat to God as he passes; gratitude demands that he seek God’s presence and fellowship.    —Roger William Thomas
Lesson From A Beggar
There was once a good king in Spain called Alfonso XII. Now it came to the ears of this king that the pages at his court forgot to ask God’s blessing on their daily meals, and he determined to rebuke them. He invited them to a banquet which they all attended. The table was spread with every kind of good thing, and the boys ate with evident relish; but none of them remembered to ask God’s blessing on the food.
During the feast a beggar entered, dirty and ill-clad. He seated himself at the royal table and ate and drank to his heart’s content. At first the pages were amazed, and they expected that the king would order him away. But Alfonso said never a word. When the beggar had finished he rose and left without a word of thanks. Then the boys could keep silence no longer. “What a despicably mean fellow!” they cried.
But the king silenced them, and in clear, calm tones he said, “Boys, bolder and more audacious than this beggar have you all been. Every day you sit down to a table supplied by the bounty of your Heavenly Father, yet you ask not His blessing nor express to Him your gratitude.”   —James Hastings

The Lion Sermon
There is a curious service held in an old church in the city of London. On October 16th, every year, is preached in St. Catherine Church, Leadenhall street, what is called the “Lion Sermon.” It has been preached every year in that same church for the last two hundred and fifty years (as of 1890).
If you want to be present, and would go a little earlier than the hour, you would hear the most lovely chime of bells—a chime beginning in the “Sun of my Soul,” “Abide with me,” “The Happy Land,” and the like. Then there is the service, made very short; then the event of the evening—the sermon, the “Lion Sermon.”
The story: There was once in the city a very pious man called Sir John Gayer (or Gair). At one time he was Lord Mayor of London. Sir John happened to be in Asia at one period of his life, and when with his caravan, was traveling through a desert place, he found himself face to face alone with a lion. Everybody of his company who could have helped him had gone forward. Sir John knew that only God could deliver him. He thought of Daniel in the den of lions. He perhaps thought of Paul, who at one time expected to meet an Emperor who was as cruel as a lion. And he fell on his knees there before the beast and shut his eyes and cried to God to shut the mouth of the lion.
When he had finished his prayer and opened his eyes, the lion was nowhere to be seen. So when he came back to London he set aside a sum of money to be given away in gifts to poor people every October 15th and to secure that a sermon should be preached to tell the generations to come how God had heard his prayer and delivered him from the mouth of the lion.
—Cut Gems

a Or and not we ourselves

The Holy Bible : New International Version (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1996, c1984). Ps 100:1-5.

J. Vernon McGee, Thru the Bible Commentary, electronic ed. (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1997, c1981). 2:822.

Paul Lee Tan, Encyclopedia of 7700 Illustrations : A Treasury of Illustrations, Anecdotes, Facts and Quotations for Pastors, Teachers and Christian Workers (Garland TX: Bible Communications, 1996, c1979).

Paul Lee Tan, Encyclopedia of 7700 Illustrations : A Treasury of Illustrations, Anecdotes, Facts and Quotations for Pastors, Teachers and Christian Workers (Garland TX: Bible Communications, 1996, c1979).

Paul Lee Tan, Encyclopedia of 7700 Illustrations : A Treasury of Illustrations, Anecdotes, Facts and Quotations for Pastors, Teachers and Christian Workers (Garland TX: Bible Communications, 1996, c1979).