I. What is Thanksgiving?
II. Why Give Thanks?
A. Giving Thanks Keeps us Dependent
Keeps life in perspective (Not weakness but reality)
Basis of hope when things go wrong
B. Giving Thanks is Self-actualizing - uses more of our faculties
Expressing gratitude is interactive
Self-satisfaction is lonely
C. Giving Thanks Benefits Others
Makes them aware that they are a channel of blessing
Increases God's reputation in the eyes of others (glorify God)
Gives others hope
D. Giving Thanks Keeps the Door Open for further blessings
III. For What Should We Give Thanks?
A. God's loyal (covenantal) love endures forever
B. God's character
C. God's actions
D. God's people
E. In/For Everything (I Thess 5:18)
1. God has revealed Himself to be good and in control (Nah 1:7)
2. Everything in my life comes from the hand of a loving God (Js 1:17)
3. God works ALL things together for good (Rm 8:28; Gen 50:20)
4. His strength (glory) will be displayed in my weakness (II Cor 12:9)
5. My character will be purified and more Christlike (Rm 5:3-4)
6. My intimacy with God will increase (Phil 3:10; Ps 11)
7. My future glory will increase if I respond correctly (II Cor 4:17)
IV. How Should We Give Thanks?
Questions for Reflection/Discussion:
1. Do you find it easier to thank God for good times or tough times?
2. For what attribute or act (#III.) of God are you most thankful?
3. What benefit of Giving Thanks (#II.) appeals to you most/least?
4. As you think back over the year(s) what difficulties or disappointments stand out as being very influential in your personal growth or development?
5. For what in your life do you have the most difficulty giving thanks?