Thanking God

November 25, 2006

Introduction:

[Teachers:  You probably want to do an overview or quick pass at the CONTENT of Psalm 136 and actually lead your ABF is DOING what this Psalm calls us to do – to GIVE THANKS to the Lord” – 136:1)
1.  Today we’re going to do something a bit different – open your Bible to Psalm 136 – a Psalm of Thanksgiving!
- this subject is important for a number of reasons:
Input: Why should we emphasize the Thankfulness?
- there are over 160 uses of the various forms of the word ‘thanks’ (maybe there’s a lesson!)
1)  The path to rebellion is ingratitude – Romans 1:18-23
 Romans 1:18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, 19 because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. 20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. 21 For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. 22 Professing to be wise, they became fools, 23 and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures. 26 For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions . . .
Point:  The path to reprobation is paved with ingratitude!
Q:  Why is an unthankful heart so wrong?
> it robs God of the glory/honor that is due Him!
> it either communicates that God is not good (He’s really unloving),
> or God is all-knowing (He should have done _________ another way!)
> or God is not Powerful enough to have worked out that detail (somebody else gets the credit for doing what God in His grace was able to do!).
2)  The problem is going to get worse – 2 Timothy 3:1-5
 2 Timothy 3:1 But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. 2 For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, [others characteristics mention] . . . 5 holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power; avoid such men as these.
Point: Ingratitude characterizes the end times and God’s judgment immediately follows [God’s clock turns slow in our view sometimes, but it’s always turning!]
2.  Since we just celebrated Thanksgiving Day (a national holiday for our country), we want to be pause and THANK God for Who He is and what He has done for our country as well as our personal lives, our families, our church, our workplace, and our neighborhoods!
Thanking God with All Your Heart – Psalm 136
* Turn and read each Psalm 136 [Psalm 136 = responsive reading – you read the 1st phrase and let the ABF repeat the second phrase]


I.  True WORSHIP includes thanksgiving.


“If God is good, and He is, and if we praise Him for being as He is, which is what worship is all about, clearly we must thank Him too.  If we do not, we are not actually worshiping God, whatever else we may be doing.  In our worship of God, are we consistently and joyfully thanking God for His many great and kind acts toward us?” – Boice, Psalms, Vol. 3, p. 1180
Input: Why should ‘thankfulness’ be included in our times of worship (public & private)?
[various answers –ultimately, it gives the glory to God for being the SOURCE of our blessings!]


II.  What are the REASONS this Psalms give for thanking God?


A. The NATURE of God merits our praise!
 Psalm 136:1 Give thanks to the LORD, for He is good, for His lovingkindness is everlasting.
- Keep this in mind:  God is good . . . all the time!
- You might not think He’s good, but He IS good . . . all the time;  Circumstances may not seem to indicate His goodness, but God IS good . . . all the time!
- This is an issue of the nature/character of God – NOT our ability to understand God in every situation – God is good (period!) – whether we acknowledge it, think it, say it, or act like it!
- Keep this in mind, because we’re going to spend the rest of time THANKING GOD FOR HIS GOODNESS!
Point:  His love never changes (that’s part of the point of the repletion – ‘for His lovingkindness is everlasting’!)
‘lovingkindness’ = (Hebrew word, hesed – pronounced ‘hess’ ‘said’) the favor God shows to those with whom he has entered into a covenant relationship!
- God NEVER breaks His covenant – He doesn’t’ have the ability to break it – His nature (holiness) doesn’t allow Him to break what He promises!
- That’s why we are to give thanks to Yawah – the covenant keeping God is Israel!
Note:  Compare that to the way we demonstrate love . . . or maybe better, to the way we DON’T demonstrate love
B.  HOW Does God Reveal His Goodness to Us?
[this psalm then give several examples of God’s goodness]
1.  Creation reveals God’s goodness (136:4-9)
 Psalm 136:4 To Him who alone does great wonders, . . . 5 To Him who made the heavens with skill, . . . 6 To Him who spread out the earth above the waters, . . .  7 To Him who made the great lights, . . . 8 The sun to rule by day, . . . 9 The moon and stars to rule by night.
Q: Do you want to see the goodness of God? 
>   look at creation – He didn’t HAVE to do that, He chose to create it . . . to reveal His goodness and ultimately to show His love for His creation – i.e. mankind – the one into whom He breathed the breath of life!
2.  Salvation reveals God’s goodness (136:10-24)
- These refer to specific acts of salvation to Israel
 bondage in Egypt – v. 10-12
 across the Red Sea – v. 13-14
 defeat of Pharaoh and his army – v. 15
 through the wilderness – v. 16
 defeat of their enemies – v. 17-24
- God did that for Israel – His chosen people . . .
Input:  What did He do to bring all of us salvation?
 Virgin Birth – that we will be celebrating in a few weeks
 Lived a miracles and a sinless life
 Died on the cross
 Rose from the dead!
3.  The Goodness of God to Everyone – (136:25-26)
- The psalm begins and ends with a universal call to give thanks to the God of heaven!
- Everyone can benefit from creation – it points to the Creator and Designer – the Almighty God who spoke it into existence . . . including creating man on day 6!


III.  “Give thanks to the LORD . . . to the God of gods . . . to the Lord of lords . . . to the God of heaven!”


* Spend the rest of our time THANKING God for Who He is and/or what He has done in the following area:
• Personal life
• Family
• Church
• Work
• Community
- Consider closing with the song, “Give Thanks With a Grateful Heart”



Adult Bible Fellowships
Thanksgiving God with All Your Heart – Psalm 136
Introduction:

Input: Why should we emphasize the thankfulness?
1)  The path to _______________ is ingratitude – Romans 1:18-23

Q:  Why is an unthankful heart so wrong?
> _____________________________________________!

2)  The problem is going to get ______________ – 2 Timothy 3:1-5

I.  True WORSHIP includes thanksgiving.
“If God is good, and He is, and if we praise Him for being as He is, which is what worship is all about, clearly we must thank Him too.  If we do not, we are not actually worshiping God, whatever else we may be doing.  In our worship of God, are we consistently and joyfully thanking God for His many great and kind acts toward us?” – Boice, Psalms, Vol. 3, p. 1180
Input: Why should ‘thankfulness’ be included in our times of worship (public & private)?


II.  What are the _______________ this Psalms give for thanking God?
A. The ______________ of God merits our praise!
 Psalm 136:1 Give thanks to the LORD, for He is good, for His lovingkindness is everlasting.

Point:  His love _____________ ______________!
‘lovingkindness’ = the favor God shows to those with whom he has entered into a covenant relationship!

B.  _________ Does God Reveal His Goodness to Us?
1.  ______________ reveals God’s goodness (136:4-9)

2.  ______________ reveals God’s goodness (136:10-24)
Input:  What did He do to bring all of us salvation?


3.  The Goodness of God to _________________ – (136:25-26)
III.  “Give thanks to the LORD . . . to the God of gods . . . to the Lord of lords . . . to the God of heaven!”
* Spend the rest of our time THANKING God for Who He is and/or what He has done in the following area:
• Personal life


• Family


• Church


• Work


• Community



Adult Bible Fellowships
Thanksgiving God With All Your Heart
Psalm 136
Introduction:
Input: Why should we emphasize the Thankfulness?
1)  The path to rebellion is ingratitude – Romans 1:18-23
Q:  Why is an unthankful heart so wrong?
> it robs God of the glory/honor that is due Him!
2)  The problem is going to get worse – 2 Timothy 3:1-5
I.  True WORSHIP includes thanksgiving.
  Quote
Input: Why should ‘thankfulness’ be included
in our times of worship (public & private)?
II.  What are the REASONS this Psalms give for thanking God?
A. The NATURE of God merits our praise!
 Psalm 136:1 Give thanks to the LORD, for He is good, for His lovingkindness is everlasting.
Point:  His love never changes!
‘lovingkindness’ = the favor God shows to those with whom he has entered into a covenant relationship!
B.  HOW Does God Reveal His Goodness to Us?
1.  Creation reveals God’s goodness
(136:4-9)
 Psalm 136:4 To Him who alone does great wonders, . . . 5 To Him who made the heavens with skill, . . . 6 To Him who spread out the earth above the waters, . . .  7 To Him who made the great lights, . . . 8 The sun to rule by day, . . . 9 The moon and stars to rule by night.
2.  Salvation reveals God’s goodness (136:10-24)


Input:  What did He do to bring all of us salvation?
 Virgin Birth
 Lived a miracles and a sinless life
 Died on the cross
 Rose from the dead!
3.  The Goodness of God to Everyone – (136:25-26)
III.  “Give thanks to the LORD . . . to the God of gods . . . to the Lord of lords . . . to the God of heaven!”
* Spend the rest of our time THANKING God for Who He is and/or what He has done in the following area:
• Personal life
• Family
• Church
• Work
• Community