Stewardship of Our Thanksgiving

Trey Garner November 22, 2020 1 Chronicles 16
Outline

Stewardship – God-given responsibility with accountability

Four Factors of Stewardship

1. God owns everything, you own nothing

2. God entrusts you with everything you have

3. You can either increase or diminish what God has given; He wants you to increase it

4. God can call you into account at any time, and it may be today

I. Celebrate the Privilege of Being in a Relationship with God (vv. 1-13)

A. The meaning of the ark of the covenant, the burnt offerings, the peace offerings (vv. 1-7)

1 Samuel 6:2 - And David arose and went with all the people who were with him to Baale-judah, to bring up from there the ark of God which is called by the Name, the very name of the Lord of hosts who is enthroned above the cherubim.

2 Samuel 6:14-15 - And David was dancing before the Lord with all his might, and David was wearing a linen ephod. So David and all the house of Israel were bringing up the ark of the Lord with shouting and the sound of the trumpet.

B. The ability to know Him (vv. 8-12)

…call upon His name (v. 8)

…seek His strength (v. 11)

…seek His face (v. 11)

“You sum up the whole of New Testament religion if you describe it as the knowledge of God as one’s holy Father. If you want to judge how well a person understands Christianity, find out how much he makes of the thought of being God’s child, and having God as his Father. If this is not the thought that prompts and controls his worship and prayers and his whole outlook on life, it means that he does not understand Christianity very well at all.” (J.I. Packer, Knowing God)

C. The reality of being His people (v.13)

1 Chronicles 16:13 - O seed of Israel His servant, Sons of Jacob, His chosen ones!

1 Peter 2:9 - But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light…

II. Rejoice in God’s Promises to His People (vv. 14-22)

A. Promise to be with His people in their earthly sojourning (v. 20)

1 Chronicles 16:20 - And they wandered about from nation to nation, and from one kingdom to another people…

Deuteronomy 1:31-33 - …and in the wilderness where you saw how the Lord your God carried you, just as a man carries his son, in all the way which you have walked until you came to this place. But for all this, you did not trust the Lord your God, who goes before you on your way, to seek out a place for you to encamp, in fire by night and cloud by day, to show you the way in which you should go.

B. Promise to protect His people until they reach home (vv. 21-22)

1 Chronicles 16:21-22 - He permitted no man to oppress them, and He reproved kings for their sakes, saying, “Do not touch My anointed ones, and do My prophets no harm.”

Matthew 28:20 -…and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.

John 14:1-3 - Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also.

III. Praise God Amidst Others (vv. 23-33)

A. Telling of God’s past saving acts on behalf of His people (vv. 23-24)

1 Chronicles 16:23-24 - Sing to the Lord, all the earth; proclaim good tidings of His salvation from day to day. Tell of His glory among the nations, His wonderful deeds among all the peoples.

B. Showing His utter uniqueness (vv. 25-26)

1 Chronicles 16:25-26 - For great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised; He also is to be feared above all gods. For all the gods of the peoples are idols, but the Lord made the heavens.

C. Proclaiming His kingship (vv. 27-33)

1 Chronicles 16:31 - Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice; and let them say among the nations, “The Lord reigns.”

IV. Anticipate the Lord’s Work Again in Difficult Times (vv. 34-37)

1 Chronicles 16:34-36 - O give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; for His lovingkindness is everlasting. Then say, “Save us, O God of our salvation, and gather us and deliver us from the nations, to give thanks to Your holy name, and glory in Your praise.” Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel, from everlasting even to everlasting.

1 Thess 5:18 in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

Eph 5:20 always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father

How would you like it if your job 24-7 was to give thanks….do you think you could do it?

This is a very tall order.

In the OT did you know that there were a group of people that had that job?

Listen to this

1 Chronicles 16:7 Then on that day David first assigned Asaph and his relatives to give thanks to the Lord.

And that tradition continued for over 600 years because when Nehemiah writes 600 years later, he makes mention of King David’s HR job description…..

Nehemiah 12:45 For they performed the worship of their God and the service of purification, together with the singers and the gatekeepers in accordance with the command of David and of his son Solomon. 46 For in the days of David and Asaph, in ancient times, there were leaders of the singers, songs of praise and hymns of thanksgiving to God.

Somehow, though that tradition was spread to all of God’s people today—not

just a group of people like pastors or deacons— who are supposed to give thanks always—Now its all of God’s people’s job to do this!

You may say, I want to see the memo where the boss expanded my job description.

Well, we will get there but first let’s take a look back and see why David made it the job of a certain group of men to give thanks always

Then we can see why all of God’s people today have that job description.

We are speaking today about Stewardship of Thanksgiving

Please turn in your Bible to 1 Chronicles 16.

We are in our final Sunday of Stewardship month and on the verge of Thanksgiving.

It is fitting and appropriate to speak about the Stewardship of Thanksgiving the week before Thanksgiving and as we celebrate tonight in our Stewardship Celebration.

I recognize that many of your Thanksgiving plans will be changing because of the COVID environment in which we find ourselves.

But despite COVID, and despite changed thanksgiving plans, we need to see the big picture and gain perspective so that we can cultivate a heart that carries out this job description of giving thanks in all things.

First, let’s review our Definition of Stewardship and the four principles of Stewarship.

Stewardship is God given responsibility with accountability.

1. God owns everything, you own nothing.

2. God entrusts you with everything you have.

3. You can either increase or diminish what God has given; He wants you to increase it.

4. God can call you into account at any time, and it may be today.

Now, let me set up the context of the book of Chronicles and specifically chapter 16.

The book of 1 Chronicles was written to a group of people who had been severely disciplined by the Lord.

That group of God’s people had been captive in a foreign land for a long time and primarily because of their ancestors’ history of not following God.

The author of the book of Chronicles captures the history of God’s people and how they got there with a focus on couple of theological truths

  • First, God made promises to his people in the past and even though it seems as though those promises did not work out the way they thought, God was still going to bring them to fulfillment.
  • Secondly, the author focuses on the example of David so that the people might expect a coming future king like David but only better and a coming future kingdom of God…but only better as well.

In our passage today, the author of Chronicles is writing about David the king

King David is bringing into the midst of the people something called the “Ark of the Covenant”

The Ark of the Covenant is a piece of religious furniture that represented God’s presence with and promises for His people.

God allowed a small piece of His glory—like a miniature sun— to dwell on top of that piece of furniture.

Since man sinned in the Garden of Eden and mankind was expelled from God’s presence, God embarked on a rescue operation and promised that he would again return to His people and be with them.

The previous king before David did not seek the presence and promises of God

Most of the Kings after David did not either.

So, let’s see what happens…let’s read 1 Chronicles 16.

The author of the chronicles now goes back to the narrative which reminds the people that Asaph and his generation was to be perpetually giving thanks before the ark of continually as a reminder of the eternal promise of God’s presence and promises.

37 So he left Asaph and his relatives there before the ark of the covenant of the Lord to minister before the ark continually, as every day’s work required;

1 Chronicles 16 gives us 4 choices of a thankful heart as we wait on the Lord.

The first choice of a thankful heart in ongoing amazement is to

Celebrate the privilege of being in a relationship with God (vv. 1–13)

One of the differences between the God of the bible and every other so called religion is that

the God of the Bible …

the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob…

…is personally and radically involved with His creation

From the beginning of Bible revelation in the creation story ….

…when God formed Adam from the dust of the earth as a potter forms clay with His hands

…when God used his own life force to animate Adam by breathing into His nostrils the breath of life

…when God spoke with Adam and told Him it was not good for Him to be alone

…when God built from Adam’s rib a life partner to be his helper…

…when God covered the shame of Adam and Eve’s nakedness after they had sinned by giving them garments of animal hyde

…from then the Bible reveals that the all powerful creator God who made the universe is not some distant remote God but intimately involved in His creation

The theological term for this is that God is immanent

He is not simply infinitely out there and beyond, but He is also intimately involved with His creation

And what is more, He has bound Himself by the authority of His own word in covenant to never leave His people—even at His own expense.

Name another god of in any of the world’s religion who seeks a relationship with its devotees like this one who binds Himself to His people…

This is…

The meaning of the ark of the covenant, the burnt offerings, the peace offerings (vv. 1–7)

In the parallel account of David’s retrieving the ark Samuel records

1 Sam 6:2 And David arose and went with all the people who were with him to Baale-judah, to bring up from there the ark of God which is called by the Name, the very name of the Lord of hosts who is enthroned above the cherubim.

The ark of the covenant represented the presence of God in a covenant with His people

And Samuel also records how David viewed that event of obtaining the Ark of the Covenant

2 Sam 14 And David was dancing before the Lord with all his might, and David was wearing a linen ephod. 15 So David and all the house of Israel were bringing up the ark of the Lord with shouting and the sound of the trumpet.

Here is what all of that means….David was celebrating extravagantly that God was not some distance remote God that had no interest in the affairs of mankind.

King David appointed a group of people with official job descriptions to give thanks 24-7 for the truth that God was involved with His people.

He did not abandon this creation after He created….

Recently, I had a technical issue with an online video hosting service.

I mistakenly deleted some important videos as I was doing some organizing of the videos.

I thought, “surely they have backups because I don’t.”

I search for technical support—there was no phone number.

I sent an email and no response.

Oh what I would give for someone/anybody to just talk with and cry out for help…can you help me.

I then saw that you can pay for quicker service so I upgraded my service and guess what…I got an immediate response and the videos were restored.

The feeling of being without any help and in a needy condition was unsettling.

Now imagine being in this world of some all powerful being and needing help….do I just have to jump through His hoops…do I have to perform some kind of ritual to get his attention for help. Do I have to pay for the next level of service to get his attention?

The God of the Bible says, I have bound myself to my people and He is there…without having to pay a fee for extra service….

And in his immanence, his intimacy, His nearness to His people He gives us…

The ability to know Him (vv. 8–12)

…call upon His name (v. 8)

…seek His strength (v. 11)

…seek His face (v. 11)

We get to know God!

J.I. Packer states, in his classic work on Knowing God

“You sum up the whole of New Testament religion if you describe it as the knowledge of God as one’s holy Father. If you want to judge how well a person understands Christianity, find out how much he makes of the thought of being God’s child, and having God as his Father. If this is not the thought that prompts and controls his worship and prayers and his whole outlook on life, it means that he does not understand Christianity very well at all. ― J.I. Packer, Knowing God

And in God’s nearness we have the privilege of knowing Him and as JI Packer said, we the privilege of being His child and having the incredible comfort of belonging…..

    1. The reality of being His people (v. 13)

O seed of Israel His servant,

Sons of Jacob, His chosen ones!

In my years of being a pastor, I have seen an amazing phenomena among teens and college students—the perpetual feeling of not belonging.

It’s incredible!

As Janet and I minister we have heard the same words come out of the most popular girl who is “in the know” or the most fringe boy—“I feel like I don’t belong.”

It’s amazing how we all feel we don’t belong—that angst in our soul finds its roots back to Genesis 3 and the alienation of creation from its Creator.

But, God did not leave us in that alienated state

What if the only God whose acceptance matters says you belong to me!!!!

How would that change you and infuse your heart with eternal belonging and thankfulness!!!????

We see how it changed David into one who dances and appointed perpetual thanksgiving!

And David celebrated that relationship when all he had was a piece of wood covered in gold and a small sliver of the glory of God hovering between the cherubim.

All of that was pointing to a greater glory—that of the glory of the only begotten of God, Jesus Christ, who made a new and eternal covenant with his only blood and not the blood of bulls and goats..

That’s why now, all of us…who have tasted the first fruits of Christ’s new covenant are priest of God like Asapah—giving thanks always and at all times

1 Peter 2:9 But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;

The first choice of a thankful heart is to celebrate the privilege of being in a relationship with God

The second choice of a thankful heart is to

Rejoice in God’s Promises to His People (vv. 14–22)

The God who covenanted to be near to His creation he also

Promise to be with His people in their earthly sojourning (v. 20)

1 Chronicles 16:20 says,

1 Chron 16:20 And they wandered about from nation to nation, And from one kingdom to another people,

We know that God lead them all the way in their wanderings…

Deut 1:31 and in the wilderness where you saw how the Lord your God carried you, just as a man carries his son, in all the way which you have walked until you came to this place.’ 32 “But for all this, you did not trust the Lord your God, 33 who goes before you on your way, to seek out a place for you to encamp, in fire by night and cloud by day, to show you the way in which you should go.

And the God who bound Himself to His people also promised to rescue them from their wanderings

Promise to protect His people until they reach home (vv. 21–22)

1 Chron 16:21 He permitted no man to oppress them, And He reproved kings for their sakes, saying, 22“Do not touch My anointed ones, And do My prophets no harm.”

So friends let’s revisit what we have seen so far

King David made it the job of Asaph to give thanks always…because of the presence of God as represented by the Ark of the Covenant and the promises of God being with His people and leading them home…..

How much more so now should we be a people who always give thanks

Because of Christ’s promises:

Matthew 28:20 “…and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

And, His promise to lead us home through our sojourning on this earth.

John 14:1 “Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me. 2 “In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. 3 “If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also.

Now friends, let us stop for a bit of reflection

How thankful is your heart about being in a relationship with God through Christ and cherishing the promise of His presence and His leading us home?

I know this has been a challenging year…….with national turmoil, economic turmoil, political turmoil and COVID turmoil…

But what supersedes all of that is the God of the universe Has chosen to bind Himself to His people and be with them and take them home.

These elements were so important to David and the people at the time of the Chronicler that there were groups of people dedicated to giving thanks…24-7

And the work of Christ has only made God’s work infinitely more praiseworthy.

So how are you stewarding your thanksgiving?

The first choice of a thankful heart is to celebrate the privilege of being in a relationship with God

The second choice of a thankful heart is to rejoice in His promises

The third choice of a thankful heart is to

III. Praise God amidst others (vv. 23–33)

The kind of heart that is full of God’s presence and promises will have no choice but to

Telling of God’s past saving acts on behalf of His people (vv. 23–24)

For the mouth speaks out of that which fills the heart…

The Chronicler says…

1 Chron 16:23 Sing to the Lord, all the earth; Proclaim good tidings of His salvation from day to day. 24 Tell of His glory among the nations, His wonderful deeds among all the peoples.

Friends, in some ways that is exactly what we are doing tonight.

God has done marvelous acts on behalf of Faith Church starting with our individual salvation.

Then He has given us His word so that our lives and our families have been strengthened

On top of our salvation and our growth in Him, He has allowed us to have ministry platforms

like the Northend Community Center,

Faith East Community Center,

Faith West Community Center,

Vision of Hope of ladies

and Restoration for Men,

and Faith Biblical Counseling ministry through which we proclaiming his good tidings through the Latin American strategy.

And Faith Bible Seminary through which we are training more men to proclaim His saving deeds to the nations.

Faith family, the heart that is thankful will be participating tonight in this joyous celebration and hearing about God’s wonderful deeds

This is what a thankful heart does!

The mouth of the thankful heart will be

Showing His utter uniqueness (vv. 25–26)

I Chron 16:25 For great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised; He also is to be feared above all gods. 26 For all the gods of the peoples are idols, but the Lord made the heavens.

Do you remember one of the moments of faith testimonies this summer by Anthony Malenchek?

He was a young man struggling with addictions and his comment was “Only Jesus Could have rescued me.”

BTW, if you are watching tonight you may see him again—little teaser for you

The world is searching for something that will rescue them from their brokenness.

What they typically look to can not save them

A political figure will not save them

The government will not save them

Money will not save them

Fame will not save them

Allah, Budda, Confucius, Baal, can not save them….

God has ordained that the thankful heart that has been rescued by the living God who is near is the means by which others will be rescued also…

Romans 10:15: “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news of good things!

Your thankfulness to God is shown by how much you vocally share Him with among others….

The mouth speaks out of that which fills the heart….so what is coming out of your your mouth regularly?

Also, as the thankful heart praises God among people it will be

Proclaiming His Kingship (27–33)

1 Chron 16:31 Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice; And let them say among the nations, “The Lord reigns.”

The world does not need to hear that it is not Donald Trump who reigns or

Joe Biden but God who reigns over all

Take a little survey of your social media platform to see how much you are proclaiming the reign of your favorite political candidate or the reign of God.

All will be accountable to God and thus all need to hear God reigns

The thankful heart will choose to Praise God the King amidst others.

Finally, a thankful heat choses to

  1. Anticipate the Lord’s work again in difficult times (34–37)

The Chronicler ends by encouraging the people to give thanks but then pray for God to act again.

1 Chron 16:34 O give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; For His lovingkindness is everlasting. 35Then say, “Save us, O God of our salvation, And gather us and deliver us from the nations, To give thanks to Your holy name, And glory in Your praise.” 36 Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel, from everlasting even to everlasting.

Folks that is where we find ourselves today. Those who have faith in Christ have been rescued from sin’s power and reconciled to God. We should be filled with overwhelming thanks 24-7

Now we await Christ’s second coming to rescue us from sins’ presence and to make all things new

In the meantime, the thankful heart here amidst this broken world will be the shining platform that draws as many people as possible to come with us into His Kingdom.

Thanksgiving recognizes that all of life is in his hands and he is weaving it together for your good and His glory.

To renew it, to restore it.

Disciples would have said, I can believe God can bring anything good out of this…

That’s the ultimate example of what He is doing in everybody’s life…..

Thanksgiving—Thank him Acknowledge that life is in his hands and thank him for what he is going to do.

God always gives what you would have asked for if you knew everything God knows….with thanksgiving.

Authors

Trey Garner

Roles

Pastor of Children's Ministries - Faith Church

Bio

B.F.A. - Musical Theatre, Texas State University
M.F.A. - Acting, Purdue University
M.Min. - Grace Theological Seminary

Pastor Trey Garner joined our staff in 2001. He and his wife Deb were married that year, and they have two children. Trey oversees our Children’s Ministries, which serves infants, toddlers, and K-5th grade students. He also provides pastoral care for our 8:00 a.m. worship service.

Read Trey Garner's Journey to Faith for the full account of how the Lord led Pastor Garner to Faith Church.