Lesson 138—November 20, 2016
Audio commentary by David Daniel
A Thanksgiving Lesson
Scripture: Psalm 116:17
Lesson Goal: To better understand the importance of letting my life be a living testimony of thanksgiving and praise.
Introduction: May we begin today’s Thanksgiving lesson by looking at one of the most glorious pictures of true worship found in all of Scripture? Please read aloud Revelation 4:1-11. In this passage, we find the four living creatures praising the Lord and giving Him “glory, honor and thanks.” The twenty-four elders fall down before Him who sits on the throne and worship Him. Their testimony: “You are worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and praise.”
We are instructed by the psalmist to offer to God the sacrifice of thanksgiving. Please read Psalm 116:17. The thought and teaching that we (His children) should offer Him our praise and thanksgiving is found in the New Testament as well. Please read Hebrews 13:15-16. There are times when we need to consciously pause from our hectic pace of life to reflect upon the blessings of God.
In 2 Corinthians 9:15, the Apostle Paul says, “Thanks be to God.” With a gladness in his heart, Paul expresses his gratitude and thankfulness to God. His words are not casual or spoken lightly. They are words that flow from a grateful heart. Paul is expressing his heartfelt praise and thanksgiving unto God. This is simply his way of declaring a testimony of thanksgiving and offering his sacrifice of praise.
- How do you, or do you, offer a testimony of praise and thanksgiving to God?
- How do we as a church family collectively offer our sacrifice of praise to Him?
In the following simple yet profound words, we find the expression of a great doxology (praise to God):
Praise God from whom all blessings flow;
Praise Him, all creatures here below,
Praise Him above, ye heavenly host;
Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost. Amen (Ken).
Who has God used to bless your life?
Will you please list ten blessing in your life today?
Now please state why you put each of these in your list of 10 blessings.
Personal Testimony: “A Thanksgiving Lesson”
For me personally, this has been one of the most difficult lessons to write in the three years of writing Life Focus lessons. I understand that those words may seem strange to you. This lesson is not difficult because of the content or because of the celebration of Thanksgiving. In fact, Thanksgiving is one of my favorite times of the year. But for the Brackin family, Thanksgiving will be difficult this year.
For as long as I can remember, there has always been a family touch football game played on the afternoon of Thanksgiving. The tradition of this game rivals that of the Dallas Cowboys and Detroit Lions of the NFL. Through the years, our football game has affectionately been called “the young against the old.” This year as we kickoff the game, there will be one very noticeable absence. There will be one voice not heard, one infectious laugh not shared. We will play this game, for we must! We will have fun and enjoy our precious time together, but with every play, every sack and every touchdown, we will remember the one who no longer plays this game with us. He was the one who couldn’t wait to finish eating to get the game started. He was the one who made sure the game went on, no matter the weather conditions or temperature. For him, this football game was as much a part of Thanksgiving as turkey and dressing. As we play this year, there will be both laughter and tears, for the reality of life is that death calls and touches every family. Last year as we played, we probably didn’t give much thought to the possibility that one of us could be gone. But reality sometimes kicks us in the gut. Brice will forever be missed.
Also this year, we will come together as family without Mama (Granny Brackin), for she too has moved on to Heaven. She too will be forever missed. When we taste the dressing, we will be reminded that no one can make it like she did. As we share around the table, we will remember her humble and gentle spirit that so enjoyed serving her family. But in spite of the sadness of the two empty places around our table, we will rejoice for this year God has blessed us with the gift of new life. There will be three new babies to take their own places at the Brackin Thanksgiving table. Thank you God!
My Thanksgiving lesson 2016 is a testimony of remembering and celebrating the gift of life. God, help me to please never take for granted the people You have placed in my life.
Please read 1 Corinthians 15:57.
HEAVEN IS REAL!!
As a Life Focus class, please take the remainder of your class time to offer Him your sacrifice of praise.