A GRATEFUL HEART - Thanksgiving 2022
THANKSGIVING 2022 – A GRATEFUL HEART
Sunday, November 2022, the Year of Our Lord
Pastor Carolyn Sissom
“The Lord is my portion, says my soul; therefore. will I hope in him” (Lam 3:24).
Dream I had November 2014: “I was in the middle of a field---crowds began to gather to hear the Word of the Lord. I felt unprepared to preach. A voice said, “Carolyn, call them to worship and when they are worshipping and praising me, I will release the treasures of Heaven to them.”
Thanks-giving is worship. Thanksgiving to the Lord God is commanded throughout the Holy Bible. Our nation was founded and blessed by Christian men and women who gave thanks to the Lord. They worshiped the Lord with grateful hearts for the bounty of a land rich in seafood, game, fruit, vegetables and corn.
A grateful heart is a gracious heart. A gracious heart is a Godly heart.
“A Godly heart enjoys God in everything we have, and has learned the art of being content; for all our wants are in God Himself” (J.B.)
A gracious heart lives upon God’s dew in the little things he has. When the little that he has is taken from him, what shall he do? The children of God can recover all their wants in God himself. If the plunderer takes away everything a poor man has, what shall he do now that all is gone? There is an art and skill that Godliness teaches. It is to make up all those losses in God. A godly man knows where to go to recover all. Christians are not beggars. Ministries should not beg, nor should they teach others to beg.
A Godly man does not live in himself. He lives in God. This is a mystery to a carnal heart. A gracious man lives and worships in God continually. When the thief comes to kill, steal and destroy, he knows how to go to the fountain, and receive of the plenteous supply of the treasures of Heaven. God is his all in all.
A gracious heart enjoys God as “all in all” to him. That is the happiness of heaven to have God to be all in all. The saints in heaven do not have houses, lands, money, meat, drink and clothes. They do not need them. Why not? It is because God is all in all to them immediately.
When our rights, righteous indignation and our earthly treasures are plundered by unknowing and unwitting people, our God is more to us than all that was lost. As Christians, we can absolutely go to our Lord and we will have all again---not only all, but more and greater treasures than before. The thief which comes to kill, steal and destroy intends for the Christian to be cut off and rendered ineffective.
The treasured property, relationship, or any lost item is only a conduit, a pipe that conveyed God’s goodness to us. If the pipe is cut off, says the Lord, “Come to me, the fountain, and drink immediately.” Though the beams go behind the clouds, the sun remains the same in the firmament as it ever has.
What is it that satisfies God? He enjoys all fullness in himself. He made man in his image that He might fellowship with him, so that man would reveal the fullness of the Lord. As we enjoy Jesus as our portion, we can worship with the song of the church in Lamentations 3:22: It is of the Lord’s mercies, that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning; great is thy faithfulness. The Lord is my portion, says my soul, therefore I will hope in him.
Perhaps the Lord tests our hearts that our affections are not upon our possessions. Do we love the blessing, the properties, and the relationship more than we love the Lord?
A young boy who could not speak or hear was asked to define gratitude. He wrote upon his tablet, “It is the remembrance of the heart.” It is from the heart that sincere praise is brought before the throne of Heaven.
While we live in the world, we can enjoy much of the Lord and much of Heaven. “Thy Kingdom come; thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven.” That does not mean beyond the grave. That means on earth as it is in Heaven.
There is a scripture in Revelation which speaks of the glorious spiritual condition of the Church “on earth as it is in Heaven”: I saw no temple therein, for the Lord God almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it, and the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon to shine in it, for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof (Rev. 21:22).
They had no need of the sun or moon. It speaks of a glorious condition that the Church is likely to be in here in this world. Vs.24: The nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it; and the kings of the earth bring their glory and honor into it.
The kings of the earth shall not bring their glory and honor into heaven. The kings of the earth shall bring their glory and honor to the glorified church which is made up of the saints of God.
Rev. 21:26: They shall be the glory and the honor of the nations into it.
The glory and honor of the nations must be interpreted as, out of the earth whole nations will behold the glory of God and transcend into this spiritual place of being “all in all” with the Lord while on earth. This place of being in Christ “all in all” is the realm of Glory.
“Surely, we have all things because we have Him for our portion who has all things. God has all things in Himself and we have the Lord for our portion. In that we have all.”
A gracious heart has learned the art of forgetfulness, but also the art of remembrance.
The grace of forgetfulness is toward those who have injured us. God not only forgives, but He forgets. If we are to access the grace of the treasures of heaven, through prayer and thanksgiving, then we must both forgive and forget. When we are yielded in worship and thanksgiving, God’s great grace of forgetfulness is merged with our hearts and we are also able to forget.
While there are many things which we ought to bury in the depths of God’s forgetfulness, there is much, on the other hand, that we ought to keep in perpetual remembrance.
Let us remember God’s innumerable benefits. His goodness and mercy have followed us all the days of our life from our first breath until the present hour. He is ever mindful of His beloved by day and night, at home and abroad, in health and sickness. He has delivered us from our fears and blessed us far above our utmost expectations.
Through His precious Holy Spirit, Jesus has released to us the treasures of Heaven through gifts of the Holy Spirit, joy, peace and righteousness.
Isa. 45:4: I will give you the treasures of darkness and hidden riches of secret places that you may know that it is I, the Lord, the God of Israel, who calls you by your name.
Prov. 8:20-21: I lead in the way of righteousness, in the midst of the paths of judgment. That I may cause those that love me to inherit substance; and I will fill their treasures.
Oh, that we would praise him with hearts filled with Him and find this privilege of grace worth thousands of worlds.
In Genesis 33:9, when Esau met Jacob, there is a remarkable speech by Jacob. When Jacob gave his present to Esau, he refused it, “What do you mean by all this drove which I met?” Jacob said, “These are to find grace in your sight.” Esau said, ‘I have enough.” In the 11th verse, Jacob still urges Esau and says in the English translation, “for I have enough.” However, in Hebrew these are two different words and Jacob’s word signifies, “I have all things,” and yet Jacob was poorer than Esau.
Christians this is our testimony to the world. We not only have enough, but “we have all things.” How do we have all? because like Jacob, we have the Lord who is all in all.
A gracious heart has so much of God within himself that he has enough to take care of all his outward wants. Proverbs 14:14: The backslider in heart shall be filled with his own ways; and a good man shall be satisfied from himself.
A gracious man has a bird within his own heart which continually makes melody unto the Lord. “The Kingdom of heaven is within you.” (Lk. 17:21). I have the Kingdom of Heaven within me. You have the Kingdom of heaven within you. Let us walk worthy of our position. Let us worship the Lord continually from our heart.
The Lord said that if we will worship Him, He will release to us all the treasures of heaven. Jesus owned all the treasures of heaven. He gives that blessing to us that we may also own them.
Carolyn Sissom, Pastor
Eastgate Ministries Church
Scripture from K.J.V. – I entered into the labors of Jeremiah Burroughs, The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment – in public domain – comments and conclusions are my own and not meant to reflect the views of Rev. Burroughs sermon by Pastor Carolyn Sissom, 11/22/14.
November 22,2022, concerning the two investigations now under way of President Donald J. Trump and Joe Biden, let us consider:
During the final months of Saul’s reign, there were two kings in Israel – Saul and David! The glory and Kingly anointing had departed from Saul. David is the anointed King. The contest is on, and it grows more and more bitter as the days go by. Saul out of envy and jealousy was out to trap David and slay him. David’s only concern was to wait for God, do God’s will and save Saul’s life. Let us learn from the spirit of David…for it would become his “key” to the throne (George Warnock).
Psalms 26-28 are written by David during a time of his reproach. Psalm 26 is his declaration of innocence in which he protests his integrity and offers a prayer for vindication. This is the prayer of a good man. He is not claiming perfection, but a consistent life of trust and obedience to God. “Judge me, O LORD; for I have walked in my integrity…vs 7. that I may publish with the voice of thanksgiving, and tell of all your wondrous works. I pray this for President Trump during this Thanksgiving season.
THANKSGIVING LORD’S SUPPER:
In Mt. 22:14, Jesus’ earthly ministry is likened to a wedding feast. The parable of the king’s wedding feast for his son, presents Jesus as the son/groom and a rejection of the invitation is a rejection of Jesus himself. No one can participate in this feast unless they are born again into the family of God.
Our participation in the Lord’s Supper is a continuity of the feast of his life, death, burial, resurrection and the covenant of the New Testament. Every feast celebrated to the Lord is but a foretaste of the greatest feast of all.
Christ’s second coming is described as a marriage feast or the marriage supper of the Lamb. Though Jesus feasted with his followers (at the Last Supper) as a human (the wedding feast of his earthly ministry), the consummation of Jesus with His saints is described as a wedding banquet between the Lamb of God and his bride, the church.
On Mount Zion (the church/ the place of God’s presence) is the central location of all biblical feasts, the Lord Almighty has prepared, as Isaiah prophesied 25:6:
“A feast of rich food for all peoples,
A banquet of aged wine—
The best of meats and finest of wines,
On this mountain he will destroy
The shroud that enfolds all peoples,
The sheet that covers all nations,
He will swallow up death forever
The Sovereign Lord will wipe away the tears
From all faces
He will remove the disgrace of his
People from the earth.”
1 Co. 11:23 -27: I have received of the Lord that which also I deliver unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread: And when he had given thanks, he breaks it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me. In like manner, also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, this cup is the New Testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me. As often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do show the Lord's death till he come. Wherefore, whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.