Compassionate Thanksgiving Possibilities

Compassionate Thanksgiving Possibilities

Compassionate Thanksgiving possibilities are all around us, but relatively few people take advantage of them or are even really interested in trying to be compassionate.

Compassionate Thanksgiving Possibilities

Compassionate Thanksgiving Possibilities

A Sermon Delivered to
The Compassion Internet Church

23 November 2014

Frank L. Hoffman, Pastor

Scripture References:

Psalm 100:1-5
Ezekiel 34:11–31

Compassionate Thanksgiving possibilities are all around us, but relatively few people take advantage of them or are even really interested in trying to be compassionate.

Most people want to indulge in horrendous suffering, bloodshed and death with total disregard for the animals, just so that they can gluttonously chow down on their pound of flesh.

Yet, even in the midst of all this carnage, there are some people who truly have a compassionate Thanksgiving meal; the kinds of meals that they can thankfully extend throughout the entire year, for they know that no other living being had to suffer and die so that they could enjoy their meals.

As we look at Psalm 100:1-5, let’s consider whether or not we are going to truly have a compassionate Thanksgiving…

1. A Psalm for Thanksgiving.
Shout joyfully to the LORD, all the earth.

2. Serve the LORD with gladness;
Come before Him with joyful singing.

This is wonderful, but what are we shouting or singing joyfully for?

Are we thankful that no animals had to suffer or die so that we could have a compassionate Thanksgiving?

If so, then we can thankfully shout and sing joyfully, and be filled with gladness.

But on the other hand, if we are contributing to the suffering and death of any other living being, such as one of the millions of turkeys that are slaughtered every year for Thanksgiving, then we are hypocrites to be thanking God, for we are actually following the corrupt and demonic ways of this fallen world, for only demons enjoy bloodshed and death.

3. Know that the LORD Himself is God;
It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves;
We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.

When we take the life of another living being or cause that being to suffer and die at the hands of other humans, then we are guilty of putting ourselves before God, for we are going against His creation and heavenly intent, where there is no pain or death.

If we do this, we are not the sheep of His pasture, but the sheep of the devil’s pasture, for we are following the corrupt ways of this world.

But we don’t need to live this way; we can live as peacemaking children of God who do everything in their power to free creation from the suffering, death, and corruption of this world.

Don’t be misled by those who are following the corrupt ways of this world; reject such things, and you will find how easy and joyful it is to live compassionately, for when we do, then we can truly…

4. Enter His gates with thanksgiving,
And His courts with praise.
Give thanks to Him; bless His name.

5. For the LORD is good;
His lovingkindness is everlasting,
And His faithfulness to all generations.
NASB

This is the only way to have a truly compassionate Thanksgiving.

Let’s think about these things as we look at Ezekiel 34:11-31, and his prophecy for Israel, and at the same time we can bring his message up to date and apply it to the world around us.

11. For thus says the Lord GOD, “Behold, I Myself will search for My sheep and seek them out.

These sheep are the true peacemaking children of God.

12. “As a shepherd cares for his herd in the day when he is among his scattered sheep, so I will care for My sheep and will deliver them from all the places to which they were scattered on a cloudy and gloomy day.

The “sheep” were scattered because they followed the corrupt and ungodly ways of this world, but God is compassionate and will forgive His erring children.

Then God tells us what He will do for these truly repentant “sheep”.

13. “And I will bring them out from the peoples and gather them from the countries and bring them to their own land; and I will feed them on the mountains of Israel, by the streams, and in all the inhabited places of the land.

The people He is going to bring us out from are those who live in the corrupt ways of this world.

14. “I will feed them in a good pasture, and their grazing ground will be on the mountain heights of Israel. There they will lie down in good grazing ground, and they will feed in rich pasture on the mountains of Israel.

15. “I will feed My flock and I will lead them to rest,” declares the Lord GOD.

Note that nowhere in this passage is there any mention of death or the eating of any other living being.

16. “I will seek the lost, bring back the scattered, bind up the broken, and strengthen the sick; but the fat and the strong I will destroy. I will feed them with judgment.

The “fat and the strong” are those who gluttonously dine on the products of suffering and death.

17. “And as for you, My flock, thus says the Lord GOD, ‘Behold, I will judge between one sheep and another, between the rams and the male goats.

Unfortunately Ezekiel used this example of sheep and goats to help the wayward people understand that God will separate His repentant people from the unrepentant and ungodly people of this world.

18. ‘Is it too slight a thing for you that you should feed in the good pasture, that you must tread down with your feet the rest of your pastures? Or that you should drink of the clear waters, that you must foul the rest with your feet?

This is very similar to the way people promote the eating of once living turkeys for Thanksgiving, instead of promoting a compassionate Thanksgiving; these are the people who trample down the good earth, and foul the waters.

19. ‘And as for My flock, they must eat what you tread down with your feet, and they must drink what you foul with your feet!’ ”

All we have to do is look around us or at the news to understand that we are suffering for what the corrupt people of this world are doing to God’s beautiful environment.

20. Therefore, thus says the Lord GOD to them, “Behold, I, even I, will judge between the fat sheep and the lean sheep.

21. “Because you push with side and with shoulder, and thrust at all the weak with your horns, until you have scattered them abroad,

22. therefore, I will deliver My flock, and they will no longer be a prey; and I will judge between one sheep and another.

People who are compassionate and seek to free creation from its corruption are all too often ridiculed and insulted for their Godly actions, just as Ezekiel wrote about over 2,500 years ago.

23. “Then I will set over them one shepherd, My servant David, and he will feed them; he will feed them himself and be their shepherd.

24. “And I, the LORD, will be their God, and My servant David will be prince among them; I, the LORD, have spoken.

This David is referring to the offspring whose line runs to Messiah; it is Jesus who shepherds God’s people.

25. “And I will make a covenant of peace with them and eliminate harmful beasts from the land, so that they may live securely in the wilderness and sleep in the woods.

26. “And I will make them and the places around My hill a blessing. And I will cause showers to come down in their season; they will be showers of blessing.

27. “Also the tree of the field will yield its fruit, and the earth will yield its increase, and they will be secure on their land. Then they will know that I am the LORD, when I have broken the bars of their yoke and have delivered them from the hand of those who enslaved them.

Once again we will see all living beings freed from death and destruction.

28. “And they will no longer be a prey to the nations, and the beasts of the earth will not devour them; but they will live securely, and no one will make them afraid.

29. “And I will establish for them a renowned planting place, and they will not again be victims of famine in the land, and they will not endure the insults of the nations anymore.

This is when we can truly have a compassionate Thanksgiving.

30. “Then they will know that I, the LORD their God, am with them, and that they, the house of Israel, are My people,” declares the Lord GOD.

31. “As for you, My sheep, the sheep of My pasture, you are men, and I am your God,” declares the Lord GOD.
NASB

Are we willing to listen?

We pray so, for there is no salvation for those who reject the Lord’s offer.

But we who are willing to listen will enter His heavenly kingdom and have our compassionate Thanksgiving every day forever and ever.

Amen.

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