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SermonThanksgiving for Thanksliving
An all-creatures Bible Message

Thanksgiving for Thanksliving
 
A Sermon Delivered to
The Compassion Internet Church
 
20 November 2016
 
Frank L. Hoffman, Pastor

Scripture References

Psalm 46:1-11
Luke 23:33-43
Philippians 4:4-9

Thanksgiving for thanksliving means that we are giving thanks for those who have no human-caused death in their lifestyle.
 
Unfortunately, most people give thanks for the tortured remains of a once living turkey who was murdered (premeditated taking of another living being's life), roasted, and put on display on the dining table.
 
We believe that such a practice is blasphemy, for only the devil takes pleasure in suffering, bloodshed, and death.
 
Letís think about these things as we look at Psalm 46:1-11Ö

1. God is our refuge and strength,
A very present help in trouble.

The same God who made us also created the animals as living souls, just like us; therefore, He is just as much their God as He is ours.
 
And, since billions of animals are in trouble and will suffer and die every year, where is their help?
 
Is God failing the animals?
 
No! We are, because God gave us stewardship over the animals, which means that we humans are to be protecting them instead of exploiting them as most humans are presently doing.

2. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change,
And though the mountains slip into the heart of the sea;

For billions of animals, their world has been slipping into a sea of suffering, bloodshed, and death, because most humans have been indifferent to their suffering for far too long.

3. Though its waters roar and foam,
Though the mountains quake at its swelling pride.
Selah.

The swelling pride is not really the earth, but that of the devil and his minions.
 
Itís time we repent of our former ways and return to God with a soft and pliable heart, so that God can help us become true peacemaking children of God who do everything in our power to help free creation from its present corruption.

4. There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
The holy dwelling places of the Most High.

It may have made some people glad, but for the animals, the priests made the temple into a slaughterhouse for animals, and the animals were anything but glad.
 
There was no thanksgiving for thanksliving, for the people were not truly living in the heavenly will of God.

5. God is in the midst of her, she will not be moved;
God will help her when morning dawns.

The morning only really dawns when the people repent of their worldly ways and truly become the peacemaking children of God that the Lord called us all to be.

6. The nations made an uproar, the kingdoms tottered;
He raised His voice, the earth melted.
 
7. The LORD of hosts is with us;
The God of Jacob is our stronghold.
Selah.

God really is our stronghold when we are the strongholds of the animals and end the corruption of Godís beautiful creation, and when we do, we will also find that we can have a thanksgiving for thanksliving.

8. Come, behold the works of the LORD,
Who has wrought desolations in the earth.

The only reason that God would wrought desolation in the earth is because we humans have not been living in His heavenly will, and because we have refused to repent, but when we doÖ

9. He makes wars to cease to the end of the earth;
He breaks the bow and cuts the spear in two;
He burns the chariots with fire.

In other words, He will bring peace to the earth.
 
But in the meantime we need to cease striving after the corrupt and ungodly ways of this world.

10. "Cease striving and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth."

God will be exalted when we are His witnesses throughout the world as peacemaking children of the Lord.

11. The LORD of hosts is with us;
The God of Jacob is our stronghold.
NASB

We can have a Thanksgiving for thanksliving.
 
Not only are we celebrating what Thanksgiving should be about, but we are also celebrating Christ the King Sunday, which is part of the story we read about in Luke 23:33-43Ö

33. And when they came to the place called The Skull, there they crucified Him and the criminals, one on the right and the other on the left.

This tells us a great deal about the true nature of the people; they focused upon death instead of life, and the nature of the death was to horribly torture a person to death for as long as three days until the person finally died.
 
This same kind of sadistic behavior is the way most animals are treated even to this very day.

34. But Jesus was saying, "Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing." And they cast lots, dividing up His garments among themselves.

Even while being tortured, Jesus was focused upon life, even for His torturers.
 
If Jesus Christ is truly our Lord and King, this is the way each and every one of us should be living, and in the process, we would end the corruption of creation, which would also put an end to the pain, suffering, and death being inflicted upon millions of humans, and billions of animals every year.
 
This is the only way we can truly have thanksgiving for thanksliving, which is another way of saying that we are thankful for life and not death.

35. And the people stood by, looking on. And even the rulers were sneering at Him, saying, "He saved others; let Him save Himself if this is the Christ of God, His Chosen One."

This hardness of heart is what separates us from God and His kingdom, even though many people and clergy claim otherwise.
 
And remember that the father of lies is Satan.

36. And the soldiers also mocked Him, coming up to Him, offering Him sour wine,
 
37. and saying, "If You are the King of the Jews, save Yourself!"

Mocking is also a sign of hardness of heart and indifference for the feeling of others.

38. Now there was also an inscription above Him, "THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS." Do we really believe this?

We sure hope so, because without having the spirit of Jesus in our hearts and souls, there is no way of getting into heaven.

39. And one of the criminals who were hanged there was hurling abuse at Him, saying, "Are You not the Christ? Save Yourself and us!"

To speak this way is a strong indication of a lack of repentance and love.

40. But the other answered, and rebuking him said, "Do you not even fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation?
 
41. "And we indeed justly, for we are receiving what we deserve for our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong."

Notice the difference between these two men: one remains arrogant, and the other is truly repentant.

42. And he was saying, "Jesus, remember me when You come in Your kingdom!"
 
43. And He said to him, "Truly I say to you, today you shall be with Me in Paradise." 
NASB

We strongly believe that dying animals, whom we humans have put to death, are also being taken to heaven by the Lord just as this dying criminal is.
 
The people who cause all this death and support it with their money will find themselves being left out because of their hardness of heart.
 
We can have a thanksgiving for thanksliving, if we want to.
 
Choose life over death just as our Lord and King did.
 
Letís conclude our discussion about what Thanksgiving should be like as we look at Philippians 4:4-9Ö

4. Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice!

We cannot truly rejoice in the Lord unless our heart and soul is also attuned to Him and His heavenly will.

5. Let your forbearing spirit be known to all men. The Lord is near.

This means that at all times we need to be living as real peacemaking children of God, giving the world around us a taste of heaven where there is no longer any pain or death; and at the same time we can and should have our Fatherís heavenly will here on earth as it is in heaven, as a witness to the world.

6. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.

Are we doing this?
 
We should be, for this is the way of the true children of God who have overcome death with life and life everlasting.
 
This is what we should be thankful about.
 
If we present death to the world around us, it proves that we are still part of this corrupt earth and a follower of the devil.
 
If we present life to the world around us, it proves that we are true peacemaking children of God, and offering the world a way of repentance and salvation.
 
And what happens when we are these true children of GodÖ

7. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, shall guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

This is an added benefit for all who live in the heavenly will of God.
 
So what do we need to do to have this heavenly life?

8. Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, let your mind dwell on these things.

In other words, we need to focus on the heavenly things and rebuke the corrupt and evil ways of this world.

9. The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things; and the God of peace shall be with you.
NASB

We truly hope and pray that all of us have seen and learned the difference between ways of the devil and the ways of God.
 
The devil brings suffering and death, but God brings peace and life everlasting.
 
We can really have a Thanksgiving for thanksliving if we truly want to.
 
There is no place for death at or upon a Thanksgiving table, if we are true peacemaking children of God.
 
Amen.

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