Christ-like Thanksgiving is what we should celebrate this coming Thursday, and for this to happen, we need to remember that Jesus taught us to bring Godís heavenly will to earth as it is in heaven, which means among other things, we should not be a part of anything that causes pain, suffering, or death to any other living being, for there is no pain, suffering, or death in heaven.
We should also think about the fact that this is Reign of Christ or Christ the King Sunday, so if He is really reining over our lives as King, then we should be living according to all that He taught us: we should be perfect as our Father in heaven is perfect, or at least do everything in our power to be like that, and we should love the Lord our God with every aspect of our being, which includes loving the whole of His creation, including every human being, every animal, and the environment in which we all live.
Presently, this is a very violent world in which millions of humans and billions of animals suffer and die every year, and none of this should be any part of a Christ-like Thanksgiving, for if Christ reigns as King in our lives there can be no human-caused death on our Thanksgiving tables or in our homes; we should be eating only the plant foods that God gave us in Eden, for which we should be thankful, because eating this way helps the whole of His creation and helps us free creation from its present corruption.
To us, this is the only way we can truly have a Christ-like Thanksgiving.
Letís now take a look at Psalm 100:1-5 and think about how this works in our lives, if Jesus is truly King in our lives.
1. A Psalm for Thanksgiving.
Shout joyfully to the LORD, all the earth.
Remember that all the earth includes all the people, and all the animals, and even the physical earth itself, for God lovingly created all of it, and charged us with protecting it.
2. Serve the LORD with gladness;
Come before Him with joyful singing.
If we truly love the Lord, which is the greatest commandment, then we should just be happy doing whatever He wants us to do.
Furthermore, if we are truly serving the Lord with gladness, we cannot also serve the devil who rules over this corrupt and violent world.
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.
I hope we all understand this, for most of the people in the world donít seem to understand, for they follow the corrupt ways of this world with all its pain, suffering and death.
Thus, in our opinion, if we give thanks for a roasted turkey on our Thanksgiving table, we are really thanking the devil, for he is the only one who takes joy in having pain, suffering, bloodshed, and death.
4. Enter His gates with thanksgiving,
And His courts with praise. Give thanks to Him; bless His name.
When the psalmist wrote this verse he was referring to the Temple or sanctuary, but it also seems to point to living in His heavenly will whether here on earth or in heaven.
5. For the LORD is good;
His lovingkindness is everlasting,
And His faithfulness to all generations.
Loving and serving God is a two-way street, for His lovingkindness and faithfulness is also upon us.
This is also a Christ-like Thanksgiving, which should be in our lives every day.
Even though Ezekiel 34:11-24 was written thousands of years ago, within its message we should see evidence of a Christ-like Thanksgiving.
11. For thus says the Lord GOD, "Behold, I Myself will search for My sheep and seek them out.
We who are true believers are the Lordís sheep, for He knows who and where we are, no matter where we go.
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.
And we believe that we are living in a time of these cloudy and gloomy days for the earth is filled with violence that causes millions of humans and billions of animals to suffer and die every year.
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.
This is similar to the promise that the Lord gave to Abraham, and the people didnít obey the Lord then, much in the same way that they arenít today.
The people were not really thankful.
A Christ-like thanksgiving is one in which the people really desire to live in the heavenly will of God and reject the violent and corrupt ways of this world, but most of the people rejected the gift of God in favor of the corrupt and violent ways of this world, as they are doing today.
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.
Ezekiel and God are using a metaphor of sheep for the human population, but his message should be clear to everyone.
15. "I will feed My flock and I will lead them to rest," declares the Lord GOD.
To us the ďrestĒ is actually heaven.
This is what we all should be seeking and working for.
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.
God did all of this and still most of the people returned to living in the ways of the world; it sure seems that most of the people wanted and still want to be fed with judgement.
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.
God can see who is living in His heavenly will and who is living in the will of the devil here on earth.
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?
Worldly people, particularly when they come to realize that they cannot win, will often destroy things that others need, even those things of God; and because of their selfish attitude they want to destroy what they cannot get, and they donít seem to care who they hurt in the process.
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!' "
This is still happening today, and God indeed sees what they do, and the pain and suffering they cause.
20. Therefore, thus says the Lord GOD to them, "Behold, I, even I, will judge between the fat sheep and the lean sheep.
God will Judge between those who follow the corrupt ways of this world and those who follow His ways.
21. "Because you push with side and with shoulder, and thrust at all the weak with your horns, until you have scattered them abroad,
Here He addresses those who live in the world.
22. therefore, I will deliver My flock, and they will no longer be a prey; and I will judge between one sheep and another.
God will deliver the godly ones from the hands of the wicked ones.
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.
In this case, He is referring to Jesus, who is in the line of David.
24. "And I, the LORD, will be their God, and My servant David will be prince among them; I, the LORD, have spoken.
This is when the Godly ones truly have a Christ-like Thanksgiving as I hope and pray we all have this year and every year that follows, in fact, every day should be a Christ-like Thanksgiving.
In Matthew 25:31-46, Jesus describes His second coming, which will be a Christ-like thanksgivingÖ
31. "But when the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on His glorious throne.
What we are told next is very similar to the prophecy that the Lord showed us in Ezekiel.
32. "And all the nations will be gathered before Him; and He will separate them from one another, as the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats;
33. and He will put the sheep on His right, and the goats on the left.
The Lord will separate those who are following Him and His heavenly will from those who are following the ways of the devil and the world.
34. "Then the King will say to those on His right, 'Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.
Those, who are of the Lord enter the kingdom of heaven.
And remember that sheep and goats are only symbolic of the people, for God loves goats and will save them too.
35. 'For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in;
36. naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me.'
And we would like to add, ďand cared for, and protected My creation,Ē for this is also a part of loving God, and living in His heavenly will.
Furthermore, these people also showed empathy, which is a vital part of having a Christ-like Thanksgiving.
37. "Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, 'Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed You, or thirsty, and give You drink?
38. 'And when did we see You a stranger, and invite You in, or naked, and clothe You?
39. 'And when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?'
40. "And the King will answer and say to them, 'Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.'
People who are truly empathetic are usually also humble and donít think about the things that they do are also being done for the Lord.
41. "Then He will also say to those on His left, 'Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels;
42. for I was hungry, and you gave Me nothing to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me nothing to drink;
43. I was a stranger, and you did not invite Me in; naked, and you did not clothe Me; sick, and in prison, and you did not visit Me.'
We need to remember that the animals and the environment are also part of Godís creation, and the way that these are treated is the way that people are treating the Lord, so we really need to apply what we are told in this Bible passage to our lives, or we may face the same fate.
44. "Then they themselves also will answer, saying, 'Lord, when did we see You hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not take care of You?'
45. "Then He will answer them, saying, 'Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.'
And we strongly believe that the animals are among ďthe least of these.Ē
46. "And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life."
I hope and pray that everyone who believes that Jesus Christ is King will think about these things this Thanksgiving, because anyone who has death on their table or on their plates cannot have a Christ-like Thanksgiving.
This year have a happy Thanksliving.
Return to: Sermons Archive