Thanksgiving Sermon Illustrations

Thanksgiving Sermon Illustrations

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First Thanksgiving Proclamation

By George Washington, 1789

WHEREAS it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection, aid and favors .. .

Now, THEREFORE, I do recommend and assign Thursday, the 26th day of November next, to be devoted by the people of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being, who is the

Beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be; that we may then all unite in rendering unto Him our sincere and humble thanks for His kind care and protection of the people of this country, and for all the great and various favors which He has been pleased to confer upon us.

After Saving Lives

Years ago, when the steamer Lady Elgin was sinking in Lake Michigan, a student in Evanston. Mr. Spencer, with great energy and exposure, saved seventeen lives. Broken in health from this effort, he was asked, when an old man, what returns of gratitude, if any, came. He answered, "Not one."—From accounts seen in the press at different dates.—Sunday School Times.

Thanksgiving Street

One night, at a prayer-and-praise meeting a good brother related a long, complaining strain of experiences about the trials and difficulties which are encountered on the way to Heaven. At the end of his talk, another brother arose and said, "I see that our brother who has just sat down, lives in Grumbling Street. I lived there myself for some time, but I never enjoyed good health. The air there is bad; the houses are bad, the water is bad; the birds never came and sang in the street, and I was gloomy and sad enough. But finally I moved. I moved to Thanksgiving Street, and ever since then I have had good health and so have my family. The air is pure, the water good, the houses are good; the sun shines in all day; the birds are always singing; and I am happy as I can be. Now, I would suggest to our brother, that he, too, move. There are plenty of houses `to let' in Thanksgiving Street."

Which street are you living on: Grumbling Street, or Thanksgiving Street? Don't forget, there is plenty of room on Thanksgiving Street, and your health would be better, and your heart happier if you would move there.—Gospel Herald.


Ben had fallen into the habit of grumbling about this and that. He complained about the weather; he found fault with his friends and with the members of his family. He wanted to stop it, but somehow, as soon as anything would not go his way, he found himself grumbling again. Then he came across this verse:

"When thou hast truly thanked thy God
For every blessing sent,
But little time will then remain
For murmur or lament."

"I see now what the trouble has been," he told himself. "I've been grumbling so much that I've almost forgotten to be thankful for the things I have. Every time I find myself starting to complain about something I don't have, I'm going to say 'Thank You' to God for something that He has given me."

Ben found that the idea worked. It was much easier to keep out the grouchy, grumbling thoughts when he filled his mind with thankful ones. There simply was no room for the trouble makers, and after a bit they disappeared.

Ben was surprised, too, to see how many things a plain, everyday boy had for which to be thankful. There are many things like the sunshine, the flowers, his friends, his home, which he had been taking for granted. As he began thanking God for these things, he had a better appreciation of them.

Let's all try his plan, for God is very displeased with a complaining spirit. He says, "Do all things without murmurings (complaining)" (Phil. 2:14).—Junior Life.

"Praise the Lord for He is glorious:
Never shall His promise fail;
God hath made His saints victorious;
Sin and death shall not prevail.

"Praise the God of our salvation!
Hosts on high His power proclaim;
Heaven and earth and all creation
Laud and magnify His name."—Gospel Herald.

The Blessing from "Asking the Blessing"

I went into a restaurant one day and, after bowing my head and giving thanks for the food, a waitress came over to the table and said: "Pardon me, but you must be a Christian. I have looked for three months for a Christian to come in here, because I would like to be saved." I knew of at least fifteen professing Christians who were eating in that restaurant, but apparently not one of them had bowed his head, and I said, "Thank you, Lord." Here was this woman watching for a Christian and wanting to be saved, but seeing no one to help her.—From A Sure Remedy. by Dr. Walter L. Wilson.

Thinking and Thanking

Sir Moses Montefiore, the Hebrew philanthropist, had as the motto of his family, "Think and Thank." In the old Anglo-Saxon language thankfulness means "thinkfulness." Thinking of all God's goodnesses draws forth gratitude.—The King's Business.

Heavenly Father, kind and good,
Now we thank Thee for this food;
For Thy love and tender care,
For Thy blessings that we share.
Now to Thee our voices raise,
In a hymn of grateful praise."—Gospel Herald.

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