Thursday, November 28, 2002


Thanksgiving Day
November 28, 2002
Psalm 116
"For what are you thankful?"

INTRODUCTION:  Once again we have been permitted to gather together for yet another national thanksgiving.  For what are you thankful?  How has the Lord blessed you?  How do we review the past year with respect to all that has happened to us?  Our Psalm for today, Psalm 116 helps us sort through all that we have experienced this past year in for significant areas of life; in our gratitude, in our grief, in our goals, and in our gladness. Let's review shall we?

1.                  The Psalmist's gratitude (Psalm 116:1-9)

A.     The dangers he experienced - Vv. 1-4

1.      his present assurance - Vv. 1-2 
1 I love the Lord , for he heard my voice; he heard my cry for mercy. 2 Because he turned his ear to me, I will call on him as long as I live.

2.      his previous anguish - Vv. 3 
3 The cords of death entangled me, the anguish of the grave came upon me; I was overcome by trouble and sorrow.

3.   his prayerful appeal - V. 4  
4 Then I called on the name of the Lord: "O Lord, save me!"

B.     The deliverance he experienced - Vv. 5-9

1.      a word about his Savior - Vv. 5-6
5 The Lord is gracious and righteous; our God is full of compassion. 6 The Lord protects the simplehearted; when I was in great need, he saved me.

2.      a word about his soul - Vv. 7-9
7 Be at rest once more, O my soul, for the Lord has been good to you. 8 For you, O Lord, have delivered my soul from death, my eyes from tears, my feet from stumbling, 9 that I may walk before the Lord in the land of the living.  

2.         The psalmist's grief (Psalm 116:10-11)

A.     What he had suffered - V. 10
10 I believed; therefore I said, "I am greatly afflicted."

B.     What he had said - V. 11
11 And in my dismay I said, "All men are liars."

3.         The Psalmist's goals (Psalm 116:12-15)

A.     His assessment of his duty - Vv. 12-14
12 How can I repay the Lord for all his goodness to me? 13 I will lift up the cup of salvation and call on the name of the Lord. 14 I will fulfill my vows to the Lord in the presence of all his people.

B.     His assurance about his death - Vv. 15
15 Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints.

4.         The Psalmist's gladness (Psalm 116:16-19)

A.     His position - V. 16
16 O Lord, truly I am your servant; I am your servant, the son of your maidservant; you have freed me from my chains.

B.     His promise - Vv. 17-19

1.      to live a sacrificial life - V.17
17 I will sacrifice a thank offering to you and call on the name of the Lord .

2.      to live a sanctified live - Vv. 18-19
18 I will fulfill my vows to the Lord in the presence of all his people, 19 in the courts of the house of the Lord - in your midst, O Jerusalem.

God of power and mercy, through the Passion and resurrection of Your Son You have freed us from the bonds of death and the anguish of separation from You. Be with us on our pilgrimage and help us offer You a sacrifice of praise, fulfill our vows, and glorify You in the presence of all Your people; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

For All the Saints A Prayer book for and by the Church, Year 2: Advent - Pentecost American Lutheran Publicity Bureau Delhi, NY © 1995

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