Sermon delivered November 29, 1997

by Pastor Donald J Gettys

McDonald Seventh-day Adventist Church

McDonald, Tennessee

You Can Trust Him All the Time

Did you have a nice thanksgiving? I hope you did. Let's be THANKFUL more than just one day a year. Let's be thankful for God from whom all blessings flow every moment of every day of every year.

In Hartford, Kentucky, Dorothy Gentry says she hates it when her football-fan husband refers to the turkey left-overs as replays. He could refer to them as instant replays. A TV executive calls left-overs reruns. Well, with God, He reruns a lot of us. I think that's great. Instead of being irritated and complaining, I think we need less complaints and more thankfulness. When you drink from the spring, remember the Giver that provided that spring. Focus on the good. Don't blame God for having created the tiger, but thank him for not having given it wings. Our happiness depends on our attitude toward life. Be thankful that we can have a good attitude, an attitude of thankfulness. We need to cultivate that.

I read something in Signs of the Times, June 29, 1888, "As the flowers gather for themselves the hidden properties of earth and air and develop into things of Christians are privileged to gather from the garden of God's promises faith and hope, peace, Joy... They are to give out again to others a life fragrant with good works."

A lot of us saw football on Thanksgiving day. We saw receivers catch skillfully catching passes and run into the end zone. A good receiver will then acknowledge the quarterback by pointing to him or giving him a slap on his helmet. A good receiver knows that there would be no touchdown without a good giver (Quarterback). We are receivers.....Consumers. Do we honor the Good Giver?

Psalm 107:1 (NIV), "Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever." Our God is a very good giver. I want to be a good receiver. A thankful receiver. If we forget the language of gratitude we can never be on speaking terms with happiness.

1 Corinthians 15:57 (NIV), "But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ."

Thanksgiving is a time to eat and praise Him Who gives us something to eat. Joel 2:26 (NIV), "You will have plenty to eat, until you are full, and you will PRAISE the name of the Lord your God...." If you eat more than one meal today, be thankful, because that is the average that more than half the world ever gets to eat.

Thankfulness is a dying art. Too many Christians look like they were hatched out of a lemon. We need to be joyful to the Lord. I think we need to stop drinking vinegar and feed on the sweet word of God, on our sweet Savior Jesus Christ. We need to cultivate the habit of looking for the positive in life. When you break your leg, be thankful you didn't break your neck. Be thankful for the doors of opportunity, and be thankful for your friends that come along and oil the hinges of those doors for you, and for your God that gives you the key to open those doors.

There was a chronic grumbler who couldn't find anything to be thankful about. He was a successful farmer. He had a bumper crop of potatoes. His minister came by and was trying to encourage him to be thankful and said, "Sir, you've had such a good crop of potatoes this year! Aren't you thankful for that?" The grumpy old farmer said, "Yes, it's true. The harvest was good enough, but my problem is I don't have any bad potatoes to feed my pigs." Always thinking of something that's wrong. Let's think of something that's good instead of complaining that your closet is too full, be thankful that your closet is full. Don't complain that there's no place to put anything in the refrigerator or the freezer. Be thankful that there is not room. Be thankful for the things that you have.

1 Thessalonians 5:18 (KJV), "Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you." A thankful heart is a virtue. And God will give us a thankful heart.

If you look in the Hebrew Bible, the words for joy and rejoicing, there are thirteen Hebrew root words from which we get twenty-seven different words in the Old Testament for joy and happiness. That's more than in the English language. I think God intends us to be a joyful people. He fills our hearts with joy. Acts 14:17. Psalms 16:11. (KJV), "Thou wilt show me the path of life: in thy presence is fullness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures forevermore." I believe we need to praise our God more than we do.

A humble mother lived in a drab apartment with her teenage daughter. Maria's husband had died when Christina was just a baby. So Maria had to raise this little baby all alone. The young mother refused many opportunities to remarry and instead she got a job and raised her only child. Her income provided a one room flat with a hard dirt floor, and two wooden pallets on either side of the room to sleep on.

Christina grew to be a beautiful girl of 16. Her olive skin and warm personality were contagious. She spoke often of going to the big city. She dreamed of a better life. The city would hold excitement and opportunity. There she could get a good job and leave the gray walls of their faded shack.

The mother warned her daughter of the evils of the big city. Jobs are scarce and life is cruel. What would you do for a living? Maria knew what girls do when they can't find a job. In her heart Maria knew exactly what Christina would end up doing to support herself. That is why her heart broke one morning when she woke up and found her daughter's bedroom empty. Immediately she threw some clothes in a bag, and got her money and headed out.

On her way to the bus stop she went into the drugstore and sat in the photograph booth. There she spent most of her money on little black and white pictures of herself. Then she got on the bus to Rio de Janeiro.

She knew her daughter was also a stubborn person. When pride meets hunger, a human will sometimes do the unthinkable. The poor mother began her search. She went to nightclubs, bars, houses of ill reputation. At each place she left her picture taped to a bathroom mirror, on a wall, a phone booth.... Finally the money and the pictures were gone and she went home. She cried all the way back. She had not found her daughter.

A few weeks later young Christina walked down the stairs of a hotel room. Her young face was tired. Her brown eyes no longer danced with youth but were filled with pain and fear. Her dreams were nightmares. A thousand times she had wished for her humble but secure pallet in her mother's far away shack. As she reached the bottom of the stairs her eyes noticed a small picture with a familiar face. She looked again and there on the lobby mirror was a small picture of her mother.

Christina's eyes burned and her throat tightened as she walked closer and removed the small photo. Written on the back was these compelling words: "Whatever you have done, whatever you have become, it doesn't matter. I still love you... Please come home." And, she did!

I want you to know that that is exactly what God is like. You can trust God. God is a very faithful Being. He loves you with the love of heaven. If you have drifted away from God, at this time of Thanksgiving I want to urge you to come back to Jesus because Jesus loves you. It doesn't matter what you've done out there. It doesn't matter what you've become, or what you've failed to do, God wants you back. He's thankful for you. Have you ever wondered what God is thankful for? God has a list of thing and a the top of His list he's thankful for you. He loves you.

Let's do something special at this point. As creatures let us give praise to our creator. As receivers let us honor our good giver. I will describe God and as I come to the phrase "You can trust Him", I invite you to add just three words.... "All the time."

Let's practice that just once...

You can trust Him.....All the time.

He is the one who made us.  
He is our creator and not we ourselves.
You can trust Him.  (All the time)

The heavens declare the glory of God
and the firmament shows His handiwork.
No means of measure can define His limitless love,
and no farseeing telescope can bring into view
        The coastline of His shoreless supply.
I want you to know  you can trust Him (all the time).

No barrier can stop Him from pouring out His blessing.
He is God almighty.
He is enduringly strong.
He is entirely sincere.
He is eternally steadfast.
He is immortally graceful.

He is empirically, powerfully and impartially merciful.
He's the greatest phenomenon that has ever crossed the horizon of this world.
He is the only God.
He is the living God.
He is the centerpiece of civilization.
And you can trust Him------ (all the time).

He does not have to call for help.
No one can confuse Him.
He doesn't need you.
He doesn't need me.
He can stand alone.
He is August and he is unique.
He is unparalleled.
He is unprecedented.
He is preeminent
He is supreme.
He is the loftiest idea,
He is the greatest personality
He is a cardinal necessity.

He is the miracle in every age.
He is the superlative of everything good.
I am attempting to tell you fellow church members
that you can trust Him----- (all the time)

He can satisfy all your needs,
and He can do it simultaneously 
while supplying all the needs of every human everywhere.
He supplies strength for the weak.
He is available for the tempted and the tried.

He sympathizes and He sees.
He guards and He guides.
He heals the sick.
He cleanses the leper.
He forgives sinners.
He discharges debtors.

He defends the people.
He blesses the young.
He regards the aged.
He rewards the diligent.
He beautifies the meek.
What I am trying to tell you is that...
You can trust Him-----(all the time)!

He is the key to knowledge.
He is the wellspring to wisdom.
He is the doorway to deliverance.
He is the pathway of peace.
He is the roadway of righteousness.
He is the highway of holiness.
He is the gateway to glory.
He is the freeway to happiness.
He is wonderful.
He is Yahweh, the God who keeps every promise.

He is the master of the mighty.
He is the champion of the conquerors.
He is the head of heroes.
He is the leader of legislators.
He is the overseer of the over comers.
He is the governor of the governors.
He is the prince of princes.
He is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

And you can trust Him!   ----- (all the time).

His office is manifold.
His promise is sure.
His life is matchless.
His goodness is limitless.
His mercy is everlasting.

His love never changes.
His word is enough.
His grace is sufficient.
His reign is righteous.
His yoke is easy.
His burden is light.

I wish I could describe Him completely to you
but He s indescribable because He's incomprehensible.
He is irresistible because He's invincible.
You can't get Him off your hands.
You can't get Him off your mind.
You can't outlive Him.
And you can't live without Him.

Herod wouldn't kill Him.
Pilate couldn't find fault with Him.
Death couldn't handle Him.
And thank God, the grave couldn't hold Him.

He has no predecessor.
He will have no successor.
You can't impeach Him, and 
He's not going to resign.
He loves you!
And you can trust Him!    ( All the time)

He is the Alpha and the Omega
He is the beginning and the end,
    The first and the last
All things rest in His wonderful hands.

He is the giver of every good and perfect gift.
He is the giver of life and eternal life.
He is the joy out of every sorrow.
He is the light out of every darkness.
He is the peace that passes understanding.
There is no other god before Him.
There will be none after Him.
He is all in all.
He is the chief reason for thankful hearts.
He is the Thanks of Thanksgiving.
He is the Christ of Christmas.
He is the Lord of the Sabbath.
To Him, our Lord, Saviour, Redeemer, and Coming King we give the praise, honor,
thanks and glory.

You can trust Him-- All the time.   

Happy Thanksgiving!

Opening Hymn- 557 Come Ye Thankful People
Scripture:   Responsive Reading #723
Closing Hymn  506 A Mighty Fortress is our God, 


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