Thanksgiving is about sharing – The Rev. Leonard Oakes

“Thanksgiving is about sharing”
The Rev. Leonard Oakes
November 2015

Happy Thanksgiving all!
We are all gathered here today to give thanks to God our creator, our provider and our help, for the many blessing we received: The blessing of life, of family, of community, of love and of joy that surround us all. God made all things good that we may have them abundantly. That is a legacy that we shall never forget. When our parents met in love, when we first breathed the air and begin to open our eyes and see the wonder of God’s love in the universe, we begin to spread our arms and utter the words of thankfulness. Then we begin to discover that we have a purpose living in this world, the purpose of belongingness, to rise and shine as God’s children and as coexistent with the rest of God’s creation. We are God’s stewards and let us be so.

If there is one sin that most prevalent today, it is the sin of ingratitude. God does so much for us. Our indebtedness to him is enormous and yet we rarely or at least infrequently offer thanks for what he has done. In fact, most of those who believe God as our provider don’t even offer thanks over their meals much less offer thanks over all that God does in their lives. We are much like the little boy who was given an orange by a man. The boy’s mother asked, “What do you say to the nice man?” The little boy thought and handed the orange back and said, “Peel it.” “Balatan mo”

As a child, I was always taught by my mother to say “Thank you” whenever I received a gift or somebody did something good to me. For a child of God, thankfulness is not confined to a day or a season, it is an attitude that we should have every day and every hour.

Thanksgiving is about sharing, sharing the love and the blessing we received. There’s always plenty good room to share your love to those who need them. Share and be thankful.

So what are you thankful for today?

I am thankful for meeting new friends such as Mr. Mrs Mengue who came all the way from Florida to visit their family here, Jill, Ron and Paul.
I am thankful for this Church and community for such love of God is present in every dream and every accomplishment we make together. It is here that my family found the sense of belongingness when we were looking for one and I am sure you have that same revelation too?
What are you thankful for? Have you touched the life of someone today? Maybe your patient, your neighbor, someone whom you haven’t seen for years, you called them and said hello. You might not realize that you have transformed the life of that person just by calling and reconnecting.

Have you shared a smile today? Enthusiasm is contagious. If you go into your workplace with a smile on your face, full of life and joy, the whole place will come up to a higher level of joy and you will hear people thanking you for touching their lives with your positive attitude.

Many times at night, as I cuddle my wife around my arms, I would whisper to her, “Thank God for giving me a wife and a family who are so understanding and caring” We must learn to be happy and thankful always. Stop complaining if you are not living in your dream house, but rather thank God that you have a roof over your head and pray for those without. The Scripture this morning says, “Do not fear, be glad and rejoice for the Lord has done great things and has dealt wondrously with you.

We need to recognize that everyday is a gift from God. Certainly we have had obstacles in our paths and challenges to overcome, but our attitude should be, ‘Thank God I’m alive’ I live in a great country, I have family and great partner. I have opportunity. So I’m going to make the most of this day and give it my best.”

Miracles happen everywhere and every time to everyone. You suddenly met someone who touched your life and guided you to the right direction. You are at a point of losing your home or your job and you’re so afraid that you don’t have a place to stay or food to feed your family. God will come to the rescue. Believe and you will receive. Seek ye first the kingdom of God and God’s Righteousness, and all these things shall be given unto you. Those who sowed with tears, will reap with songs of joy.

God has a purpose for all of us, even at the time when we think we’re losing it all. So be thankful when someone just stood by next to you and said, “You are doing a great job, thank you.” Let that smile come out and use that to inspire you to seek the blessing that is in wait for you. Always remember to give thanks. We easily forget that. Give love, share love, for love is fulfilled when you share them to all and not keep them. Love is meant to flow from our hearts like a river.

There are many real people in need in our society. Let us give and share what we are blessed with. Jesus said, “Whatever you’ve done to the least of my people, you’ve done it for me.”

If you want to get more out of life, try this:

As you get up each morning, rather than just trying to be blessed, do everything in your power to be a blessing to someone else. If you will do that for sometime, your life will be filled with so many blessings you won’t be able to contain them all.

I’ve discovered that if I meet other people’s needs, God will meet mine. If I make somebody else happy, God will make sure that I’m happy. Every day, we should look in the eyes of God and look for opportunities to be good to people. Maybe you can buy somebody’s lunch, or give someone a ride, Share your contagious smile so others will smile as well. Get in a habit of doing some good for somebody every day. Don’t make the mistake of living selfishly. You were not created to be focused only on yourself, the Almighty God made you to be a giver. The best way for you to be fulfilled is to get your mind off yourself and reach out to others. Get up in the morning with this attitude: “Who can I be a blessing to today? Who can I encourage? Where is there a need that I can meet?”

Everyday, we hear a lot about success and about the good things that God wants to do for us, but let’s not forget we are blessed so we can be a blessing. We are blessed so we can share God’s goodness wherever we go. If you want to make an impact on somebody’s life, you don’t necessarily have to preach a sermon to that person, or go about telling everyone you spend that much for him or her; just be good to that person. Your actions will speak much louder than your words. You can say, “I love you and I care about you, just as God cared for me by giving His Son Jesus Christ who is a compassionate and merciful King of my life.” When you say those words, do them. We demonstrate true love by what we do. If I love you, I’ll go out of my way to help you. True love turns words and feelings into action. So Please turn to the person next and around you and say, “I thank God for you.”

Seek ye first the kingdom of God and God’s righteousness. And all these things shall be added unto you. Alleluia!!! May we sing that? (Music maestro)

May we be more loving and giving in the coming season and everyday for God loves a cheerful giver. Amen.

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