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November 19, 2017

Sermon: There’s Power in Thanksgiving

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Scripture Lesson

Psalm 118:19-21; John 11:38-44

Open to me the gates of righteousness,
that I may enter through them
and give thanks to the Lord.

This is the gate of the Lord;
the righteous shall enter through it.

I thank you that you have answered me
and have become my salvation.

Jesus Raises Lazarus to Life

Then Jesus, again greatly disturbed, came to the tomb. It was a cave, and a stone was lying against it. Jesus said, ‘Take away the stone.’ Martha, the sister of the dead man, said to him, ‘Lord, already there is a stench because he has been dead for four days.’ Jesus said to her, ‘Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?’ So they took away the stone. And Jesus looked upwards and said, ‘Father, I thank you for having heard me. I knew that you always hear me, but I have said this for the sake of the crowd standing here, so that they may believe that you sent me.’ When he had said this, he cried with a loud voice, ‘Lazarus, come out!’ The dead man came out, his hands and feet bound with strips of cloth, and his face wrapped in a cloth. Jesus said to them, ‘Unbind him, and let him go.’

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Sermon Outline

Rev. Jonathan Swanson
There’s Power in Thanksgiving
Psalm 118:19-21; John 11:38-44

I. Introduction: Blondie
II. The raising of Lazarus at Thanksgiving? (John 14:1-44)
     A. The story so far
         1. Coming to the tomb (14:1-37)
         2. Jesus is “greatly disturbed” (11:33, 38)
     B. A focus on Jesus’ prayer (11:41-42)
         1. A prayer of thanksgiving?
         2. Why do this?
     C. What’s in the prayer?
         1. A thanks to God for hearing (11:41-42)
         2. Jesus echoes Ps. 118:21
             a. A thanksgiving liturgy (118:1)
             b. A request to enter God’s sanctuary (118:19)
             c. Thanksgiving in God’s sanctuary (118:21)
         3. Jesus is perpetually in God’s sanctuary
     D. Through this thanksgiving prayer Jesus says
         1. God knows all
         2. Direct your eyes upward to God
         3. Everything I do is God’s action in and through me
III. What about us? Through thanksgiving:
     A. Enter and stay in God’s sanctuary
     B. Direct our eyes upward
     C. Allow God to work in and through us
IV. Conclusion: Keith Green, “Make My Life a Prayer to You”


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