Larry Roques

Larry Roques

The Pastor's Journal of House of Joy Church



                                                                               Part One

       One Day of Thanksgiving

                             November 23, 2014



Psalms 100:1-5 NKJV

Make a joyful shout to the Lord , all you lands! Serve the Lord with gladness; Come before His presence with singing. Know that the Lord , He is God; It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves; We are His people and the sheep of His pasture. Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, And into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name. For the Lord is good; His mercy is everlasting, And His truth endures to all generations.

As we kick off the holiday season for 2014, I want to take the next five Sundays starting today to impart to you some amazing keys that the Bible shows us to not only give immeasurable meaning to this season, but to refresh your heart, soul, and mind of the many blessings that God bestows into our lives.

So today, we will embark upon an adventure that is certainly worth more than partridges, or geese, or hens, or pipers or even gold rings. Man has again succeeded in majoring on minors in that he has made the whole year circulate around the last six weeks of the year, when in fact, this season of thankfulness, giving, love, and peace should resonate throughout our whole year.

The Five Sundays of Christmas is not just another sermon series to eat up a few weeks in the ecumenical calendar, but it is a challenge to grab hold of the things that matter...the things that capture God’s heart...the things that can change ours...and cause us to run with abandon a joyful race for the rest of our lives. This morning we begin with One Day of Thanksgiving.


The roots of sanctification

Psalms 119:12-18 NKJV

Blessed are You, O Lord ! Teach me Your statutes. With my lips I have declared All the judgments of Your mouth. I have rejoiced in the way of Your testimonies, As much as in all riches. I will meditate on Your precepts, And contemplate Your ways. I will delight myself in Your statutes; I will not forget Your word. Deal bountifully with Your servant, That I may live and keep Your word. Open my eyes, that I may see Wondrous things from Your law.


sanctify (v.) Look up sanctify at

late 14c., seintefie "to consecrate," from Old French saintefier "sanctify" (12c., Modern French sanctifier), from Late Latin sanctificare "to make holy," from sanctus "holy" (see saint (n.)) + root of facere "to make" (see factitious). Form altered in English c.1400 to conform with Latin. Meaning "to render holy or legitimate by religious sanction" is from c.1400; transferred sense of "to render worthy of respect" is from c.1600. Related: Sanctified; sanctifying.

When we become thankful as creatures of God, we become aligned with His world. Everything having to do with us must begin in God’s presence and must begin with thanksgiving.  James 1:17 reminds us that we are to recognize every good and perfect gift as coming from our Heavenly Father. One of the key characteristics of the degeneration of last day’s man will be ungratefulness. We are seeing that trend occur as we sit here. When we become thankful toward our awesome God, we are admitting to Him and ourselves that He is the giver of all things...he is the author and the finisher of our faith.


The very roots of sanctification or being set apart as God’s own is the realization that the creation is in submission to the creator. That submission is no longer shown by blood sacrifice, but by a grateful heart displayed before God for the shed blood of Jesus that saves us. When we are thankful to Him, we put Him first. We place His will for us before all else. One of the reasons we congregate on Sundays is not to follow some timetable of calendar of events, but to give to God thanksgiving and offer the first fruits of our time. It is not symbolic; it is entirely spiritual and dynamic in nature. Since Cain and Able, God has shown again and again his affection for first fruits offering.


Likewise, our country stops for one day a the beginning, this holiday was established to simply cease everything else and thank God for his many rich blessings. It has been reduced selling turkeys and resting up for black Friday. The important thing is not to have a day in your week in which you show thankfulness toward is to have a place in your heart where you stay thankful to our awesome Heavenly Father.




How Every good thing in your life starts

I Thessalonians 5:16-22 NKJV

Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. Do not quench the Spirit. Do not despise prophecies. Test all things; hold fast what is good. Abstain from every form of evil.

Anyone who cooks knows that the success is not so much in the recipe, but in the ingredients. A true chef doesn’t simply add tomatoes...he or she uses tomatoes that they know will make the recipe work. Cheap ingredients never produce optimum results. The same holds true for our lives. When we capture the concept that thankfulness in our heart toward God is the birthplace of good things in our lives, we change the course history for ourselves. Adopting a works mentality will not change a thing for us, but a thankful heart and service to God with a right spirit can move mountains.


The attitude of gratitude can set the stage for the miraculous. Psalm 100, if you recall tells us that we enter into the very gates of his presence with Thanksgiving. We dance in his courts with praise upon our lips. We do not spend 45 minutes each service with a pre-show concert. The Praise and Worship is not an expendable part of any church service. It its motives are pure, it opens the realms of God for us to enter in and receive. It is the place where we pour out thankfulness. How tragic many think it is an elective when it is in fact the most vital part of the service.


Having a starting point of Thankfulness is key to turning every corner of life. Most people are familiar with the old adage “when life gives you lemons”. How pathetically we live out that philosophy. Giving God thanks even when nothing in the flesh makes sense is such a heavenly dynamic that you can feel God’s presence in its very core. Anyone can whoop and holler when things are going their way...But the psalmist David showed us how powerful God can move when we worship in the dark, damp, cave hours.




Thanksgiving sparks a holy heritage

Isaiah 12:1-6 NKJV

And in that day you will say: “O Lord , I will praise You; Though You were angry with me, Your anger is turned away, and You comfort me. Behold, God is my salvation, I will trust and not be afraid; ‘For Yah , the Lord , is my strength and song; He also has become my salvation.’ ” Therefore with joy you will draw water From the wells of salvation. And in that day you will say: “Praise the Lord , call upon His name; Declare His deeds among the peoples, Make mention that His name is exalted. Sing to the Lord , For He has done excellent things; This is known in all the earth. Cry out and shout, O inhabitant of Zion, For great is the Holy One of Israel in your midst!”


Your kids will do what you will do. They will become what they see you become. Maybe not today; maybe not your way...but God’s word is faithful. The most important thing we can pass along to our children is a heritage. Not everyone is a Daughter of the American Revolution. Not everyone is of Paul Revere’s midnight ride society. Some of us little boys and girls are just everyday people...nothing special in the world’s eyes. In God’s eyes, you are kings and priest. You have a holy heritage and walk precious in the sight of God. THE most important aspect of your life on earth is who you are in Christ. This is the role in which we should aspire to excel.


When we understand how thanksgiving propels our walks with God, we are able to put down the striving and the feelings of incompleteness and inadequacy that Satan tries to hang around our necks. We blame and accuse...we revile and rebel...and we do not even know why. It’s not because of a lack of this material is because of a lack of thanksgiving.  We whine and cry because we don’t have what the next door neighbors have.  Five generations ago, nobody had any of it anyway! They didn’t know any where are these contentions coming from.  Your true heritage is being robbed by a Satan who loves to steal your joy and in so doing, He stumbles us into forgetting our royal heritage.


Thankfulness rises above the order of the flesh. Gratitude launches us into spheres where Satan’s foolishness can’t reach. We please our flesh when we refuse to please our God. When we reach out to the Father with a thankful heart...we are untouchable....unstoppable...unchangeable.  I leave you with a question....What would happen if at the stroke of midnight this Thursday, every man, woman, and child, threw their hands up and worshipped God for one minute.  According to 2 Chronicles 7...some unbelievable stuff would take place....what do you think?

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