Thanksgiving – lets shoot to make it not just a day, but instead a season.
Thanksgiving: Fourth Thursday of November? Day that most fill their bellies with loads of traditional foods?
Don’t take this as me sabotaging or undermining the Thanksgiving holiday we all know and love. It is amazing that the United States sets apart a day just to give thanks. My goal with this post is to attempt to enhance your thanks and celebrations, not to reduce or take away from them.
The worry I find with Thanksgiving is people tend to sway toward the belief that thanks is due on this day. The same way with birthdays, Independence Day, and any other holiday. Shouldn’t we be thankful we are free, that we have loved ones, for our mothers/fathers more than one day a year?
In church and as I have grown in my relationship with the Lord I have learned that giving thanks to God is imperative. This is so, because giving thanks to God honors God. I would even go as far to say that the bible calls us to show consistent gratitude. Outside of the bible and what we are called to do, it is safe to say that a thankful heart is a happy heart. Thankfulness magnifies the good things in life. Giving thanks can be used as a weapon against battles we face in life.
And as he entered a village, he was met by ten lepers, who stood at a distance and lifted up their voices, saying, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us.” When he saw them he said to them, “Go and show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went they were cleansed. Then one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, praising God with a loud voice; and he fell on his face at Jesus’ feet, giving him thanks. Now he was a Samaritan. Then Jesus answered, “Were not ten cleansed? Where are the nine? Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?” And he said to him, “Rise and go your way; your faith has made you well.” Luke 17:12-19
In the story, the ten men come to Jesus with hopes of being healed. Each of the men walked away healed, but one man turns back to praise God and thank Jesus for healing him. Jesus made a point to call out the other nine, to show the importance of thankfulness and gratitude.
The reason I share this story is to share with you about God’s faithfulness to provide us with the things we need plus some. Because of this, He is deserving of our thanks through both praise and prayer.
Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. (1 Thessalonians 5:18)
Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe. (Hebrews 12:28)
A few weeks back I posted:
“With Thanksgiving coming up, I was sitting this morning thinking about the things I was thankful for: my family, Neil, a house, etc. (the obvious things) when it struck me that my first thought should have been Jesus. God wasn’t content sitting in Heaven watching us suffer, but sent His son to save us… And without hesitation He did just that. He traded Heaven to know you. He came to take your place.”
I share this with you to make it known that naturally we are thankful for the things we can see, touch, etc.; but we need to remember and make a point to glorify and give thanks to the one who traded Heaven to know us.
But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8)
Are we ungrateful like the nine? Or are we showing thankfulness and letting it add joy to our lives? Are we glorifying and giving God the thanks He deserves? When we move through life ungratefully, we are missing out on so much joy that we could be experiencing.
I want to encourage all of you, and myself, not to wait until thanksgiving to give thanks, to give thanks when thanks is due, to give thanks even when we think it’s not needed, and to give it all to the one who saved us. We will truly find life if we lay down every hurt, fear, doubt, that comes over us down at the cross; have a thankful heart; and seek out God’s heart for us.
Lord, I humbly come before you today in appreciation for all the things you have done for me. Thank you for loving me. Thank you for forgiving me. Thank you for sending your son to die for me, so I can walk in freedom. Thank you for your never-ending love, grace, and mercy. Thank you for being compassionate. Thank you for all your blessings and gifts. Thank you for telling me I am worthy and thank you for pursuing me. I love you!
In Jesus name, Amen.
I hope you all have a happy Thanksgiving! I’m praying blessings over you and your family this holiday season!