Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Give Thanks

Thanksgiving. Just a single word, but holds such meaning.

It stirs up memories for me. Memories of sharing this holiday with family, friends, and loved ones. Memories of the abundance of food. Memoires of laughter. Memories.

It also causes me to stop and realize just how blessed I truly am. And with that realization, I thank God for those blessings. Blessings of family, friends and loved ones. Blessings of abundance of food. Blessings of laughter. Blessings.

I am also reminded of the spiritual blessings I’ve received from God. Grace. Forgiveness. Love. Acceptance. Encouragement. Guidance. Peace. Jesus. I could keep going.

With all of these blessings, it only stands to reason that we must be thankful to God for His rich, abundant blessings. If we miss doing so, we’ve missed a huge element of Thanksgiving.

Max Lucado said, “Gratitude comes from having the right perspective.”[i]

So, what should our perspective of gratitude be?

I believe we must acknowledge where every blessing comes from. Each one is from God. “Every good action and every perfect gift is from God. These good gifts come down from the Creator of the sun, moon, and the stars, who does not change like their shifting shadows.” (James 1:17 – NCV)

As we’ve made this acknowledgement, we then use our thankfulness to enjoy these blessings. We understand the importance of not taking our blessings for granted. We know that without our gracious Father we would be stuck in the quagmire of selfishness.

So let’s look at just a few of the blessings God has lavished upon us and why we should be thankful.

We are to be thankful that His love just keeps going. It never gives up on us. Ever! “Thank the Lord because he is good. His love continues forever.” (Psalm 107:1 – NCV)

We are to be thankful for victory! As we are led to victory in Jesus, God is able to use us for His mighty purpose. “But thanks be to God, who always leads us in victory through Christ. God uses us to spread his knowledge everywhere like a sweet-smelling perfume.” (2 Corinthians 2:14 – NCV)

We are to be thankful for stability in God’s Kingdom. When everything around us may be shifting or even sinking, God’s Kingdom stands firm! “So let us be thankful, because we have a kingdom that cannot be shaken.” (Hebrews 12:28a – NCV)

We are to be thankful for God. Our praise should come from grateful hearts and His Name should always be our lips. “So through Jesus let us always offer to God our sacrifice of praise, coming from lips that speak his name.” (Hebrews 13:15 – NCV)

We are to be thankful all the time. This passage tells us how to do so. “As you received Christ Jesus the Lord, go continue to live in him. Keep your roots deep in him and have your lives built on him. Be strong in the faith, just as you were taught, and always be thankful.” (Colossians 2:6-7 – NCV) We are to continue living in Jesus, keep our roots deep, build our lives on Jesus, and be strong in our faith. This is the path to thankfulness.

We are to be thankful by sharing with others. This passage speaks to singing, but it also shows that we are to encourage one another through instruction. When we are firm in Christ’s teaching, wisdom will flow from us, like little musical notes. “Let the teaching of Christ live in you richly. Use all wisdom to teach and instruct each other by singing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs with thankfulness in your hearts to God.” (Colossians 3:16 – NCV)

How is your perspective? Is your thankfulness directed toward God for the blessings He has poured out upon you? Are you willing to show your gratitude as mentioned in this post?

I pray that as you continue through this busy week that you’ll take the time to ponder the raised questions and Scripture. Let’s lift joyful voices of thanksgiving to God this week. Then let’s make it a practice for each day of our lives.

Grace and peace be yours in abundance,


[i] The Inspirational Study Bible, Max Lucado, Word Publishing, 1995

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