It is Thanksgiving weekend. The air is fresh and crisp. The leaves on the trees are turning to vibrant colors of orange, red and yellow. It’s a time of gathering together with friends and family to share a meal and to share what we are grateful for. Above all, it is a reminder of something we need to be doing everyday-giving thanks to God for who He is and what He has done for us.
Shout with joy to the Lord, all the earth!Worship the Lord with gladness.Come before Him, singing with joy.Acknowledge that the Lord is God!He made us, and we are His.We are His people, the sheep of His pasture.Enter His gates with thanksgiving;
go into His courts with praise.
Give thanks to Him and praise His name.For the Lord is good.His unfailing love continues forever,
and His faithfulness continues to each generation.
(Ps 100 NLT)
Hallelujah! Thank God! And why? Because He’s good, because His love lasts. (Ps 106:1 MSG)
Let us thank God for who He is. Let us enter into each day, each encounter with the Lord, each gathering, each conversation with thanksgiving, giving thanks to God! Let’s worship Him with gladness, singing with joy, acknowledging that He is God! He is good. His unfailing love continues forever. His faithfulness continues to each generation. He made us. We are His! We are His people, the sheep of His pasture.
Psalm 100:4 in the Message version of the bible says, ‘Enter with the password: “Thank you!” Make yourselves at home, talking praise. Thank Him. Worship Him.’
There is a song called ‘Give Thanks’ that I first heard shortly after Jesus saved me over 20 years ago. Part of the words of the song are, ‘Give thanks with a grateful heart. Give thanks to the Holy One. Give thanks because He’s given Jesus Christ, His Son.’ To this day, these words bring me to tears. Tears of thankfulness to God for Jesus. Tears of thankfulness to Jesus for saving, freeing and healing me. Tears of thankfulness to Holy Spirit for opening my heart to the truth that I was in need of a Savior-Jesus! Thankfulness to Holy Spirit for His continued work in my heart and life. Thank God! He gives us victory over sin and death through our Lord Jesus Christ! I remember exactly where I was when Holy Spirit revealed this truth to me-opened my heart to receive a deeper revelation of this truth. It was when Freedom House was first planted and we were meeting in my house. We were studying the book of Ephesians and Holy Spirit gave me a deeper revelation of the truth that because of Jesus and His finished work on the Cross, I am never going to die! I am never going to die! There are still no words to express thankfulness to God for this truth! The Apostle Paul writes about this truth in 1 Corinthians.
But let me tell you something wonderful, a mystery I’ll probably never fully understand. We’re not all going to die—but we are all going to be changed. You hear a blast to end all blasts from a trumpet, and in the time that you look up and blink your eyes—it’s over. On signal from that trumpet from heaven, the dead will be up and out of their graves, beyond the reach of death, never to die again. At the same moment and in the same way, we’ll all be changed. In the resurrection scheme of things, this has to happen: everything perishable taken off the shelves and replaced by the imperishable, this mortal replaced by the immortal. Then the saying will come true:
Death swallowed by triumphant Life! Who got the last word, oh, Death? Oh, Death, who’s afraid of you now?
It was sin that made death so frightening and law-code guilt that gave sin its leverage, its destructive power. But now in a single victorious stroke of Life, all three—sin, guilt, death—are gone, the gift of our Master, Jesus Christ. Thank God! (1 Co 15:51-57 MSG)
What is our response to who God is and what He has done? One response is to cultivate a heart of thankfulness which is reflected in how we live our lives. Over the years I have learned this, although some days I need to be reminded 🙂 On days that are difficult for one reason or another, I have learned to be intentional to thank God all day. This changes my attitude, my thoughts, my countenance, my day! It changes how I interact with others. It changes the environment around me and even the people around me. Thank God! I have learned to thank God on the good days and the difficult days, when everything is going well and when it’s not. No matter what is happening in my life, in others’ lives around me or in the world, I am learning to thank God!
Here are some scriptures to meditate on and practice daily:
Let the peace of Christ keep you in tune with each other, in step with each other. None of this going off and doing your own thing. And cultivate thankfulness. Let the Word of Christ—the Message—have the run of the house. Give it plenty of room in your lives. Instruct and direct one another using good common sense. And sing, sing your hearts out to God! Let every detail in your lives—words, actions, whatever—be done in the name of the Master, Jesus, thanking God the Father every step of the way. (Col 3:15-17 MSG)
Be cheerful no matter what; pray all the time; thank God no matter what happens. This is the way God wants you who belong to Christ Jesus to live. (1 Thess 5:18 MSG)
Remember to give thanks for one another!
Meanwhile, we’ve got our hands full continually thanking God for you, our good friends—so loved by God! God picked you out as His from the very start. Think of it: included in God’s original plan of salvation by the bond of faith in the living truth. This is the life of the Spirit He invited you to through the Message we delivered, in which you get in on the glory of our Master, Jesus Christ. (2 Thess 2:13 MSG)
Let’s be a people who give thanks with a grateful heart! Let’s be a people who overflow with joy and thanksgiving for who God is and all He has done for us!
And now just as you trusted Christ to save you, trust Him, too, for each day’s problems; live in vital union with Him. Let your roots grow down into Him and draw up nourishment from Him. See that you go on growing in the Lord, and become strong and vigorous in the truth you were taught. Let your lives overflow with joy and thanksgiving for all He has done. (Col 2:6-7 Living Bible)
“He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” (Rev 2:7 NKJV)