Thursday will be a day for families to enjoy visiting, eating, and watching football. It’s the annual Thanksgiving holiday tradition. It’s a time to slow down and reflect on the many blessings God has granted to us. For some we know that’s not the case in the busy world in which we live. The holidays for many means traveling, rushing here and dashing off there. It seems to be more hectic than refreshing, not to mention the anticipation of the big sales on Black Friday, which actually take place on Thursday because the stores are opening early. What a subtle way to disengage families from spending time together and truly reflecting on being a thankful people.
However, it doesn’t have to be like this. This Thanksgiving can be one of refreshing, recharging, and rejoicing when we focus on the true meaning of Thanksgiving. Apart from God and the Scriptures no one can know the real meaning of ‘giving thanks.’ The Scriptures reminds us that God’s people ought to be ‘thankful’ people. Here are ten verses on being thankful to meditate on.
Hebrews 12:28-29 - Therefore, since we receive a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us show gratitude, by which we may offer to God an acceptable service with reverence and awe; for our God is a consuming fire.
Psalm 28:7 -The LORD is my strength and my shield; My heart trusts in Him, and I am helped; Therefore my heart exults, And with my song I shall thank Him.
Psalm 69:30 - I will praise the name of God with song, And shall magnify Him with thanksgiving.
Colossians 2:6-7 - Therefore as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, having been firmly rooted and now being built up in Him and established in your faith, just as you were instructed, and overflowing with gratitude.
Psalm 34:1 - I will bless the LORD at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth.
Psalm 100:4 - Enter His gates with thanksgiving, And His courts with praise. Give thanks to Him; bless His name.
Jonah 2:9 - But I will sacrifice to You With the voice of thanksgiving. That which I have vowed I will pay Salvation is from the LORD."
Ephesians 5:3-4 - But immorality or any impurity or greed must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints; and there must be no filthiness and silly talk, or coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks.
1 Timothy 4:4-5 - For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected, if it is received with gratitude; for it is sanctified by means of the word of God and prayer.
1 Thessalonians 5:18 in everything give thanks; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.
What would our homes, churches, and nation look like if you and I began to be truly grateful? Not only on Thanksgiving week, but everyday as God’s people. We have so much to be thankful for not only materially speaking but more importantly spiritually. I am reminded of the Apostle Paul in the book of Ephesians giving thanks to God for the saints at Ephesus, not because they were blessed materially, we know if we have food and clothing we are to be content, but because God had “chosen and predestined them in love, and blessed them with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places” (Eph.1:3-6). What a blessing!
In conclusion, I want to share with you 5 Blessings that I am eternally thankful for:
- My salvation.
- My wife.
I am thankful for my precious helper in this life, Samantha. God knew from the very beginning who and what I needed by specifically choosing her for me. I could not be the Christian man, husband, father, brother, son, pastor, or student that I am today without her. Many will never know or care to understand how well she serves her Lord, family, and church. I am thankful to God for my wife, Samantha.
- My children.
I am thankful for my 3 sons. God in His providence saw fit to bless Samantha and I with Chance, Logan, and Dylan. Each one is uniquely made in God’s image, yet each one is so different in there own special way. As we are entering into another season of parenting with our two oldest, I realize more now than ever of my responsibility to prepare them to be godly men who will one day lead their family's in serving Christ and His church. Our responsibility is to raise and train these boys to be men who love God, Christ, family, and His church. What else really matters in life? I am thankful for my children.
- My church.
I am thankful for Pleasant Hill Baptist church in Orlinda, TN. I am thankful for the rich history of PHBC dating back to 1848. I think about the men and women who have gone on before us in paving the way to where we are now in 2015. However, I am grateful for each person that makes up the fellowship of believers at PHBC today. I don’t know if I could love a people more who are not my own flesh and blood, as much as I do the saints at PHBC. I am thankful for my church family.
- My calling.
I am taking aback when I think how blessed I am to be allowed the privilege not only to be a Christian, but to have been given the desire to preach/teach God’s Word. God knew when this church organized in 1848 that I would be a member and the pastor of this historical Southern Baptist church. I remember a pastor once saying, “I cant’ believe I get paid to do this.” I can resonate with his statement. Don’t get me wrong there are times where this calling is difficult, but it is a "joyful burden." The call of God in my life has caused me to stay, when often in my flesh I wanted to leave (not the church, but the ministry). I have the honor of reading, studying and praying day-in and day-out. I get to do what I absolutely 100% know without a doubt that God has called me to do and I do it with great joy and gratitude to Him. I am thankful for my calling.
How about you? What are you thankful for? Let me know by leaving your comments.
Have a blessed day in the Lord.