Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful (Colossians 3:15 NIV)
Thanksgiving. Most think of it as the holiday that kicks of the Holiday season. It features food, family, food, friends, food, football, food… Well, you get the idea. If you wanted to add a “spiritual sounding” word, you could have added “fellowship”, but often that sounds like “food” to many Christians. (The “Fellowship Hall” in the church building is where you eat, right?) Sadly, to many people, Thanksgiving is the time when you gather for feasting and hopefully fun, and there is NOTHING wrong with feasting and fun. But feasting and fun is all that is thought about, except for a quick prayer before the meal.
However, those who follow the Lord Jesus Christ have a higher and wider perspective. We know the One to whom we surely must give thanks. So, on the special day set apart for giving thanks in our culture, we will be thankful! Let’s think about some matters for which to give thanks. Feel free to use these suggestions, and develop your own.
- We thank God for
God himself. Praise
the Lord, my soul; all
my inmost being, praise his holy name (Psalm 103:1 NIV) Give
thanks to the Lord, for he is good;
his faithful love endures forever (Psalm 107:1 CSB). Sing praises to the Lord, who dwells in Zion; Declare among the peoples His deeds (Psalm 9:11 NASB). For everything comes from him and exists by his power and is intended for his glory. All glory to him forever! Amen (Romans 11:36 NLT).
- We thank God for saving grace. He drew me up from the pit of destruction, out of the miry bog, and set my feet upon a rock, making my steps secure. He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God. Many will see and fear, and put their trust in the Lord (Psalm 40:2-3 ESV). Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight (Ephesians 1:3-4 NIV). Giving thanks to the Father, who has enabled you to share in the saints’ inheritance in the light (Colossians 1:12 CSB).
- We thank God for our family. House and wealth are inherited from fathers, but a prudent wife is from the Lord (Proverbs 19:14 ESV). Children are a heritage from the Lord, offspring a reward from him (Psalm 127:3 NIV)
- We thank God for other believers. But we ought to thank God always for you, brothers and sisters loved by the Lord, because from the beginning God has chosen you for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and through belief in the truth (2 Thessalonians 2:13 CSB). I thank my God always when I remember you in my prayers, because I hear of your love and of the faith that you have toward the Lord Jesus and for all the saints (Philemon 1:4-5 ESV).
- We thank God in all circumstances. Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus (1 Thessalonians 4:18 NIV). Around midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening (Acts 16:25 NLT).
So then, we have much for which to give thanks, and the above mentioned is only a starting place. As you read God’s Word, look for what the Spirit mentions that God has given to us, and then make those items on your praise list. Happy Thanksgiving!
Grace and peace, David