Happy Thanksgiving early so it has an affect

November 25, 2015


(1)  Thanksgiving is important because it establishes the proper orientation between the One bestowing the blessing and the one giving thanks for that blessing.  To ignore or reject giving thanks to God has serious consequences.

“For since the creation of the world his invisible attributes — his eternal power and divine nature — have been clearly seen, because they are understood through what has been made. So people are without excuse.   For although they knew God, they did not glorify him as God or give him thanks, but they became futile in their thoughts and their senseless hearts were darkened” (Romans 1:20-21; see also Hebrews 7:1-10).

(2)  Thanksgiving is an act of worship.  It is directed to God, for it is He to whom we express our thanks.  Often we will find the word “praise” associated with thanksgiving.

“Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good and his loyal love endures.  Say this prayer: “Deliver us, O God who delivers us! Gather us! Rescue us from the nations! Then we will give thanks to your holy name, and boast about your praiseworthy deeds” (1 Chronicles 16:34-35, NET; see also 2 Chronicles 31:2; Nehemiah 12:24, 46; Psalm 7:17; 30:4, 12; 111:1).

(3)  Because Thanksgiving is worship, it is frequently a corporate experience. Worship is expressed publicly, before fellow Israelites (Psalm 35:18; 111:1), and sometimes before the nations (Gentiles – Psalm 18:49; 57:9).  Thus, we could say that thanksgiving is evangelistic (see Acts 8:4; 11:19-21; 16:1-34; see also 1 Thessalonians 1:4-10).

(4)  Thanksgiving is worship that is often expressed through poetry (psalms) and music (Psalm 69:30; 147:7; Colossians 3:16-17).

(5)  Public thanksgiving, declared as worship, is not spontaneous, but requires forethought and preparation.  (Psalms, with their intricate poetry, don’t come about instantly, but are composed over time, and with considerable effort.)

(6)  Thanksgiving is God-centered, rather than self-centered.  Most often thanksgiving focuses on God’s actions and on His attributes (lovingkindness, goodness, mercy, love, etc.), both on what He does, and on what this reveals of His character and attributes.

“Acknowledge that the LORD is God! He made us and we belong to him; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture. Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give him thanks! Praise his name! For the LORD is good. His loyal love endures, and he is faithful through all generations” (Psalm 100:3-5, NET).

(7)  Thanksgiving focuses on our spiritual blessings as much or more than on material blessings (see Colossians 1:3-8, 12-14).  Foremost among these blessings is our salvation which God has accomplished for us through the work of Jesus Christ in our place (Ephesians 1:3-14; 1 Timothy 1:12-14).

(8)  Thanksgiving also rejoices and gives thanks for what God does in the lives of others.

God’s deliverance of the Israelites in the past (Psalm 107).

God’s current work in the lives of others:

“For this reason, because I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints, I do not cease to give thanks for you when I remember you in my prayers” (Ephesians 1:15-16; see also 1 Thessalonians 1:2-10; 2 Thessalonians 1:3ff.; 2:13-14).

(9)  Thanksgiving is continual and ongoing — a lifestyle, not just a singular event (Psalm 86:12; 79:13).  One might say that thanksgiving is an attitude, which manifests itself in action.   When we give thanks we are rehearsing for heaven (see Revelation 4:9-11; 5:8-14; 7:11-12; 11:16-18).

(10) Thanksgiving should accompany our petitions.  Thanksgiving partners with petition:

“Do not be anxious about anything. Instead, in every situation, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, tell your requests to God” (Philippians 4:6; see also Psalm 13; Ephesians 1:15-19).

(11) Christian thanksgiving is not to be restricted to the “good times,” but is also to be offered in times of great trials, difficulties, and distress (Psalm 13; 119:67, 71; Philippians 1:29-30; 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18; see Psalm 73; Acts 4:23-31; 16:16-34).

(12) Thanksgiving is an exercise of faith (“whatever is not of faith is sin” – Romans 14:23).

    Faith recognizes that the source of our blessings is God, and not us (James 1:17).

    Faith believes that whatever our circumstance, God has purposed it for our good and His glory (Romans 8:28).

    Faith looks ahead with confidence, based upon the blessings God has already bestowed (Exodus 15:11-18).

    Faith trusts God when our troubles are still with us, and when what we have asked for has not yet been granted (Hebrews 11:1-2, 13-31).

A Challenge

Given these biblical principles regarding thanksgiving, we at Bible.org would like to challenge you to grow in your expressions of thanksgiving during this season, as well as in your daily walk.

(1)  Consider the ways in which the prosperity preaching of our day opposes and discourages thanksgiving as the Bible teaches it.

(2)  Give serious thought as to how you should give thanks to God for the setbacks, suffering, and difficulties in your life (“in everything give thanks”).

(3)  Purpose to practice thanksgiving when you don’t feel like it, especially in times of adversity and sorrow (when there seems to be no basis for thanksgiving).

(4)  Purpose to give thanks in ways that are public, and not just private.  (A special Thanksgiving Service may be a way for churches to encourage this.)

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Please pray for Danny f, just lost his mom at 89 year of age

Roxanne, wants to lead a godly life, and be celibate until marriage

Pray for Kim and her battle against cancer

Pray for Fred s, going into hospital tomorrow for MRI for a brain tumor

Pray for Bill, having knee surgery on thanksgiving day and hoping his doctor has his head in the game.

Pray for Steve L, and healing for his heart.

Pray for all those that struggle with the holidays

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