Pastor at Grace Life Church
"In everything give thanks for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you."
So it goes in I Thessalonians 5:18. We are about to celebrate one of my favorite times and holidays of the year - Thanksgiving. I picked up my granddaughter, Jada, from kindergarten recently and she asked me; "Grandpa, what is your favorite holiday?" I said, "It is probably Thanksgiving or maybe Christmas and what is yours?" She answered, "I like Thanksgiving because we get to come to your house and eat yummy turkey and I like Christmas because we get presents."
We have set aside one day of the year when we should take a moment and give thanks to God for the bounty of our lives and blessings God has bestowed upon us. I love to give thanks anytime my family can gather around the table for a meal together. But being thankful this year may be much easier for some of us than for others. Because of personal life situations of our health, finances, loss of job or maybe the lives of those we love are in some sort of turmoil. With the uncertainty and chaos in the world it makes it more difficult to be as thankful as we should be and as it seems the word of God says we should be. Not to just be thankful on one day but always in everything.
Overheard two turkeys talking and one asked the other; what are you thankful for this year? The second answered; "vegetarians." So, we see that all can find something to be thankful for with a little ingenuity perhaps?
There are some things the word of God says we should do that just seem impossible like the verse above in I Thessalonians 5:18 or this one in Ephesians 5:20 "Giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ," or Philippians 4:6 "Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God." It may be difficult but we can all find something to be thankful for if we think about the Lord and what Jesus did for us all on the cross.
There is a new term in the pro football arena called "Tebowing." It comes from the actions of quarterback Tim Tebow of the Denver Broncos when he kneels down to give thanks to God for a touchdown or a big play successfully accomplished. He is unashamedly willing to publicly testify of his faith in Jesus Christ and to demonstrate it and bow down to give thanks to God in front of a national TV audience. It seems some find this offensive and the nickname term "tebowing" is being used to make mockery of him for his faith and actions.
Do you ever feel uncomfortable when in a restaurant and someone at your table or nearby pauses to bow and give thanks for their meal before eating? Or maybe when you're with your family and one of the children boldly and loudly pray out, giving thanks for the food. Even though we know it is the right thing to do we may feel a little embarrassed to do it or have others around us pray in that way. I Corinthians 10:30 "But if I partake with thanks, why am I evil spoken of for the food over which I give thanks? "
My thought for today for us to consider is this: Even if the condition and situation of our lives is not something we can give thanks for, let us obey the word of God and give thanks in spite of circumstances and give thanks in everything and for everything. The devil would like to mock you and make you feel foolish and embarrassed to be thankful because of difficult things of life. I do believe being thankful is a mighty weapon of God to help us to face all things of life and death.
Jesus did not come into the world to explain evil but rather to save us from it and to exemplify a life of suffering. I John 3:8 "For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil." So whatever our life situation let us continue to give thanks to God. I Corinthians 15:57" All thanks to God, then, who gives us the victory over these things through our Lord Jesus Christ!"
On behalf of the Marshall Area Ministerial Association I would like to invite you to attend our annual community celebration of Thanksgiving. This is good time when we can all come together as the body of Christ to praise, pray, and give thanks to God. This year we will meet at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 23 at Holy Redeemer Church. Our theme verse is Paul's thanksgiving and prayer in Philippians.
Philippians 1:3 (NLT) 3 Every time I think of you, I give thanks to my God.
May you truly give thanks to the Lord for He is good, He is love, He is ever faithful to us and is with us and will never leave us or forsake us. We celebrate Veterans Day first to give thanks to those of our military that have given their all that we might have the freedom to worship as we do in America. We celebrate Thanksgiving to give thanks to The One Jesus Christ who gave His all that we might have liberty and freedom to worship God now on earth and in heaven for forever!
Psalm 100:4 "Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name."
Have a very happy and blessed Thanksgiving!