The “Thanks” in Thanksgiving

During my QT this morning, I was thinking that as a holiday, Thanksgiving just doesn’t get its due.  In all my efforts to seek the Christ in Christmas, I was totally bulldozing over Thanksgiving.  Is there spiritual significance in Thanksgiving?  Does the Bible have anything to say about Thanksgiving?  Of course it does!  So for the next few days, armed with my Bible, its concordance, and a notebook I’m going on a treatsure hunt for the spiritual signficance in Thanksgiving.  I will say at the very outset that these are the discoveries of a lesser woman, not Chuck Colson, Howard Hinricks, or Beth Moore.  That said, if you’re willing I’d love for you to join me.

Colossians 3:15b “…And be thankful.”  Thankfulness is a commandment given to all believers in the context of holy living.  If I’m not thankful, I’m sinning.  I’m not talking about a vague attitude of how good I have it compared to the suffering and starving all around the world.  I’m talking about an acknowledgement of James 1:16-17 “Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers.  Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.”  If it’s good, it’s from God.  That same wonderful, immovable, unchangable God  who introduced himself to Moses as “I AM” and told him he was standing on holy ground; who faithfully protected David from all his enemies and established him as king; who gave wisdom unheard of (as well as power and riches) to Solomon; who comforted Stephen at his stoning with the sight of His glory; who is seated on a white horse and on whose robe is written KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS, this same God stepped into time to sacrifice himself for my sins and lavishes me with his love today.  If I’m not thankful, not only am I sinning, I’m not in touch with reality!

Philippians 1:3 “I thank my God every time I remember you.”  Phil. 1:1 reveals this letter from Paul as being addressed “to all the saints in Christ Jesus at Philippi, together with the overseers and deacons”.  If I am to adopt a thankful heart, I need to remember to be thankful for fellow believers and for the dedicated men who sacrifice countless hours of their time in church leadership (not to mention their wives, who would rather have their husbands at home than at another meeting at church).  They are a gift of God to build us up and encourage us to good works. 

1 Thessalonians 3:7-9 “Therefore brothers in all our distress and persecution we were encouraged about you because of your faith.  For now we really live, since you are standing firm in the Lord.  How can we thank God enough for you in return for all the joy we have in the presence of our God because of you?”  If I am to adopt a thankful heart, I need to remember to be thankful for spiritual life and growth in the lives of those I evangelize/disciple.  In my life, this is focused primarily in my children.  As the mother of two special needs children, this comes a little more easily because I am SO THANKFUL for the promise of who they will be in heaven; but it also comes a little more difficult at times because I get wrapped up in the present.  This Thanksgiving, let us remember to thank God for our children’s names written in the Lamb’s Book of Life and for the spiritual growth we see in their lives.  This too is a gift of God.

More to come tomorrow, I hope.  Please leave me your thoughts on the subject

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