Thanksgiving – What does it mean to you?

 

Thanksgiving is a concept as old as civilization itself. Webster defines it as the following:  the act of giving thanks; a prayer expressing gratitude; a public acknowledgment or celebration of divine goodness.

 

As Christians, we acknowledge God’s goodness and provision in our expression of thanksgiving.  God’s Word implores us to give thanks to Him. Both Old and New Testament books of the Bible encourage us to have an attitude of gratitude.  Psalm 50:14 tells us to, “Offer to God thanksgiving.”  Psalm 95:2 says, “Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving…”  The Apostle Paul, in Philippians 4:6 declares, “…in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.”  We are to develop and display a grateful heart.

 

Our expression of gratefulness to God is found in our praise of Who God IS.  He is El Elyon – The Most High.  In Genesis 14, Melchizedek, King of Salem blessed Abram and said, “Blessed be Abram of God Most High [El Elyon], possessor of heaven and earth; and blessed be God Most High, who has delivered your enemies into your hand.”  He is the omnipotent God, the one who rules and reigns eternal.  He is also Adonai – Lord, Master, and Owner.  In Genesis 15, God told Abram he would be his shield and reward.  Abram said,  “O Lord [Adonai], GOD [Jehovah], what wilt Thou give me, since I am childless?” God was his Lord and Master of all things concerning him.  The most sacred name for God is Jehovah GOD (Yahweh). He is the all self-existent God who spoke everything into being.  In Exodus 3 we see the dialog between Moses and Jehovah as follows:  “And God said to Moses, ‘I AM WHO I AM’; and later He said, “The LORD [Jehovah], the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you.”  Heartfelt thanksgiving for Who God IS blesses us and blesses Him.

 

We don’t often display thankfulness for those closest to us.  Family, friends and co-workers can fall off the radar-screen when it comes to giving thanks.  We all but forget their worthiness of our expressions of gratefulness.  I thank God for my husband who is generous, devoted, trustworthy, and responsible.  Thanking God for our children, though not perfect, keeps them at the center of our prayers and praises.  Find a friend and thank them for their encouragement or support during a difficult time.  Your co-worker needs thanking for the kind comment they shared at the last office meeting.  Thank a stranger for their service and dedication to their profession.  Thank your pastor or lay-minister for a message or bible study they shared.  Thank your parents for their valuable love and wisdom afforded you over the years.  Express your thanksgiving in a tangible way.  Express it always and often in love.

 

Finally, thank Jesus for your salvation.  If we had nothing else to be thankful for, that would be sufficient.  Oh, how we thank Him for rescuing us from certain destruction and eternal doom.  In II Corinthians 9:15 Paul says this, “Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!”  May we continually strive to express that Gift to all we meet. 

 

Happy Thanksgiving and Blessings Abound Always and in All Things!

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