Thanksgiving Day is a week away: Is it really?

The Verse of the Day for November 20, 2013 is found in Psalm 95: 1-2:

Psalm 95 1 2 310904561

Verse 2 with its exhortation to “come before his presence with thanksgiving” is a reminder that we are in the “Thanksgiving season.” At this time of year there is an almost automatic association with turkey and dressing, cranberries, and pumpkin pie (or sweet potato pie, depending upon your ethnic tastes). For Christians, however, thanksgiving is more than a holiday observed the fourth Thursday in November. Actually, “Thanksgiving” is always appropriate. “Thanksgiving” is the reason, not only for this season, but “thanksgiving” should be the reason for every season.

When I use the term “thanksgiving,” I look at the word in its most literal sense, meaning “to give thanks” or “to show one’s self grateful.”  It is an expression of gratitude, a form of prayer specified in I Timothy which speaks of “requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving. . . .

As Christian believers, expressing thanks to God for His grace and goodness should never be confined to a single period of time.  God desires that we show ourselves grateful at all times.  Scriptures remind us of this truth in a number of places:

Colossians 3:17

And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

A similar reminder is found in Ephesians 5:20:

 Always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

The Word of God reveals that the giving of thanks is to be more than an occasional act of gratitude; it is to be an ongoing part of our lives.

Philippians 4:6

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.

Perhaps the most dramatic reminder to live in continuous thanksgiving is found in I Thessalonians 5:18:

Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ.

Every situation offers an opportunity to be thankful, no matter how bright or bleak life may be. We can always find something to be thankful for something, if for nothing more than that we are alive or that our situation could be worse.  We can begin with thanking God that we are alive and then adding to the long list of blessings we are enjoying at that moment.  Each time we set our minds to be thankful, we are doing the will of God, the innermost desire of every believer.

More than merely occasionally expressing how grateful we are, we desire to maintain a continual “attitude of gratitude,” which some have called “thanksliving.”  The essence of our attitude of endless gratitude is expressed in this poem:

Thanksliving

 In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God

in Christ Jesus concerning you.

I Thessalonians 5:18

 

What shall we render to the Lord for all

His grace?  What can we say to offer praise

Worthy of His glory?  How can we call

With all our being upon His name and raise

A new song from the depths of our heart?

We must do more than mouth a platitude–

To express our soul in words is an art;

Yet words cannot express our gratitude.

Our words are empty and without merit.

“Thank you” too soon becomes a hollow phrase.

So we must worship God with our spirit

And must give thanks well for all of our days.

To live is give thanks with tongue and limb;

With each breath, each move, let us live thanks to Him.

 

Marantha! Singers offer a rousing rendition of “He Has Made Me Glad,” reminding us to “enter his gates with thanksgiving and into his courts with praise.”

We joyfully come before God’s presence with thanksgiving, not just the week before Thanksgiving Day, but every hour of every day of every week of every year.

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2 Responses to “Thanksgiving Day is a week away: Is it really?”

  1. Richard L Rice Says:

    Thank you, and happy Thanksliving to you!

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