Five Words of Thanksgiving

Psalm 100:4
Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise:
be thankful unto him, and bless his name.
Philippians 4:6
Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication
with thanksgiving let your request be made known unto God.

2020’s Thanksgiving Holiday has obviously been different from most Thanksgivings.  I guess that is why I have thought so much about it.  When everything is said and done, we still have a lot to be thankful for.  We need to do what the hymn says and “Count Your Blessings”.  Through it all, God has been good and He is worthy of our praise.

When I read Psalm 100 and Philippians 4:4-8 together, I see two different aspects of giving thanks to God.  In the Psalm, David is encouraging the reader to thank God for what He has done in the past leading up to the present.  In Philippians, Paul is encouraging the reader to thank God for what He wants to do for us and what He can do for us in the present and in the future.

As I said, Thanksgiving has been on my heart and mind a lot this year.  This morning, I am going to take the word THANKSGIVING and give a simple devotion on five words we see within Thanksgiving.

  1. Thanks
    Saying “Thank You” to God is what it is all about.  We have so much to be thankful for.  Recognizing our blessings and thanking God for them is a sign of humility and maturity.  Without Him, we are nothing.  All of us would have to say that He is far better to us than we deserve.  Thank you, Lord, for your blessings on me.
  2. Giving
    We must offer our thanks to God and present it to Him.  In Leviticus, there is mention of a sacrifice of thanksgiving.  It is an aspect of our worship.  Not only should we give thanks to God as a part of our worship, but we should also be known as a giving people.  Giving of ourselves to others should be a part of our active faith.
  3. Than
    “Than” is a word used primarily to introduce the second element in a comparison.  It is also used in expressions introducing an exception or a contrast.  When used in this capacity, it is often paired with the word “rather”.  What has that got to do with Thanksgiving?  Thanksgiving is a choice.  We must choose to be thankful rather than complain.  We must choose to be a giving people rather than be selfish.  We must choose to be humble rather than be full of pride.  We must choose to focus on the positive rather than the negative.  Once again, Thanksgiving is a choice.
  4. King
    Let us never forget, we serve the King of Kings.  Jesus is my King and what wonderful King He is!  He is still on the throne and He is in complete control of everything.  He is worthy of our trust, our obedience, our service, and our thanksgiving.
  5. Sing
    The last part of Psalm 100:2 tells us to come before His presence with singing.  The very first line of the Psalm tells us to make a joyful noise unto the Lord.  Whether or not you think you can sing, God wants to hear you sing.  Sing out His praises to Him.  Sing for your benefit.  Sing because He wants you to.  Sing because it is impossible to sing praises and complain at the same time.  Start with “Amazing Grace”.  I promise, before you can finish the whole song, your spirits will be lifted, your mindset will change, and your heart will be full of thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving is not something we should for just one day or one week.  It is not a warmup holiday for Christmas.  It is a lifestyle choice.  It is a Christian responsibility.  It is a aspect of our faith that should be observed by others around us.  Thanksgiving should be celebrated 365 days a year.  We have a lot to be thankful for!! 

photo credit: Kelly Morton

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