Bill Tanzey • Pastor of Community Ministries

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Five Thanksgiving Reminders

Thanksgiving is a uniquely American sacred holiday. This week we’ll examine 5 ways to enjoy this holiday.

MONDAY: The Object of Your Thanksgiving

1 Chronicles 16:8

Thanksgiving was established by a Proclamation issued by President Abraham Lincoln. Listen to his words:

“Now therefore I, Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States, do hereby appoint and set apart the last Thursday in November as a day which I desire to be observed by all my fellow citizens as a day of thanksgiving and praise to Almighty God, the beneficent Creator and Ruler of the universe.” (Italics mine)

King David never met President Lincoln. But just like Lincoln, his words from 1 Chronicles make it clear that the object of our thanks is God Himself. That places our thanksgiving in the rarified air of God’s presence! This verse reminds us that there are many ways to do that–by worshipping God, and by sharing what He has done in our lives!

Pause three times and offer simple gifts of thanksgiving prayer to God.

TUESDAY: The Lifestyle of Your Thanksgiving

Colossians 3:17

A constant theme in Paul’s writings has to do with leading a thankful life. This refrain is heard over and over again, including here in his letter to the Colossians.  There is good reason: The Holy Spirit of God must consider a thankful spirit of men and women as very important. Thus, Paul tells us that this thankful attitude of the mind is reflected in our body, our psyche, and our lifestyle.

In our world of grayness, people have a difficult time deciding what is right or wrong. Conflicting contemporary voices and opinions add to that lack of clarity. This verse, when committed to memory, can prove to be the key for unlocking the truth and clearing the cloudiness. The great test is this: “Can I do this is the name of the Lord Jesus Christ?” It is our perpetual duty to do this around a lifestyle of “Thanks! Thanks!”

Read Colossians 3:17 aloud 3 times.

WEDNESDAY: The Reason for Your Thankfulness

Psalm 106:7

Psalm 106 is a beautiful account of God’s faithfulness throughout history! It is a reminder of the multiple times the Israelites turned away from Yahweh; yet He always loved them, despite their unloving actions. That kind of unwavering love moved the Psalmist to thank God. Thus, the Psalmist is urging the people to give thanks to God because of that divine unfailing and ever-present love.

How about us? Do we ever find ourselves in the sandals of the writer of Psalm 106? I think so. When we look back over our lives, we can conclude two absolutes: (1) Disappointing our God through a lack of faithfulness to Him; and (2) His great and consistent faithfulness to us–even in the face of our letting Him down. That is why the Psalmist’s words of gratitude are our words: Oh give thanks to the Lord, for He is good, and His steadfast love endures forever!

Write Psalm 106:1 on a piece of paper or sticky note, and repeat it throughout your day.

THURSDAY: The Extent of Your Thanksgiving

Psalm 34:1

Praise and thanksgiving are inseparable partners. Therefore, leading a life that offers thanks to our great Creator means leading a life of praise to Him! You see, salvation from sin is a gift of such tremendous value that it should draw unceasing thanks and praise from our hearts to the Giver of our salvation! If we were to bless the Lord at all times, it would not be too much. What He accomplished for you, in an act of unprecedented love, is worthy of your thanksgiving–every day of the year!

We live in an age in which God is trivialized and reduced to slang or even cursing. But our call is for His praise to always be on our lips through our thanksgiving. No human tongue will ever be able to thank God adequately throughout all eternity!

Start and end today with whispering your many thanks and praises to God for what He has done in your life.

FRIDAY: The Occasion of Your Thanksgiving

1 Thessalonians 5:16-17

I don’t know about you, but the words that trouble me most in this passage are: In all circumstances. Let’s examine that: God’s Word is saying that we are to rejoice and give thanks constantly and under any life conditions–good or bad!

Let’s face it, it’s easy to praise God when little Johnny makes the Honor Roll at school, or when that big promotion at work came through. Praising God from an airplane on our way to an exotic vacation or when we receive that good medical report is easier than falling off a log. But Paul is saying our thanksgiving is to be in each and every circumstance–even when our circumstance is bad. That means during both the mountaintop times and the valleys, we are to be people of praise and thankfulness. To underscore that truth, Paul reminds us that is the will of our LORD Jesus.

Ask God to prepare your heart for a truly blessed Thanksgiving holiday.