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Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving: to express gratitude. Gratitude: the quality of being thankful, or a readiness to show appreciation, and to return kindness.

I love the phrase, the “attitude of gratitude.” And as we approach the holiday season, I'm reminded that the “attitude of gratitude” is really at the heart of Thanksgiving.

 

Thanksgiving Day is a time to give praise to God for all His blessings; it’s a time to offer prayers of thanksgiving to Him, and even sing a song of celebration for all He has done for us. But notice, it’s something we express with our words. Our words say much about what’s in our hearts. Jesus said, “For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks” (Matt. 12:34). Whatever is in our hearts comes out of our mouths in one way or another.

The other day my younger son informed me that he wanted to take a trip to Washington, DC, to visit his brother before Christmas. As we talked about the flight reservations he was making, I told him that I would help financially or use some of my miles for the purchase of his ticket. I was so blessed by his response: He said; “Dad, I really appreciate all that you have done for me and I thank you for wanting to help me on this, but I’ll take care of it with my own money. You’ve done enough.”

My heart overflowed with joy hearing his kind, grateful response of thanksgiving for what I’ve done for him over the years. It was like music to my ears. I sensed his gratitude to me, his father, who loves him so much that I would do anything in my power to help him succeed. Immediately I thought about how God must feel when we direct our thanksgiving to Him, and I was reminded of the following scripture:

Ps. 69:30-32 reads;
I will praise the Name of God with a song, and will magnify Him with Thanksgiving. This also shall please the Lord better than sacrificing a bull… The humble shall see this and be glad; You who seek God, your hearts shall revive.

Much of the emphasis in religion today falsely suggests to us that God is never pleased with our lives. But we read all through Scripture that there are many things we do that please Him. The Psalmist tells us that it’s not our hard work, our success, or even our sacrifices that please Him the most. It’s our songs of praise from a heart of thanksgiving and our willingness to submit to Him by faith that please Him. How simple is this?

You might say this is too easy. That’s why the true gospel message is foolishness to those who think they’re wise. But God reveals Himself to the humble who know they need a Savior. Those are the ones who will be revived, strengthened, and glad; those are the ones who will receive help from above. When we willingly praise God with a heart of thanksgiving, we receive strength and power in our souls, which builds faith and courage to overcome our circumstances.

Just like my son, Jonathan, thrilled my heart, God is thrilled with us when we have a heart attitude of thanksgiving and when we honor Him with our lips, as well as our lives. It’s impossible to have the heart attitude that God desires of us unless we know that Jesus Christ lives in our hearts. Shallow preaching and positive thinking seminars are very prevalent these days, but they offer limited success and give no hope of life after death. Throughout Scripture we’re promised that whoever calls on the Name of the Lord Jesus, receiving Him as Savior, has the promise of help and power in this life and eternal life to come.

You might be thinking, “With all I’ve gone through and the mistakes I’ve made, how can I call upon the Lord or please Him?” This is why Jesus came, to pay the price for our sins and mistakes, and we should want to respond by giving thanks for His gift of freedom. He purchased us with His life, and now we give thanks for His incredible love and mercy!

I Thess. 5:18 reads;
In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you!

 
We often magnify our calamities, and focus on the woes of life, overlooking the occasions for gratitude. Let us be sure to look upon the "mercies" which we enjoy, compared to the “miseries” we endure that our hearts may be right and pleasing to God. The person who looks only on his trials will soon find his mind soured and complaining, but he who endeavors to find how many occasions for gratitude he has, will soon find the burden of his sorrows alleviated, and his mind tranquil and calm.

If life is going well for you right now, give thanks; if you’re facing challenges, give thanks; even if you’ve experienced a tragedy, I humbly encourage you, to give thanks.

Wherever you are in life, whatever you’ve gone through, or whatever you’re facing — give thanks! You’re going to make it; you’re going to come through, and you’re going to be victorious because of your heart attitude. In everything give thanks!

This is my hope for you my friend. Call upon the Name of Jesus today, and be thankful in whatever circumstance you find yourself. He has promised to deliver you!

During our national holidays this time of year, which are marked by religious observances and a traditional meal, I pray you are encouraged. God Bless!

I hope you had a great Thanksgiving celebration.

We had a good service at Rio Bravo MX at the Vintage National event in Houston, TX. The Lord gave me a word of encouragement for those in attendance. My plans are to be at many of the Vintage events next year sharing the life giving message of Jesus Christ!

TakeMetoLunchDonateUpFor just the small amount (each month) of a lunch, you can become a co-worker with me taking this message of hope to those in need. Click on the plate and Take me to Lunch!


You're a Champion because of Jesus!

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Steve Wise