Sunday, November 18, 2012

Three Ways To Be Thankful


“It is good to give thanks to the Lord, to sing praises to your name, O Most High; to declare your steadfast love in the morning, and your faithfulness by night.” (Psalms 92:1-2)

Back when I was in college, I remember hearing my pastor share a Thanksgiving sermon that was especially meaningful to me -- enough that I wrote down the main points and have kept them all these years!  As we prepare to celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday, I share with you these same “Three Ways To Be Thankful” in the hope that they will inspire you as they did me.

During Thanksgiving, we are challenged to have…

1) Thankful Minds - learn to become aware of all the blessings given to you by God… your family, friends, health, and for people that helps us be the best we can be.  In the words of a famous hymn, “Count your many blessings, see what God has done.”  In other words, learn to acknowledge the outward blessings of God.

2) Thankful Hearts -- Philippians 4:6 says “Don’t worry about anything, but in all your prayers ask God for what you need, always asking Him with a thankful heart.” Learn to be thankful for the inner, spiritual “gifts” of God in our lives… blessings that may not be outwardly apparent, but which one can choose to see as blessings with the right perspective.  This could include things like being “thankful” for being laid off, for an illness that causes us to see our need for (and reliance on) God even more, and even learning to be thankful for the troubles and trials of life that help us grow.  In other words, learn to acknowledge the inward blessings of God.

3) Thankful Hands -- James 1:22 says that we are to “be doers of the word and not merely hearers who deceive themselves.”  “Hands” here represents our actions and deeds.  In other words, we are not called to keep our thankfulness of “mind” and of “heart” to ourselves.  Instead, we’re called to show thankfulness through what we do…  through our loving and caring for others, sharing their joys and sorrows, their good times and bad.

My prayer is that this Thanksgiving holiday, you’ll remember and enjoy God’s blessings in your life.  But more than that, I pray that you’ll also allow those blessings to inspire you to practice your thankfulness in the three ways above.  Remember, God loves you and I do, too!

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