Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth! Serve the Lord with gladness! Come into his presence with singing! Know that the Lord, he is God! It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name! For the Lord is good; his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations.
I am thankful for the freedom to worship Jesus Christ freely, whenever and wherever I want. I am thankful that I can leave open Bibles all over my house with no concern of someone coming into my home and turning me over to authorities or possibly killing me right there on the spot. I am thankful that I can read my Bible- no seriously, that I am literally capable of reading- and additionally I can do so and pray in public, a freedom that could soon be lost. I am thankful for the Creator, the God of the universe Who chose to create this world and all that inhabits it. Every breath we take is given to us by God. I love how David Leonard and Leslie Jordan, All Sons and Daughters, wrote in Great are You Lord: It’s Your breath, in our lungs, so we pour out our praise…
We all are living and breathing because we have a God that makes it so. Just think about that for a moment.Stop and consider God’s wonders. Job 37:14
I am thankful that in his mercy he allows us to have relationship with him, to be loved by him and to do good works for him. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. Ephesians 2:10 God’s children get the magnificent opportunity of being his hands and feet to a lost and broken world. And when you experience what that’s like- whether it’s providing a used baby crib to someone in need, ministering to orphans and widows in a foreign country, reaching out to a new friend for Bible study or serving chili on a Friday night to the homeless- God does something that only he can do. “You give life, You are love, You bring light to the darkness. You are hope, You restore, every heart that is broken…..”
“Great are you Lord…” God is the greatest GIVER of all. He gave/gives us life in every sense of the word. We rebel, some deny his very existence, and in response to our rebellion he GAVE his one and only Son as an atoning sacrifice to save us. We- a wicked, depraved, corrupt, sinful people- Jesus gives his very own life for. This is truly mind blowing to us so much to the point that some refuse to believe it. That’s because God is so much greater than us and we could never be so good, so GIVING-apart.from.him. Our only hope to be kind, loving, patient, generous and sacrificial people is directly related to our pursuit of a kind, loving, patient, generous, sacrificial God.
Thanksgiving is not just a holiday. It’s a lifestyle. It’s living in light of all that God has done, all that Jesus Christ accomplished on the cross. Thankfulness should be pouring out of us daily. No matter what our circumstance is, what we can’t understand, what we can’t change, we can be thankful that Jesus Christ is our hope and this world is not our home. We are just passing through and how we pass through does matter. When we encounter the saving grace of holy God, thankfulness is the natural response of overwhelming gratitude to the King of Glory. ThanksGIVING is spending ourselves for our Savior and His Kingdom because He alone is worthy of all our energy, time, affections, and not to mention he first GAVE to us. For God so loved the world that.he.gave. His one and only Son.
Father may we remember to always be thankful. Thankful for your love and grace. And that this would be so evident in us as Believers that the resulting joyfulness would be an invitation to those around us to taste and see that the Lord is good. May we share this ongoing thanksgiving with everyone you bring to us. And all the praise, glory, and honor are to you Lord.