Saturday, November 22, 2014

On Giving Thanks

I’m looking at the representative Thanksgiving symbols sitting on the mantle in our den as I type this…a Pilgrim lady and gentleman, each clutching pumpkins and other samples of the bounty of the season.   

Between them stands the ubiquitous turkey gobbler, this one not looking very endangered and dressed in somewhat strange colors for the turkeys in real life I have known.  (I learned a long time ago NOT to accompany Granddaddy out in the farm yard to deal with the Thanksgiving turkey…a bit too violent for my tastes.)  

Turkeys and Pilgrims all have their places, as do pumpkins and other signs of the holiday. I’m a follower of holiday decorating, having watched Granny Cole place little candle Pilgrims on her Thanksgiving table.

My personal “turkey” theme continues in various settings around the house as fat, stuffed cloth turkeys find their roosts or nests, waiting for the big day, safe in their knowledge that their cotton stuffing will never make it to the dinner table.

Thanksgiving decorations notwithstanding...due to family constraints, I’m skipping traditional Thanksgiving celebration this year.
Under the circumstances, I don’t have a problem with that.

But the “Thanks” part, I don’t want to miss out on that.

#Giving thanks is not optional. We are commanded to do so.  

Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever. (I Chronicles 16:34)
And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.  (Colossians 3:17)

#Why give thanks?  Benefits to us and to others. 

The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped. My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to him in song. (Psalm 28:7)

All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God.  (2 Corinthians 4:15-16)

You will be made rich in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.  This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of God's people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God. (2 Corinthians 9:11-12)

#When should I give thanks?
give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus. 
(I Thessalonians 5:18)

Who is worthy of my thanksgiving?
I will give thanks to the LORD because of his righteousness and will sing praise to the name of the LORD Most High. (Psalm 7:17)

Let us come before him with thanksgiving and extol him with music and song.  For the LORD is the great God, the great King above all gods. (Psalm 95:2-5)

And again…

Praise the LORD. Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever.
(Psalm 106:1)

I'm sure there's a lesson in that.

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