Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Being Intentional: Thanksgiving


Welcome to the day that Americans all over the country overeat, overinduldge, search through sale ads to see what more they "need" and will stand in mile long lines at 2am (or this year, at 9am after Thanksgiving dinner) to buy themselves and their families items that they most likely won't even use a year from now. What happened to actually devoting one day during the year to being thankful and content for the things we have already been given?! 

Thanks-giving = giving thanks... being thankful... showing gratitude... expressing appreciation. I could go on and on. You get the idea. Look around at the blessings you have been given. Are you physically healthy? Do you have a sound mind? Do you have a house or apartment to live in? What about a nice warm bed to sleep in? What about Thanksgiving lunch or dinner? Do you have a job? Do you have a child or children that are healthy and happy? Do you worship God and thankful for these blessings? Even if none of these things are true for you, are you still giving thanks?

God's Word has over 200 verses that speak about thankfulness. I have a feeling God's trying to get a point across here:

"Giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ." Ephesians 5:20

"Give thanks in ALL circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you." 1 Thessalonians 5:18

"Praise the Lord! Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever!" Psalm 106:1

"Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name!" Psalm 100:4

"We give thanks to God always for all of you, constantly mentioning you in our prayers," 1 Thessalonians 1:2

"Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving." Colossians 4:2

"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and petition with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God." Philippians 4:6

When you arrive to your Thanksgiving Day festivities today, take a moment to look around you and study the people in your life. You might be with your own family, extended family, or friends... but think about the impact they have made on your life. Think of your parents or the people who raised you; think about the sacrifices they've made to give you the best life they could or to teach you to be kind to others. For me, this year I have become more and more thankful for my parents and have said "thank you" more often to them. Now that I'm a mom, I realize how much work a parent puts into their child's life. It has made me appreciate my parents more. I have also taken time to verbally express my gratitude towards my husband who has such a servant's heart when it comes to helping around our house. I am grateful for him and I let him know it.

My challenge to you is to intentionally take time to verbally express your appreciation and thankfulness for the people in your life. 
Not only to those people who mean the most to you, but to God, who created you. Take time to thank God for His love, His mercy, His guidance, and His blessings. You honor Christ by remembering where your blessings come from and praising your Creator for them.

Come into His presence with thanksgiving in your heart and give Him praise!

 I truly hope today is a day of praising God for your blessings and spending quality time with family and/or friends.

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