Knowing Him this Thanksgiving
Let's take advantage of this month and use it for the Lord's
honor! How? The Bible tells us how:
"In everything, give thanks; for this is God's will for you
in Christ Jesus." 1Thessalonians 5:18
Did you catch the significance of that? There aren't too
many places in Scripture that explicitly state, "This is God's
will for you", so when it does, we need to take notice.
And what is God asking of us? Simply, to give thanks to Him
everywhere, all the time. To be a walking "thanks dispenser",
if you will. Notice that He's not calling us to have a grateful
heart, though that is implicitly necessary. He's calling us
to go further than that to actually express thanks. Friends,
He's telling us that it WILL bless His heart! Think about
it! God is explicitly telling us that it will bless His heart!
Wow. This was just brought home to me right at this very
moment. My heart has just been blessed! Let me explain.
We arrived home from DC late last night. Of the many things
on my to-do list this morning, I wanted to update the TD website
and write this devotion, which I am now doing. A few minutes
ago, I went to take a "bathroom break" and there on my sink
counter, to my surprise, were two hand-cut, hand-drawn, hand-made
cards with pictures and drawings of Washington DC on them
and the words, "Thank You So Much!" I opened them up and inscribed
within were deep heart-felt expressions of thanks from my
two youngest children, Daniel and Angela, for taking them
and for caring for them on our trip.
Sandra and I had heard some activity down the hallway early
this morning while we were still asleep but didn't think much
of it. Now, I get it. Those two woke up before anyone else
did and the first thing they did was to get busy to find a
creative way to give us thanks. Had they already expressed
verbal thanks to us earlier? They sure did, but they wanted
to take it further to express their gratitude and to bless
our hearts. And they did. My heart melted with appreciation
and love for them. I went downstairs and gave them big, big
hugs and kisses. Sometimes, little ones teach us the biggest
I think of how God's heart has been blessed when His children
have taken the extra time to write poetry, hymns, and songs
to say thank you to Him; when they've carved out larger amounts
of time in their lives to harness their skills and talents
to painstakingly produce offerings to Him (whether visually,
audibly, or tangibly) as an expression of their thanks to
Him. I'm sure, in His own providential yet personal way, gave
them His "hugs" and "kisses", for our Father will not be outgiven.
Here are a couple of suggestions for you to bless your Father's
heart this month (I'm sure you can think of more):
- Count your blessings, name them one by one - make a list
of everything God wants you to be thankful for. Then give
Him thanks for each one. Be specific and make it heart-felt.
Notice I didn't ask you to list things and people you ARE
thankful for. Of course, that's important but sometimes
there are things and people we really ought to be thankful
for that we don't feel thankful for.
- Produce something extra special for Him as a way of saying
thanks. Make Him a card, write Him a song or poem, paint
or draw Him a picture, practice playing a song for Him on
your instrument, etc. Whatever you're gifted in or trained
in, use your skill for His honor in an extra special way
for Him this month.
- Make it a special point this month to "acknowledge Him"
(Prov. 3:6) ALL day, EVERY day - audibly, silently, through
singing, journaling, etc. We need to realize that God is
actually with us all day, everyday. So, make a special effort
to develop your everyday relationship and conversation with
Him. 1Thessalonians 5:17 says to "pray without ceasing."
This is what that means. Always be relating with Him, including
Him in your activities and conversations, as well as in
your rest. Relate with Him without ceasing. You'll both
- Express actual thanks to those God has used to bless
you. Expressions of thanks go a long way for those who receive
them. Go ahead and surprise them with a simple thank you
for being your friend, sibling, or parent. Even though it
may not be your "style", it's God's style, and we all represent
Him much better when we're thankful. "As I grew older God
continued to prepare my heart and teach me to seek Him.
One of the first lessons that I have learnt was not to take
things for granted (emphasis mine). I had that wake up call
around the age of twelve and realized just how much I was
blessed with. I take my foot for granted, my family and
the fact that I wasn't born in a third world country all
blessings that God had freely given and I still complain?"
- Nick Vujicic
The Irony of It
The actual giving of thanks to God and others forces us to
realize how blessed we are and how so much of that blessing
had nothing to do with us deserving it. That then leaves us
humble, and humble people are the ones God uses and blesses
most, for "Blessed are the (humble), for they shall inherit
the earth" (Matthew 5:5)
So, leave it to God to instruct us to do something that seems
to be for His benefit, but in actuality it benefits us! That's
our Father. Thank you, God!