Hello everyone Happy Thanksgiving!
I don’t know about you, but I love this one day that it is socially acceptable to stuff your face until you can’t move. On Thanksgiving I am thinking about the turkey, green bean casserole, pumpkin pie and then the black Friday deals. So, I often forget what today is really about. I think we all know that today is a day for being thankful but it is also a day to give.
I’m sure this is a busy morning and afternoon for many, but I want you to take time to stop right now and meditate upon what you are truly thankful for. If you want to write it down that is even better! When you are listing these items, I want you to dig deeper than family and friends. Think about some of the things that you probably have never thanked God for that you would be miserable without. Things such as a bed to sleep in at night, clean water to drink everyday, being able to get up and walk into a kitchen where you have coffee and breakfast; thank Him for the ability to have the option to choose what you want to eat, thank Him for freedom, thank Him for the ability to be able to openly go to church and to openly pray. When you start to think about the little things that fill up your day it is so easy to be thankful.
God not only asks us to be thankful but He asks us to be thankful in all circumstances. “Give thanks in every situation because this is Gods will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:18. Being thankful for the good things in your life is pretty easy, but being thankful for the challenges is a bit harder, but it can be a huge blessing. I’m sure you’ve heard someone sometime in your life say “its all in the mindset” and guys it really is. We see this practiced all throughout the bible. Jesus’s closest disciples, the people that God chose to do huge deeds for the kingdom of Heaven had big road blocks, they had pain and struggle but they saw these challenges as part of the plan, they knew that what they had done for Heaven was worth it and in the end they will be rewarded immeasurably more than they could imagine. So now think of some of the challenges in your life… I bet without some of those challenges you wouldn’t be where you are today, I bet you wouldn’t have gained the skills or knowledge you have today, I bet that person that is in your life now wasn’t there before that challenge, and maybe even your faith wasn’t there before that challenge.
Now to the second part of Thanksgiving, the giving. The past sermon at my church pointed something out to me that I had never thought of before. Giving is a result of being thankful and being thankful is also a result of giving. This cycle is an absolutely wonderful way to live life. “Generous people will prosper; those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed.” Proverbs 11:25. I love this verse because it reminds us that we get to give, we don’t have to give but we get to give. I am talking about giving not only money but giving time, giving patience, giving love, giving forgiveness. When it comes to money we also must remember that our earthly treasures we try so tightly to hold on to will have no meaning in the end, but the money and time we give will build up as our treasures in Heaven, our real home. “Whatever you do, whether in speech or action, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus and give thanks to God the Father through him.” Colossians 3:17. We should be thankful to give to others.
On Black Friday my family likes to go downtown to shop, during this time there are many homeless and needy people on the city streets. I want to encourage you and motivate you to give to everyone you see while you are shopping. Just give what you can, maybe you can even buy a couple of hot coffees and pass them out to people. Whatever you can and are able to do try to do it. “In everything I have shown you that, by working hard, we must help the weak. In this way we remember the Lord Jesus’ words: It is more blessed to give than receive.” Acts 20:35. Now we’re about to get real.. there are a lot of people who are probably looking at their screen thinking “but some of those people aren’t really homeless” or “some of those people won’t use my money for the right things.” I need to tell you that it does not matter one single bit. It is not our job to decide who is worthy of our money. God simply asked us to give, end of story. If you are giving with a generous heart and for the glory of God it will be worth it. So give without requirements because Jesus freely gave His life for you. He knew that every single one of us would still sin, He knew that many of us wouldn’t even believe in Him but He still gave. “You are saved by God’s grace because of your faith. This salvation is God’s gift. It’s not something you possessed.” Ephesians 2:8.
“All these things are for your benefit. As grace increases to benefit more and more people, it will cause gratitude to increase, which results in God’s glory.” 2 Corinthians 4:15. So today remember the true meaning of Thanksgiving, remember that even a small act of kindness can change someone’s world.