Christian Thanksgiving: Not a Holiday-A Life Lived

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   The Holy Word of God says many things, in many ways, about the concept of thanksgiving, or being a thankful person.   Here are a few:

“In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”   (1 Thessalonians 5:18)

“Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.”  ( Philippians 4:6)

“O give thanks unto the LORD, for [he is] good: for his mercy [endureth] for ever.”    (Psalms 107:1)

“I will praise the LORD according to his righteousness: and will sing praise to the name of the LORD most high.”  (Psalm 7:17)

“Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.”    (Ephesians 5:20)

 

“Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all ye lands.

2 Serve the LORD with gladness: come before his presence with singing.

3 Know ye that the LORD he [is] God: [it is] he [that] hath made us, and not we ourselves; [we are] his people, and the sheep of his pasture.

4 Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, [and] into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, [and] bless his name.

5 For the LORD [is] good; his mercy [is] everlasting; and his truth [endureth] to all generations.”   (Psalms 100:1-5)  

For believers, Thanksgiving is to be much more than a once a year holiday where we force ourselves to express gratitude for things we stretch our minds to remember. Our LORD, through the Bible, urges us to live in a spirit of thanksgiving daily.

One thing that is awkward to me, and apparently my grandchildren, is when their parents force them to hug Grandpa, or to tell me “thank you” for something I may have done for them.  There is just something about forcing; even what is right and proper, that steals the love of the moment.

A grateful, thankful life is truly characteristic of a disciple of Christ Jesus.  The love God has shown and expressed through His Son, Jesus Christ, should move us to outward expressions of thanksgiving because we want our feelings known to Him, and others nearby.

Using Psalm 100, a song of praise to God, I want to share four biblical practices to convey your thanksgiving and gratitude to the Lord.

 

  1. 1. Make a Joyful Noise to the LORD! (Psalm 100:1)

Great accomplishments or joy, have been marked with shouting in the Bible.  The LORD told Israel, through Joshua, to march around Jericho for six days and on the seventh day to lift a great shout.  When they did, the walls fell down (Joshua. 6).

Do not be afraid to be a little loud when you are thanking and praising God.  He loves, and deserves, to hear your praises.

Last week in a prayer seminar I was conducting, I referenced the joy of having a Prayer Garden at my home, and suggested they might give that some thought for themselves.  One dear woman asked, “What if the noise disturbs a neighbor?”

That struck me as humorous as she spoke with such a soft voice.   Being respectful of a neighbor is one thing, and I believe we ought to be, but boldly find a way and a place to express your deepest inner joy to the LORD!  Make a joyful noise unto the LORD!

 

  1. Serve the LORD with Gladness! (Psalm 100:2)

Gladness means joy, pleasure and happiness.   Do nothing for or to the LORD, great or small, out of a spirit of drudgery; a sense of ‘have to’.  When you serve the Lord, do so with a glad heart—and do not be afraid to smile!

Many years ago as a school custodian, I was soon frustrated by the never-ending task of cleaning restrooms for elementary aged children.   One day, while the feeling of defeat was strong, the LORD reminded me that He was right there with me in the task.  Did you know the acoustics of a large tiled restroom makes for awesome worship!     Serve the LORD with gladness!

  1. Come Before His Presence with Singing! (Psalm 100:2).

God invites, calls, knocks at our heart’s door, to urge us into His presence, both privately and in corporate worship.   The first church met daily in the temple, or in homes, for teaching from the Word, fellowship, worship, praise and prayer.  A disciple with a spirit of thanksgiving finds multiple ways of expressing joy-filled gratitude to the LORD.

 

  1. Know the LORD!   (Psalm 100:3)

“Know ye that the LORD, He is God; it is He who hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are His people, and the sheep of His pasture.”   The psalmist calls us to recognize and “know” God, His purposes and His ways.

That word “know” in the Hebrew is “Yada.”   And, one rendering of yada implies a deep, personal, intimate relationship.   Therefore, to “know” God, one must intentionally place himself in a deep, personal, intimate relationship with Him.

The very same idea rings loudly from the lips of Jesus in John 15:5, “I am the Vine, ye are the branches.  He that abideth in Me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit; for without Me ye can do nothing.”

Abide – Live in – Draw from – Deeply rooted in – Know!

We do, or become, these things because we want to; we are deeply grateful to God as our Creator.  He is our Shepherd!  The inner desire of a true disciple of Jesus is to know Him more and more deeply.   Know the LORD!

Make it your resolve to praise and worship God on Thanksgiving and every day through the year!   HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

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Jerry McCullah has been involved in various prayer ministries since 1993 and is currently pastor of Green Valley Bible Chapel of Green Valley, Ca. As CSBC Prayer Consultant, Jerry McCullah is available to assist churches and associations in the training and development of personal prayer and prayer ministries, through consultations, seminars, concerts of prayer, and prayer revivals. As Impact Prayer International President, Jerry McCullah is able to work across denominational and international borders to do the same. Jerry: God has called me to encourage Christians into a more intimate relationship with Jesus Christ; one that is real and personal, which comes through a life of prayer. The world needs praying people! God seeks praying people! I am available to assist your churches in the training and development of a personal prayer life, and church prayer renewal, through seminars, prayer retreats, concerts of prayer, and prayer revivals. My passion is to excite Christians to the possibilities prayer opens up before them. With God all things are possible! Would you give me the honor to work with you to the fulfillment of these words: “Thy Kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven . . . deliver us from the evil one” (Matthew 6:10,13)? Let’s schedule something for your precious people! Contact Info: 15724 Calle Hermosa Green Valley, Ca. 91390 661-270-9671 https://www.facebook.com/jerry.mccullah https://jerrymccullah.wix.com/ipi-prayerconsulting

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