Thanksgiving. What is the first thing that comes to mind when you read or hear that word? Is it a day, a family meal, or perhaps a specific menu of foods? Is it an attitude that comes and goes based on how you feel? Or is it a way of life which flows from you regardless of your circumstances? These devotions I will be sharing this month were originally written throughout November 2019 and then edited/updated during the summer of 2020 for a 31 day devotional journal, “The Heart of Thanksgiving: Living a Life of Thankfulness”. I will be re-sharing them here this month to encourage each of us to pursue a greater spirit of thankfulness in all we do.
Day thirty-one in the devotional is the outline of a Thanksgiving sermon I shared in 2019 titled, “How To Give THANKS”. I’ll finish out this series of posts with a week focused on the points from that sermon. Here is point one with a reminder that living with a heart of thanksgiving should lead us to give “turkey”.
How To Give THANKS:
“We have much to say about this, but it is hard to explain because you are slow to learn. In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again. You need milk, not solid food! Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.”
Hebrews 5:11-14 (NIV)
This version of “How To Give THANKS” is based around a “made-for-the-movies” stereotypical family thanksgiving day. Here is one of the six things I think we can learn about giving thanks from a traditional Thanksgiving Day gathering:
We give thanks to God, and to others, when we give:
- Turkey: Hebrews 5:11-14 — I know, you probably have the same reaction that the congregation did this morning — “What? Did he say what I thought I heard? He didn’t just say turkey, did he?”. Yep, I said turkey! When you think of Thanksgiving, for most people, the first thing that comes to mind is turkey. It is the traditional main course, the very center and substance to the meal which surrounds it. When I say, “give turkey”, that is what I mean — give thanks with substance and meat at its very heart. Don’t settle for simply mouthing the words thank you when you can give thanks with turkey — with real depth and meaning behind it. This is a thanks that settles in and satisfies the deepest reaches of a person’s being.
As we prepare to wrap up a month pursuing a “Heart of Thanksgiving”, I pray that each of us would continually be reminded of all that we are thankful for. As you pray, ask God to help you live a life of thanksgiving every day. Pray that your representation of Jesus would show a thankful heart to the people around you. And thank you for your love, prayers, and encouragement.