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 three with a reminder that living with a heart of thanksgiving should lead us to give abundantly.
How To Give THANKS:
“Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.”
2 Peter 1:2 (NIV)
“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”
John 10:10 (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:
- Abundance: 2 Peter 1:2, John 10:10 — Does anything symbolize the American Thanksgiving Day gathering any more than a table overflowing with every variety of food imaginable — a table of Abundance? Jesus said He came to not only give us life, but to give us life abundantly! Do you give thanks with abundance, or just enough to get by? When we want to celebrate or to remember great things, we would likely never ask how little can I do and still look good. No, we would examine our resources of every kind to determine how abundantly can I celebrate to make my joy known to all. When we want to express deep-felt thankfulness it ought to be the same way — not what do I have to do but how much can I do. Your generosity overflows when you give thanks with abundance.
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.