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 six with a reminder that living with a heart of thanksgiving should lead us to a greater practice of using words and actions which are sweet.
How To Give THANKS:
“Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.“
Proverbs 16:24 (NIV)
This version of “How To Give THANKS” is based around a “made-for-the-movies” stereotypical family thanksgiving day. Here is the final 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:
- Sweets: Proverbs 16:24 — Finally, the part that no one really needs but no Thanksgiving Day gathering is complete without — Sweets! Take away the pie, the ice cream, the cookies, the fudge, the chocolate, the candies, and the other desserts and what do you have? You have one very unhappy and disappointed family! Sweets are those over-and-above extras in life that shout “thank you” in ways that little else can. When we really want to give thanks, we adopt an “and then some” attitude. We do what is expected and required . . . and then some. We walk the extra mile. We take the extra time. We give the extra attention. With our actions we say loudly, “you’re worth it!”. Just as dessert completes the Thanksgiving Day gathering, our expressions of gratitude are completed when we give thanks with sweets.
So, how are you at giving THANKS? I pray that as you gather with others on Thanksgiving day, and any other day, you would give “Turkey”, give Humor, give Abundance, give Naps, give Kindness, and give Sweets!
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.