The word itself brings to mind many things. Often, It seems that the true meaning of thanksgiving is missed as everyone rushes past it in preparation for Christmas. Thanksgiving is more than a holiday. It is an attitude and a function of worship. In fact, for the Christian, everyday should be thanksgiving day. A day of giving thanks to God. The Scripture teaches us that we should enter the presence of the Lord with Thanksgiving.
Psalm 100 reads,
Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth!
Serve the Lord with gladness!
Come into his presence with singing!
Know that the Lord, he is God!
It is he who made us, and we are his;
we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.
Enter his gates with thanksgiving,
and his courts with praise!
Give thanks to him; bless his name!
For the Lord is good;
his steadfast love endures forever,
and his faithfulness to all generations.
Thanksgiving: it is an attitude of gratitude. It is foundational to the Christian life. Over 135 times in Scripture we are exhorted to give thanks unto the Lord.
The Nature of Thanksgiving is defined as an attitude of gratitude. It is to be a way of life. Since it is a way of life – what are we to be thankful for? Thank God for who He is and who we are through him!
Concerning Thanksgiving let me give you three conclusions concerning Thanksgiving::
1.) The Act of Thanksgiving is Vital
The word of God commands it. God desires that we give thanks and be a thankful people. As we study the Scriptures, we learn that Praise and Worship comes through Thanksgiving. There are principles we need to know related to Thanksgiving.
1) There is no true prayer that is effective except through Thanksgiving.
2) There is no true peace and contentment except with Thanksgiving.
2.) The Absence of Thanksgiving is Vile
The sin of an unthankful heart is a sin without excuse. Unthankfulness is disobedience to God’s Word and detrimental to God’s creation. Unthankful people are unhappy people.
3.) The Art of Thanksgiving must be Visible
The Bible doesn’t teach lip-service thanks but demonstrable thanks. A true Biblical expression of Thanksgiving is one that costs something. One person said it this way: Thanksgiving, to be truly Thanksgiving, is first thanks, then giving.
We are not saved to sit, but saved to serve find your place of ministry and get involved in service.
If you meditate on Psalm 100 you will notice that it is a personal passage of Scripture. The Psalmist refers to God a total of 16 times in just five verses. The focus is on Him! The lesson to apply is this: when we focus on God, when we praise Him, then we can forget about ourselves – not to the neglect of details but to overcome our selfishness. When this nation was founded, it was founded upon the principles of religious freedom and honor to God. But over time, in the midst of our prosperity we have turned from praising God to praising ourselves. We as a people must return to giving thanks to our God for he is great and greatly to be praised.
Thanksgiving can be expressed in our worship, in our work and in our witness. True thankfulness of heart is expressed in obedience to Christ, but also in serving the bride of Christ, the church. How would you respond today?