The Pryor Times

November 21, 2012

Thoughts on Thanksgiving

On The Go

Evangelist, Chouteau Hills Church of Christ
Steve Lay

— It is that time of year again when families get together and enjoy a huge turkey dinner.  It is also an opportunity to take time out of our busy schedules and not only count our blessings, but thank God for each one of them.  The celebration of Thanksgiving can be traced back to our Pilgrim fathers who thanked God for the blessings they had received.  It is important for us to maintain this spirit of thanksgiving as we take inventory of the tremendous blessings we have received from God.

We should be thankful for the gift of His dear Son (John 3:16).  What greater gift could be given?  John the Baptist spoke of Jesus as “the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29).  We would have no hope without Jesus Christ.

The Bible tells us in Romans 3:23, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”  And Romans 6:23 says, “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”  W e can be thankful that Jesus voluntarily died in our place.  Paul pointed out to the Christians in Rome that sometimes an individual might die for a righteous person, but Christ died for us while we were still sinners (Romans 5:6-8).  That was a tremendous demonstration of His great love for us.

The thoughtful person will be thankful that God is always available to hear prayers.  We never have to worry that God will not be there or that His line will be busy.  Jesus spoke a parable in Luke 18, teaching that men always ought to pray.  And Paul wrote in I Thessalonians 5:17, “Pray without ceasing.”  God never sleeps, nor is He ever too busy to hear our prayers.  He is always available when we need Him.                          

One of the greatest blessings for Christians is the church.  Acts 2:47 teaches us that God adds to His church daily those who are being saved.  So the church consists of all those who are saved.  Since God adds the saved to His church, the church must be important.  Its importance can also be seen in the dear price that was paid for the church.  Jesus purchased it with His own blood (Acts 20:28).  Paul tells us in Ephesians 5 that Christ died for the church so that He might present it as a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that it should be holy and without blemish.

We can be thankful that Christ makes it possible to be victorious over sin and death.  In I Corinthians 15:55-57, Paul wrote, “O death, where is your sting?  O Hades, where is your victory?  The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law.  But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”

We should be thankful for all things.  Even adversities and setbacks can bring blessings to us.  For one thing, they cause us to truly evaluate ourselves.  That is why Paul wrote in I Thessalonians 5:18, “In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”  Take inventory of your blessings, and be thankful for them.

Our thanksgiving should never just be seasonal.  We should always abound in the grace of giving thanks.  Thanks should be heard from our lips and seen in our lives at all times.  We have so much for which to be thankful!  Remember that God gives us every good and perfect gift (James 1:17).  Hebrews 13:15 says, “Let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name.”

I hope everyone has a very Happy Thanksgiving and is able to spend some quality time with family and loved ones.  But also remember to spend some time thanking God for all of His blessings.  Determine that you will not just do this one day each year, but that you will be thankful every day of the year.