Always Give Thanks – Even After Thanksgiving

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Pastor BillThis past week we celebrated “Thanksgiving”. For most of us it was a time of turkey, feasting and football. Across our country parades were held and black Friday followed. Some stores are now opening late on Thanksgiving Day and I have even heard people use the term “Black Thursday”. The Christmas decorations seem to go up earlier and earlier each year. But Thanksgiving Day should not be the only day of giving thanks.

Psalm 100:1-5 says; “Shout with joy to the Lord, O earth! Worship the Lord with gladness. Come before him, singing with joy. Acknowledge that the Lord is God! He made us, and we are his people, the sheep of his pasture. Enter his gates with thanksgiving; go into his courts with praise. Give thanks to him and bless his name. For the Lord is good. His unfailing love continues forever, and his faithfulness continues to each generation.”

When this psalm was written, there was no such thing as “Thanksgiving” day. This psalm was written long before there were pilgrims in America, long before turkeys were stuffed and so were the people eating them. This psalm was written long before America became a country, but it is plain that this is a psalm of thanksgiving. Thanksgiving does not need to be centered around some special date we set on a calendar.

Thanksgiving is a matter of action and of the heart. Most of us would agree that thanksgiving should be a matter of the heart, but is it also a matter of action? Yes that’s what the Bible tells us in Psalm 100. It is full of action words. Words like: Shout – Serve – Come – Know – Enter – Give – Bless. All of these words are calling us to do something; to be thankful, not just with words but also in action. God calls us to be actively involved in giving thanks to Him, no matter what the date is on the calendar. In other words, thanksgiving continues on long past the fourth Thursday of November. It is what we need to do on a daily basis.

“Shout joyfully to the Lord, all the earth.” Psalm 100:1. God has made us a people of emotion and we should get excited about what God is doing in our lives. God has been working in our lives every day even if we don’t notice or realize it. He gives us the strength to get out of bed each morning, the beat of our hearts and the breath that is in our lungs. All good gifts have come from Him. Isn’t that enough reason to shout to the Lord? He is the creator and the sustainer. He is God and he is mighty and magnificent.

If we would start counting all the blessing God has given us we would never cease counting. Here is a poem I ran across this week. It goes like this:

Count your blessings instead of your crosses;
Count your gains instead of your losses.
Count your joys instead of your woes;
Count your friends instead of your foes.
Count your smiles instead of your tears;
Count your courage instead of your fears.
Count your full years instead of your lean;
Count your kind deeds instead of your mean.
Count your health instead of your wealth;
Count on God instead of yourself.

When all else fails, count on God. He is a friend who will never let us down.

Sing to the Lord a new song; let us tell Him how thankful we are for all the blessings He has given.
“Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise.” Psalm 100:4. The most important thing to see in this verse is that when we give true thanksgiving it is to be in the presence of God. He is the object of our worship and He should be the object of our thanks. Thanksgiving does not require bounty but it does require recognition of who God is. True thanksgiving occurs in the atmosphere of worshiping in the presence of God. Everything that we are or that we possess is because of God. When we understand this we can clearly and totally say, “Thank you, God.”

God’s blessings are all around us. Let us remember to give thanks for them each day.

We invite you to join us Sunday mornings at First Baptist Church, 8:00 a.m. and 10:45 a.m. We are located at 700 Hardy Way. For more information, transportation or to request prayer call 702-346-7061 and please visit our website at fbcmesquite.com

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