Bible sunlight

In making arrangements with our gang for Thanksgiving Cheryl called our meal a “Thankful Dinner.” I like that a lot.

We need Thanksgiving. A Thanksgiving dinner thankfully makes us full and sleepy, and a life of thanksgiving eliminates pride. Funny how the Scriptures talk so much about humility and thankfulness.

This paragraph is personal. What is a dominant subject for thanksgiving for you this year? A relentless thought for me is for my wife. Life with her gets better and better. I was with a group of folks recently where the question was asked, “What are you thankful for this year?” I agreed with others before me about some things we share and I then said I was thankful for my wife of 45 years. Later, it struck me how many were without a loving, healthy, growing, fun, Christ-centered partner. I am one of the most favored men on earth.

Ephesians 5: 17-21 caught my attention this holiday:

Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit, addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart, giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ.

• “Always.” Thankfulness is a fundamental, continual habit.

• “To God the Father.” Thankfulness is at the heart of and leads to worship. Our worship life is central to living well.

• “Psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs.” The motivation and, often, content of thankfulness comes from Scripture and songs about them. For me, the richest spiritual treasure in personal worship has been the Psalms. Idea: Purchase a Psalter and use it in daily personal worship. Overlap the passage with the acrostic A.C.T.S. (Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, Supplication). In response, pray and write all over the page!

• “Our Lord Jesus Christ” and “out of reverence for Christ.” Thankfulness ultimately is motivated by our love for Jesus Christ. Read Colossians 1:15-20. Everything begins and ends with Jesus Christ. He is our pleasure and joy and all. We do not have a generic religion that gives casual mention of a generic god. Our God is Jesus Christ. Jesus said, “Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God, believe also in Me.”

• “Therefore do not be foolish.” A lifestyle of thankfulness is key to being wise (Cf. Psalm 90:12).

• “Be filled with the Spirit.” There is no joy without the Holy Spirit. To be ungrateful, critical, complaining, and to compare our situation with others demonstrates we are not filled with the Holy Spirit.

Thanksgiving is early this year but thankfulness is always in season—a daily celebration of the gifts of God and most of all, Jesus Christ. Do whatever it takes to intimately know Him this Thanksgiving.