Lift up a great shout of joy to the Lord!
Go ahead and do it—everyone, everywhere!
As you serve him, be glad and worship him.
Sing your way into his presence with joy!
And realize what this really means—
We have the privilege of worshiping the Lord, our God.
For he is our Creator and now we belong to him!
We are the people of his pleasure.
You can pass through his open gates with the password of praise.
Come right into his presence with thanksgiving.
Come bring your thank-offering to him
And affectionately bless his beautiful name!
Thanksgiving is one of my favorite times of the year and I couldn’t be more excited for all the activities that will take place this week with friends and family. There are so many tasks on the to-do list to get ready for it all, and of course lots of prep to ensure that the food is perfection. Somehow I always find myself running to the store last minute to get those missed ingredients and although it can get crazy, it is all part of the fun of preparing for a big feast! At my house it is always a delicate juggling act having 4 kids, trying to set the house for guests, and preventing our little ones from undoing all the progress!
While prepping today and doing all the last minute running around, I have a sense of the Spirit inviting all of us into a deeper understanding of thanksgiving. Like anything in life, to grow and get better at something we must practice, and thanksgiving is no different. If we desire to be thankful it is simple, start being thankful. Don’t worry about feelings because they will catch up as we declare the blessings of God and begin to practice the act of being thankful. It really doesn’t take much to start softening the heart and walking in an attitude of gratitude.
Take a moment to really think about the blessings that God has brought into your life. The blessings are in the form of the people that you are surrounded with each and every day. Each precious life of a child, brother, sister, cousin, dad, mom, grandparents, friends and more, impact our lives and forever change us. Too many times we are unaware of how blessed we are by the people God has put with us. I admit that in the daily grind of life and trying to keep up with kids, work, and relationships it’s so easy to overlook the multiple blessings that God has so graciously blessed me with.
Today the Spirit invites and reminds us how much Jesus has done and how much grace He has poured out. Thanksgiving is so close to the Holy Spirit’s heart because thanksgiving partners with Him and walks us right into the presence of the Father. Thanksgiving is not only an attitude it is a Kingdom principle. It’s not just a holiday on earth it’s a daily part of heaven as angels and saints declare who He is, what He has done and what He will continue to do on earth and in heaven. The perspective of heaven is that thanksgiving equals presence. It is actually the front door to heaven on earth. With simple declarations of thanksgiving you can actually change the atmosphere with your family this year. No need to stand on the table and shout, rather just release thanksgiving in your heart by practicing what heaven does every day; give thanks! Giving thanks is both an action and a position. We speak thanks with our mouth and with how we treat others and this is how we are to share our gratitude to God. Not only do we use words but actions as well. Nothing speaks louder than generosity when it comes to giving thanks. Take a position of thanksgiving during this time of family get togethers, so that the daily activates become thankful expressions. Our position takes place in the heart and having a revelation and understanding that Jesus gave it all will make all the difference in your day. His generosity demonstrated how thankful He is for all of us. The Father and the kingdom of heaven spoke loud and clear as they sent off the Son to invade earth on the greatest rescue mission ever. Believe it or not God gives thanks for you and you’ll find yourself in His presence as you do the same towards Him.
Take time this week to “give” thanks. Be generous, be joyful, be loving and enjoy the blessings of God. Even if the turkey is dry, the kids are going crazy, and your football game got replaced by Home Alone 2, still then practice thanksgiving!
Blessings, Pastor Tim