November 17, 2020 – “Be Ye Thankful!”

And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness.  And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.  Colossians 3:14-16. KJV.

What makes someone the most thankful on Thanksgiving Day?  It isn’t the scrumptious foods, but the joy of loving family and friends to share the day.  It isn’t the ballgames, but the smiles of love our loved ones give. It can be the mountain of dirty dishes and clean-up in the kitchen, for the blessings of the food we eat.

When we know Who to thank first, who gives us Love, Joy, and Peace, we praise His Holy Name.  Not just one day, but every day.

Our God provides everything we have and everything we need.  Look around you as you read this.  What do you see?  Take a deep breath and thank God.  He gave you life. He gives purpose and equips us to carry out His purpose.

Oh, how we long to be doing. My young cousin woke up in the middle of the night crying.  When asked why she cried and woke up the household, her answer astounded everyone.  “There is nothing to do!”  She grew up on a farm, and I know as she grew older, she found many things to do, to serve.

There is something about being thankful to God that creates the desire to sing. I came home from college, just as Mom left her sewing machine, holding an article of clothing she just finished.  She began singing the Doxology: Praise God from whom all blessings flow, Praise Him all creatures here below, Praise Him above ye heavenly hosts, Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost!

When I asked why she was praising God.  Her reply didn’t seem worth a ‘song’ of praise, but to her, it did.  The garment and the thread came out even!  Now I understand that God is in the smallest details of our lives, if we are wise enough to understand.

But, as it is written, “What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love Him,” I Corinthians 2:9.  Now I read and re-read about the beauty of God’s word.  I study the sparrows and see sermons as these most humble of all birds gather.  “For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.” Matthew 18:20.   Why, even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not; you are of more value than many sparrows. Luke 12:7.

From the squirrels I learn to pray and from the stars that shine, I am reminded of the greatness of our Father in Heaven shines forth from His Creation in Genesis 1.

Mother left this earth twenty-two years ago, and yet every day, the sweet memories and teachings she taught me, cause me to give thanks for the things from God’s heart to her heart.

Jesus healed the blind man, and now we sing about his message.  Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound. That saved a wretch like me. I once was lost, but now am found, Was blind but now I see.  When the blind man was asked what Jesus did to him. “I do not know, though I was blind, now I see.” John 9:24-26.

When Jesus was in the boat with his disciples, a great wind arose.  The disciples were afraid and woke Him up.  And He awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.  Mark 4:39.

This is the Son of God, I serve.  This is the Son of God I praise, one with mighty power and He hears our prayers.  He is aware of our tears and angst. You have kept count of my tossings; put my tears in your bottle.  Are they not in your book? Psalm 56:8.

Our Father God is the God of Redemption. There are many examples of His Redemption…in various ways. He made a covenant with Abraham; He saved Noah and his three sons and their sons, giving them instructions to build a boat against the flood that came.  He made dry land across the Red Sea to save the Israelites as they fled from the Egyptian soldiers. Then He sent Jesus!

So that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of His glory. In Him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in Him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of His glory. Ephesians 18:12-14.

Remember when your Mother nudged you and asked, “What do you say?”  There is no end of giving thanks to our Lord for His Goodness each day.  A prayer starter caught my heart – Praise and give thanks to God for hearing our prayers and answering!

See that no one repays anyone evil for evil, but always seek to do good to one another and to everyone.  Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 1 Thessalonians 5:15-18.

Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for His steadfast love endures forever!  Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, whom He has redeemed from trouble and gathered in from the lands, from the east and from the west, from the north and from the south. Let them thank the Lord for His steadfast love, for His wondrous works to the children of man!  For He satisfies the longing soul, and the hungry soul He fills with good things. Psalm 107:1-3, 8-9.

Oh come, let us sing to the Lord; let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation!  Let us come into His presence with thanksgiving; let us make a joyful noise to Him with songs of praise!  For the Lord is a great God, and a great King above all gods. In His hand are the depths of the earth; the heights of the mountains are His also.  The sea is His, for He made it, and his Hands formed the dry land. Oh come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the Lord, our Maker!  For He is our God, and we are the people of His pasture, and the sheep of His hand. Psalm 95:1-3, 4-7.

What is gratitude? It is the act of thankfulness? Gratitude is the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness.

It is only with gratitude that life becomes rich.” — Dietrich Bonhoeffer