Ps. 106.1 - Praise ye the LORD. O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good: for his mercy endureth forever.
Ps. 107.1 - O give thanks unto the LORD, for he is good: for his mercy endureth forever.
Ps. 118.1 - O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good: because his mercy endureth forever.
Ps. 118.29 - O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good: for his mercy endureth forever.
Ps. 136.1 - O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good: for his mercy endureth forever.
Ps. 136.2 - O give thanks unto the God of gods: for his mercy endureth forever.
Ps. 136.3 - O give thanks to the Lord of lords: for his mercy endureth forever.
Thanksgiving has been an age-long and vital principle in an effective relationship between two or more parties. Ingratitude gives off the aura of an effort being taken for granted, and nobody wants to put in efforts that will be counted as insignificant. This is usually because, as humans, we tend to see whatever we do as an extension of ourselves; therefore, people's reactions to those things are usually taken as their reactions to us. While it is self-sabotaging to see your efforts as the determinant of how valuable you are, let us see exactly how the act of Thanksgiving affects our relationship with God. It is an important place to identify why you do what you do; why exactly should you celebrate “The Thanksgiving Holiday” every fourth Thursday in November and make it a consistent part of your relationship with God?
Why Celebrate the Thanksgiving Holiday?Thanksgiving as a holiday is based on the colonial Pilgrim’s 1621 harvest meal. The holiday is a time for football, but majorly for feasting and family. There are many myths about this holiday because it is an invented tradition that doesn’t originate with any one event. Thus, it is better to leave all the unnecessary details in history and celebrate this time with people you care about because life is fickle, and the memories we share do more than connect us. They serve as a valid reason to remain irrevocable devoted to one another; the memories validate the person in our mind and steer us to sacrifice for one another.
In addition, the Holy God of the bible plays emphasis on family and celebrating together. Christianity, as we have it now, is in itself the establishment of God's family on Earth. Jesus, on his resurrection, said to Martha: “I go unto my God; your God. I go unto my Father; your Father.” (John 20:17) Celebrating with family then becomes a core aspect of how God wants us to live. The natural family being a prototype of the family-hood in Christianity, should also be celebrated the same way God has showered his love upon his church.
Why Live a Life of Thanksgiving?What has God done to deserve our praise? Well, let's just continue our explanation of the family he has brought us into and the added benefits of this transformation. Our emphasis will be on this new life that Christ brought because it remains the greatest work God has ever done, and it is the best thing to ever happen to humanity. We dare to say that the resurrection of Christ from the dead and the establishment of God's church on earth is the highest display of his power, and it is that invention that can never be improved upon. Paul says in Ephesians 1 that the power of God at work in the church is like “the working of his mighty strength; which He wrought in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and set Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, far above all principalities, powers, dominion, and names not in only this present world but also in the world to come.”
So, the idea is that if God was dead on the cross of Calvary, then it would take all of God to resurrect from the dead. After all, when you dig a hole in the ground, it will take the same amount of soil that was removed to fill it back, and even more in some cases. Therefore, if death means empty, it will require the extent of life drained to resurrect. This is why Christ's resurrection is the highest display of God's power. Now, if this power is at work in every man that believes the gospel? Then every man should reckon this reality as his most important reality and be eternally grateful for it. Moreover, what Christ has done in the church puts the church above everything in this world and even the world to come – it puts you above every opposing condition. So, tell me, what can be done to improve on what supersedes any invention, no matter how great?
People thank God for material things like a house, a car, or a better job; sound health; and while all these things are very important and we must be grateful for them, our emphasis should remain on death, burial, resurrection, and ascension of Christ into heaven which is consequently the indwelling of God’s Spirit in our heart. (John 14: 23; Romans 8:9)
Being a part of God's family by believing the gospel (John 3:16) translates us from darkness and puts us in the kingdom of God's marvelous light. The world is in so much disarray because humanity is, by default, in a state of death and perpetual destruction. By Adam's sin, sin entered the world and death by sin. It is easy to say, “why should I suffer for Adam's sin,” but how about you answer this question instead: “why refuse the sacrifice of Christ?” Today, the law of the Spirit and life is at work in every man that believes the gospel, and the effect of Adam's disobedience and unbelief is taken away. Hallelujah!
What Does Thanksgiving Do?People think Thanksgiving will make God like and bless them more, but you didn't even do anything to deserve the blessing of his Spirit and salvation. Hardly shall any man die for his friends, but God commended his love towards us, such that while we still sinners – and by extension, the object of his wrath – Christ died for us (the ungodly).
If you didn’t deserve the greatest show of God’s power and love, how can Thanksgiving now help you deserve the material things that even unbelievers have? We all must answer this question. If God will remove his love over me because I don’t say thank you, then I can say his actions of love were not self-meditated by him. However, the Holy Bible says that God works everything in conformity to the counsel of his own will. (Ephesians 1: 11) God does what he wants, and his choice of blessing us had been determined even before the world began!
Thanksgiving does not make God bigger or more merciful to us. What Thanksgiving does is make God bigger and more merciful in our minds. As we stay there in humble adoration of his love and might power, the details of his graciousness become evident and more real to us. This, in turn, gives us a clearer understanding of who He is, and we can, with boldness, approach the throne of grace to receive help in times of need. We can declare the victory of God over every opposing circumstance, and we will enjoy the decisive victory of his compelling power in those times. We will because we have received his perspective towards us, people, things, places, and occurrences while we gave thanks. Remember, his mercies endureth forever; even the one we have received as sons.
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