Sunday, November 24, 2013

Thanksgiving


Make a joyful noise to the LORD, all the earth! 
     Serve the LORD with gladness! 
     Come into his presence with singing! 

Know that the LORD, he is God! 
     It is he who made us, and we are his; 
     we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. 

Enter his gates with thanksgiving, 
     and his courts with praise! 
     Give thanks to him; bless his name! 

For the LORD is good; 
     his steadfast love endures forever, 
     and his faithfulness to all generations. 

Psalm 100 

Thankfulness in God's Word is a major theme throughout the Bible. But, the actual first official ceremony of Thanksgiving in the Bible is listed in Leviticus 7:11-15. "And this is the law of the sacrifice of peace offerings that one may offer to the LORD. If he offers it for a thanksgiving, then he shall offer with the thanksgiving sacrifice unleavened loaves mixed with oil, unleavened wafers smeared with oil, and loaves of fine flour well mixed with oil. With the sacrifice of his peace offerings for thanksgiving he shall bring his offering with loaves of leavened bread. And from it he shall offer one loaf from each offering, as a gift to the LORD. It shall belong to the priest who throws the blood of the peace offerings. And the flesh of the sacrifice of his peace offerings for thanksgiving shall be eaten on the day of his offering. He shall not leave any of it until the morning." God ordained a practice of specific instructions to show gratitude. Clearly, gratitude is the door that opens peace in our hearts. God's design for mankind is that giving thanks means receiving peace. Giving thanks in the Bible is the formula to peace because when we are truly thankful to God, we are expressing our trust in Him. 

The theme of thanks in the Bible continues from the commanded thanksgiving sacrifices to the beautifully written Psalms of praise and thanks to our Lord. "Praise the LORD! Oh give thanks to the LORD, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever!" (Psalm 106:1) And, Thanksgiving in the Bible continues to be practiced with Christ, giving thanks at the Lord's supper. Paul wrote many times of his gratitude to Christ and for his gratitude to the followers of Christ. "I thank my God always when I remember you in my prayers." (Philemon 1:4)

To celebrate a day of thanks is to take a day and clearly honor God in praise for the enormous blessings He has bestowed upon us. As Thanksgiving facts reveal a Biblical foundation, we know that this holiday must have more to do with honoring God than any other fact. When we look back at history, thanksgiving in the Bible, and the celebration that first took place in this country, we find that God's people are to turn their hearts to Him, thanking Him for all things in all circumstances. Perhaps one of the most quoted scriptures in the New Testament says it best. "Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." (Philippians 4:4-7)

Let us not only be thankful only one day a year but celebrate the greatness of our God with thanks everyday! I have realized in the last months or so, just how thankful I am to God for all that he has done for me.  I thank Him for my family. I thank Him for my friends, new and old. I thank Him for my wonderful neighbors.  I thank Him for this blog and the many people he has brought into my life because of it.  I'm thankful to those people for sharing with me their hopes and dreams and allowing me to share mine.  I thank Him for the many blessings he has bestowed on me.  I thank God for his wisdom and for showing me, and all of us, His infinite love.  I feel truly blessed, and I thank God for His bounty of blessings.  It's not just one day of the year, I am thankful to God each and every day.

7 comments:

silvereagle said...

Nicely stated...and I also give thanks each morning and again at night just as you do....

JiEL said...

Here in Canada, we celebrate Thanksgivings in October.
But with the same spirit and I can say that I often thank God for the life I had and the one I'm having today.

I'm in good health, have a nice family : father 88yo, mom 86yo, sister and brother and, most of all, my 3 children, 2 boys and one girl, with a grand-son of 1year 10months old who is intelligent and very happy.

I have many good friends that are present in my life in a very positive way: I can rely on them as well as they can do on me.

The only «black part» in my life is that I live alone and that I'd love to share my rich experienced life with a boyfriend....
I miss that «Love» part even if I enjoy my single life but sometime I'd love to be with a sweetheart to share life....

Have a nice Thanksgiving because life and God is beautiful.

(((( HUGS ))))

jlo said...

I marvel at the way God works sometimes. This is the exact same passage that our sermon was about in Church this morning. And then I read it again here. Amazing. With everything that has happened to me this year I am thankful to be Alive. I am also thankful for my family, and all of those that have helped me through this year. I am also thankful for new friends like you who have helped me in my coming to terms with my sexuality. LOVE AND HUGS

Jay M. said...

I try to give thanks on a regular, ongoing basis. One day a year is certainly not often enough to thank God, and others around me for the blessings in my life. I note that the Bible does not limit giving thanks only day a year. That says worlds about the idea of giving those thanks!

Peace <3
Jay

naturgesetz said...

Thanks for a good post. Yes, we should thank God for everything, whether or not it's what we wanted.

That picture is Caravaggio-esque. Beautiful.

Mike said...

So who is the man in the painting? And is the painter Caravaggio? The painting is indeed reminiscent of Caravaggio's "Boy with a Basket of Fruit" (1592/3), but in this one the man is much more handsome and a lot more skin is displayed. Whoever the painter is, the face is magnificent, the throat impressive and the subject's chest (and in particular the nipple) perfect.

JoeBlow said...

Mike, I don't know who he is. I thought his was a photograph made to look like a Carvaggio painting. If it is a painting, it's incredibly life-like.