In just a few days many people in our nation will observe Thanksgiving. The first Thanksgiving happened in the early autumn of 1621. Only 53 pilgrims, about half their number, survived their first harsh winter in America. They decided to celebrate and give thanks to God for their successful harvest and their survival. Chief Massasoit and 90 native Americans’ came to celebrate for three days.
In Psalm 92:1-4 we read, “It is good to give thanks to the LORD and to sing praises to Your name, O Most High. To declare Your lovingkindness in the morning, and Your faithfulness every night. On an instrument of ten strings, on the lute, and on the harp, with harmonious sound. For You, LORD, have made me glad through Your work; I will triumph in the works of your hands.”
I love the very first phase of this Psalm – “It is good to give thanks to the LORD.” The word as used here speaks of verbal, public acknowledgment of God’s goodness. (Years ago, when churches had evening services, it was a common practice to have a time for testimonies, and these were usually times when people would stand and praise God for some answer to prayer or special blessing they had received. Those were special times of ways that God was working in the lives of His people.)
In Psalm 107:21-22, we read, “Oh, that men would give thanks to the LORD for His goodness, and for His wonderful works to the children of men! Let them sacrifice the sacrifices of thanksgiving, and declare His works with rejoicing.”
The Apostle Paul in Colossians 3:17 wrote,” And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the LORD JESUS, giving thanks to God through Him.”
In 1 Thessalonians 1:2-3, we find Paul thanking God for the people in that church – “We give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers, remembering without ceasing your work of faith, a labor of love and patience of hope in our LORD JESUS CHRIST in the sight of our God and Father”.
I want you to know that I thank God for all of you who are a part of Ventura Jubilee Fellowship. You refresh me and my family in so many ways. Your prayers, friendship, meals brought to the house, the celebration of special events in our lives, your encouragement, and your vision for this ministry locally and globally, bless me continually. I praise God for your love for God’s word.
The word, “Thanksgiving” actually comes from an old Anglo-Saxon word that meant, “Thanks – living”. In other words, the person who is truly thankful to God shows it by the way he/she lives. It is the fulfillment of what Paul was talking about in 1 Corinthians 10:31 – “Therefore, whatever you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all to the glory of God”. We are to show our thanks to God by the way we live, to bring honor and glory to Him. Are you living a “Thanks-living Life”?
It is obvious when you read the many verses about giving thanks to God for all He has done for us, that we are to be verbal and vocal in thanking Him and telling others.
As we approach this year’s day of Thanksgiving, I want to ask you to join me in giving thanks to God in the following way. I want you to think of one thing you are truly thankful for. Then I want you to send that to me, either by email or personal note. I look forward to getting these nuggets of thanks from you.
In His love,