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Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Taking Thankfulness One Step Further

Several of my friends are doing an exercise in thankfulness this month. It’s November, and each day, they post something they’re thankful for on social media. I was almost laughing the other day, as many of my friends were thankful for their husbands. I got tickled because each said her husband was the best in the world.

Well, I won’t differ, as that’s the way it should be.

It cracks me up, because the secret they don’t know is that I have the best husband in the world! Shhhhhhhh!

Silliness aside, I am sincerely glad that my friends value their husbands. It’s great they’re thankful for their men. (And, yes, I really and truly think mine is the best, too.)

Thankfulness is a habit we all could cultivate. The seeds can be planted this month. Concentrate on being grateful each day.

And, just maybe, we can move from being thankful—which is good—to actually praising God—which is even better.

Thankfulness: naming the things we love. Counting our blessings. Looking at our lives and being grateful. That’s the first step.

Praise: thanking the Source of the things we love. Counting our blessings and thanking the Blesser. Looking at everything God brings into our lives and praising Him, even when we might not understand His doings. That’s the step further.

I counted seventy references in the Bible to “giving thanks” to God and three or four saying something like “thanks be to God.” Did you ever think of Thanksgiving as being giving (a gift being given) thanks? It is something you choose—just like a gift—and you give it. Thanksgiving is a choice. It’s a choice to thank God, praise God.

It isn’t only gratefulness. It’s being grateful to God.

I find it interesting that there was a special “sacrifice of thanksgiving” in the Old Testament Law. (Leviticus 7:12-13, 29) David and Amos both speak of this. (Psalm 116:17; Amos 4:5) It was a literal sacrifice, but even today, thanksgiving takes effort.

It’s a gift.

When you give a gift to someone, for a birthday, or for Christmas, or for whatever reason, you usually pick carefully a gift that suits the person. If he likes to read, a book. If she likes to decorate, something that goes with her house. If the couple likes to try different foods, a gourmet tray. You suit the gift to the receiver.

How do we give the sacrifice of thanks to God? How do we suit thanks to God? We praise Him! Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name (Psalm 100:4).

Then, we wrap the present up. We want to make it pretty for the person who will receive it. God loves the Name of His beloved Son. We thank God in Jesus’ Name. Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ (Ephesians 5:20).

And for what occasion do we give our present of thanks? Look at the verse above. For all things. Now, read this verse. In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you (1 Thessalonians 5:18). For all things, and in everything. Giving thanks always . . . unto God.

Praise God.
Praise ye the LORD. Praise God in his sanctuary:
praise him in the firmament of his power.
Praise him for his mighty acts:
praise him according to his excellent greatness.
Praise him with the sound of the trumpet:
praise him with the psaltery and harp.
Praise him with the timbrel and dance:
praise him with stringed instruments and organs.
Praise him upon the loud cymbals:
praise him upon the high sounding cymbals.
Let every thing that hath breath praise the LORD.
Praise ye the LORD (Psalm 150).

This Thanksgiving month, let’s go one step further than being thankful. Let’s praise the Lord! Give Him the gift of thanksgiving.


  1. I believe it was at camp one year that it was explained that the Hebrew word for "worship" included the idea of thankfulness, i.e. you can't worship God unless you are thankful for something.

    1. Very good, Michael. Thank you for sharing. God bless.

  2. I've wondered whom lost people are thankful to. Probably some have a general belief in God and acknowledge Him as the giver of all they have. But it is kind of odd to hear others talk about being thankful without expressing their thanks to the Giver. I'm picturing a birthday party where the guest of honor talks about being thankful for this and that gift without ever acknowledging the ones who gave them.

    1. Yes, it seems strange, doesn't it, that one could be grateful without thinking of to whom. Thanksgiving should be all about the Giver and not about the turkey.

  3. Me encanta, aunque no siempre nos acordemos de ser agradecidos por todo, es bueno serlo.

    1. Sí, pues es importanted agradecerle a Dios además de ser agradecidos. Gracias por tu comentario, Tere. ¡Que el Señor te bendiga!


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