It’s Thanksgiving this week. This is the holiday that we have set aside specifically to commemorate as a nation the giving of thanks to God for the blessings we enjoy. This can seem intimidating though. Sometimes we don’t know where to start in giving thanks, and so we just give thanks for what we think of. The problem with that is that we are limited in what we think of, and we can feel unsatisfied in giving thanks only for that which is on our minds presently. It can seem shallow and redundant. Instead, let this Thanksgiving be different as you learn something and then return thanks for it. Here is how that can happen this week.
In order to give thanks for the blessings we receive from God, we need to learn what all is bound up in them. We do this by reading His word to us in the Holy Scriptures. While all Scripture is inspired and profitable, there are certain passages that lay out clearly our spiritual blessings as believers. Here are a few:
As you read your chosen passage (or passages) receive what the Scripture says about God’s actions toward you. Pick out one or two phrases or verses that stuck out to you and then think about them. Apply what you learn to yourself. Do you believe it? Do you receive it? The Scriptures are not an old, distant reality. They are relevant for you, and they relate to you. Receive them as such.
Finally, after reading and receiving the text you have read as a blessing from God as well as the blessings laid out in the passage,return thanks to God for what you’ve learned. Thank Him for it in prayer, praise Him for it in song, or glorify Him for it in conversation with others.
I pray you have a great Thanksgiving this week, and I pray that you learn something new or call to mind something you’ve known for years as you meditate on the blessings God has given you by reading His word. Then let your learning blossom into worship. To God be the glory, and Happy Thanksgiving.
We are well aware by now of the severity of Hurricane Sandy and the devastation it has brought to millions of people along the East Coast. During something like this, many people want to help out but often don't know where to begin or how to help. Here are two ideas:
1. Pray. Pray for the safety of those who have been displaced and the comfort of those who are grieving. Pray that this will tenderize their hearts to be drawn to Christ. Pray that gospel-bearing believers will cross their paths and explain to them the greatest news in the midst of terribly saddening news. Pray that God would receive the glory due Him through this.
2. Give. Funds are set up to help those who have been affected by Sandy. You can donate through the American Red Cross here. You can also donate through the Disaster Relief of the Southern Baptist Convention here. Either way, people are going to be helped because you gave even a little. Pray for them, but also give to alleviate their suffering.