Recently I opened an email that came from a popular cooking newsletter. In the subject line, it said, “Thanksgiving Essentials.” They were trying to convince me that their recipes were essential for a great Thanksgiving. And if I’d just buy their gravy separator I’d have no grease in my gravy. I don’t plan on having grease in my gravy, I’ll probably open a jar! They also tried to convince me that their meat knife set and meat thermometer were absolutely essential to have the perfect turkey. And then I needed to buy their beautiful platter to set it on, it’s essential you know. I just cringed at the whole thing and hit delete.
Thanksgiving is a time we feast on food together, but what is the reason? Is it to impress? Is it merely because it’s a tradition? The only thing that is essential to Thanksgiving is thanks giving. Unfortunately, we’ve become so wealthy, so spoiled by the blessings we’ve received from God that we seem to have lost sight of what the celebration is truly about.
I love the old praise song from the early 90’s – “Give Thanks”. “Give Thanks with a grateful heart, give thanks to the Holy One, give thanks, because He’s given Jesus Christ His Son – And now, let the weak say ‘I am strong’, let the poor say ‘I am rich’, because of what the Lord has done for us.”
In my travels over the years, I have been moved to tears as I have watched and listened to some of the poorest of the poor from around the world sing this song with gratitude in their hearts, firmly believing they are blessed with every spiritual blessing.
Dr. Billy Graham wrote, “Ingratitude is a sin, just as surely as is lying or stealing or immorality or any other sin condemned by the Bible.” He then went on to quote Romans 1:21, which is a strong indictment against rebellious humanity.
“For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. they refuse to honor God or give thanks, thus He darkens their hearts.” Romans 1:21
Dr. Graham continued, “Nothing turns us into bitter, selfish, dissatisfied people more quickly than an ungrateful heart. And nothing will do more to restore contentment and the joy of our salvation than a true spirit of thankfulness.”
As we go about each day we’ve been given, might I suggest we ask ourselves these three questions:
– Am I humbly grateful or am I grumbly hateful?
– What if, at the end of the day, the Lord told me I could only keep what I’ve thanked Him for today, what would I have?
– What do I want to teach the children in my life about being thankful? Am I modeling that? Am I giving them opportunity everyday to verbalize what they want to thank God for today?
The only essential I’m concerned with this Thanksgiving, and every day, is the condition of my heart.
“Through Him then, let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that give thanks to His name.” Hebrews 13:15
Lord, I want it to have a humble, grateful heart. Thank You for all You’ve done for me and all You are.
Your Humbly Grateful Daughter,
- Love Is….Us
- What are you thankful for?