A Heart of Thanksgiving
Psalm 100:4-5 (ESV)
“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.”
Thanksgiving, our nation’s special holiday, is once again upon us. This is the time when we look forward to gathering together with family and friends to enjoy great food and fellowship. We do this every year as a national holiday to celebrate that first Thanksgiving the Pilgrims shared with their Native American neighbors.
What is missing so often in our celebration is the reason for that first celebration; giving God praise and thanks for his goodness. What delivered that small body of believers there in Plymouth through unimaginable hardships and suffering was a spirit of praise and thanksgiving to God.
There are tremendous benefits for having a heart of thanksgiving. Giving thanks to God is a way of expressing our love for Him. When we regularly give thanks, we will experience more fully God’s love for us. This is all part of worship and a key component of a strong relationship with our Heavenly Father.
In Luke chapter 17, we are given the account of Jesus healing ten lepers, but only one returned to give thanks. Scripture does not tell us why the other nine who were also healed did not return to thank Jesus. We do know that they missed out on experiencing a close and personal encounter with the one whose love for them produced a miraculous healing. Jesus instructed the ten to go and show themselves to the priests, they obeyed and then they were healed. Their obedience produced the miracle. The miracle produced gratitude and the one who expressed his thanks experienced worship. His worship grew his personal relationship with Jesus.
This week as we celebrate Thanksgiving, let us remember to spending time each day to thank God for His love and goodness. That will draw us closer to our Creator and cause us to experience His tremendous love.