Jump Start # 2478
2 Corinthians 5:9 “Therefore also we have as our ambition, whether at home or absent, to be pleasing to Him.”
The thanksgiving holiday is over. The turkey is eaten. The football games have been played. Much of the company has returned home. It’s time for the world to move on to “Black Friday,” and Christmas. Thanksgiving will be shelved until next year, that is, except for the people of God. For us, everyday is thanksgiving. Every day is an opportunity to realize that we are a blessed people.
This week we have been focusing upon the four aspects of Thankfulness. SAY IT; PRAY IT; SING IT. There remains one final touch and that is to SHOW IT.
Throughout the Bible we are taught to be proper stewards of what God has given us. This is one of the best ways we show our thankfulness to God. We live lives that express joy for salvation and respect for who He is and what He has done. To say, I’m thankful to God, but I’m too busy to honor Him in worship, just doesn’t fly. Imagine giving someone a gift. They open that gift and say, “Thank you.” Then, they take that gift and put it in the trash. How insulted you would be. How upset you would be. Should it be any different with the Lord?
Here are ways that we show our thankfulness:
First, we take care of ourselves. Yes, right in the middle of the holidays, comes thoughts about taking care of ourselves. This is more than physical, this is always emotional and mental. Stress, worry and fear runs through too many hearts these days. That shouldn’t be. God has given you a wonderful mind. How are you using it? God has gifted you with amazing talent. Are you using any of that towards the kingdom? To say, “I am thankful for salvation,” ought to make one fight temptation a bit harder and worship a bit deeper.
Second, we take care of God’s word. We use it correctly. The Bible wasn’t given so we could thumb our neighbors and co-workers about the religious error that they believe. That’s not the purpose. It is to change our lives. Showing we are thankful means we will dive into the word of God. “I love the Bible,” comes from a heart that attends Bible classes. It comes from a heart that is diligently trying to live what is in the word of God.
Third, we take care of God’s church. We keep the church close to the Lord and instep with what the Bible teaches. Others are looking for fun and adventure, we are looking to the cross. Others want to fill the pews, we want to fill hearts. Others don’t mind ignoring and changing the Bible, we tremble at such thoughts. We want the church to be a reflection of Jesus. We want the church to be warm, friendly, kind, Biblical and loving. To reach that, we must be that way ourselves. The church is a reflection of us. We must move out of our comfort zone and become what God wants us to be.
Fourth, we take care of our families. God was the one who established the home. Marriage and parenting are God’s subjects. So, we must open the door for patience, grace, kindness and forgiveness in our homes. As Jesus was to the church, so husbands must be to their wives. And, as the church is to Jesus, so ought wives be to their husbands. The home is a mini example of both the church and Heaven. Our homes ought to be dear to us. “I’m thankful for my family,” yet all the family ever sees is my face glued to a cell phone. We eat and then everyone goes their own way to their bedrooms. Have a day when all the cell phones are put in a basket and everyone must talk. Have a day when you get out a board game and you play together. Have a family devotional.
To be thankful, is to show it. To be thankful is to take care of what God has given you. To be thankful is to recognize how blessed you are. Too many live like they are in hotels and driving rental cars. Hotels are not our homes, so people trash them. They jump on beds in hotels. You’d never do that at home. Rental cars are trashed. You wouldn’t throw cups and empty trash in the back seat of your own car. We can live life with a “Rental” mentality. We don’t care, we don’t take care, and we simply do what we want. As Christians we must remember that we belong to the Lord. We are His. We must live honorably and nobly with the right attitudes and heart. We reflect our thankfulness in the way we handle the things God has given us.
What does it mean to be thankful? It is to SAY IT; PRAY IT; SING IT; and, SHOW IT. And, for us, it’s not just the last Thursday in November. It’s all the time. It’s every day. It’s a way of life for us.
We are a blessed people. We are a thankful people.