The Thanksgiving holiday has its roots deeply embedded in the religion of the Pilgrims. It was less about the food than the God who gave them the food. The feast was to remind them to be thankful to God for all that they had. Life, breath, and all that they needed.
Today, Thanksgiving is associated with turkey and football. Families gatherings and early morning “Black Friday” sales. All of these are good things, but when they cloud out the real reason for the holiday something is lost.
So as you gather together with your family this Thursday to cranberry sauce (hopefully not from a can) and turkey, remember these truths that should make your heart very thankful. (All of these are true for the believer in the Lord Jesus Christ)
You once were dead, now you are alive.
Ephesians 2:1-3-And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience—3 among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body1 and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.
Ephesians 2:8,9- For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.
You once were a slave now you are a son/daughter.
Galatians 4:4-7- But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God.
Your future was once unsure not it is secure.
Ephesians 2:4-7- But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved- and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.
You once were defeated now you are a conqueror.
Romans 8:37-39- No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
You once were a rebel, now you have peace with God.
Romans 5:1- Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, bwe1 have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Romans 5:6-8- For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die— but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Take this time of Thanksgiving to revel in the goodness of God to you and your family. Think about the grace of God in salvation before you dress your turkey. Think about how He is still working on you before you butter your mashed potatoes. Look for evidences of God’s grace in your family as you pass the gravy. Don’t waste your Thanksgiving. Keep the Lord in the center of all that you do and you will have a joyful, thankful, Thanksgiving!
o Get an empty can or jar and have everyone write down on small pieces of paper what they are thankful for. (You can keep this jar handy and add thankful thoughts throughout the year and open it next Thanksgiving)
o Take time to thank God for your life.
Heavenly Father, you are so good to me. Thank you for all that you do for me and the people that I love the most. Help me to see evidences of your work in my life and in the lives of everyone around me. Make me a thankful person on this Thanksgiving Day. In Jesus’ name. Amen.