From My Perspective - - -
When I was a boy, the church we attended had Junior Church for those under age twelve. There were probably forty of us who would attend each week. One day, the lady who led the Junior Church brought in a large box of Chocolate Candy. It appeared to be the largest box any of us had seen. After we did the preliminaries, she invited us to line up in an orderly fashion to file past the box of candy she was holding and to take any one piece we wanted to try. After we returned to our chairs, she indicated that there was plenty more candy. If we wanted another piece, we were to line up once again and file by and choose another piece of candy. After we returned to our chairs, she remarked that she was happy to share her box of chocolates with us. However, there was one thing missing - no one had expressed “thank you” for this special treat she so kindly shared. Additionally, it was during wartime (World War II) and chocolate candies were not that abundant. That experience has remained with me for many years that no one said “thank you” for the gracious gift that was being shared with us.
In 1971, a musician who had become a follower of Jesus Christ, Andrae Crouch, penned the words to a song he had written called, “My Tribute.” The Lyrics contain these words: “How can I say thanks for the things You have done for me? Things so undeserved, yet You gave to prove Your love for me; the voices of a million angels could not express my gratitude. All that I am and ever hope to be, I owe it all to Thee.” The song also contains words about the act of God’s Grace in His Son, Jesus Christ: “With His blood He has saved me, with His power He has raised me; to God be the glory for the things He has done.” Then the song moves into the area of personal desire and commitment when he wrote: “Just let me live my life, let it pleasing, Lord to Thee, and if I gain any praise, let it go to Calvary…to God be the glory for the things He has done.” The focus is one of Giving Thanks for the work of God’s love, mercy and grace and God’s act of redemption in His Son, Jesus Christ.
Colossians 3:14-17 contains this instruction for one’s application: “Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God.” There is a resounding Hymn that invites and encourages us to: “Come, Ye Thankful People, Come!” There are several sections in the Book of Psalms that remind and assist us in what one with a thankful heart should do. Psalms 95 through 100, Psalms 114 through 118, and Psalms 145 through 150 - all urging us to sing and shout joyfully to the Lord with thanksgiving! The Book 0f Psalms closes with these words: (Psalm 150:6) “Let everything that has breath praise the Lord. Praise the Lord!”
There are two interesting statements as it pertains to who and when thanksgiving can be offered. The first is Psalm 6:4-6, “…O Lord, rescue my soul; save me because of Your lovingkindness. For there is no mention of You in death; in Sheol who will give You thanks?” Second, a similar perspective and statement is made in Isaiah 38:18-19. After King Hezekiah has been healed, his prayer contains these words: “For Sheol cannot thank You, death cannot praise You; those who go down to the pit cannot hope for Your faithfulness. It is the living who give thanks to You, as I do today…” Take special note of these words, “It is the living who give thanks to You, as I do today…”
As you gather around your Thanksgiving Table, will the living gathered be giving thanks to a great God Who showers you and your family with countless blessings. How often do you thank Him for all that he has done and is doing in your behalf? A way to begin to give thanks is to sing the Doxology, “Praise God from Whom all blessings flow…” This would be consistent with Psalm 150:6. Another possibility would be to sing the Hymn (at the very least, the chorus): “Great is Thy faithfulness! Great is Thy faithfulness! Morning by morning new mercies I see; All I have needed Thy hand hath provided - Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me!” Count your blessings and name them one by one - it will surprise when you consider all that God has done in your behalf. May God grant each of you a joyous Thanksgiving! May you be richly blest in and by Him! Consider these things with me!