“Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name,” (Psalm 100:4).
Twice in this one verse, the Psalmist connects the thoughts of thanksgiving and praise. Enter with thanksgiving and praise; be thankful to Him and bless His name. As a country, we find that at this time of year ‘Thanksgiving’ or ‘the giving of thanks’ is on our minds as we prepare to celebrate a holiday. However, as Christians, everyday must be filled with the giving of thanks and praise. For what are you most thankful for this year? Allow me to offer a few reminders for us as Christians:
1. A God who blesses
It might be easier than we like to think, but there are times we can get to thinking that what we have is ours and somehow we have earned it. A big picture perspective helps us to remember that we are nothing without a God who blesses! “Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever,” (Psalm 118:1; 136). It is God who is rich in mercy (Ephesians 2:4). We must be thankful for Jesus and being found in Him where all spiritual blessings are found (Ephesians 1:3). In Christ, we find the blessing of salvation and victory (1 Corinthians 15:57). You know this to be true, no doubt, but Christians must be the most thankful people in existence. We are, not because of anything special about us, but because we understand there is a God who blesses! Don’t forget to stop and count your blessings and be filled with thanksgiving and praise!
2. A common salvation
Be thankful for the church that Jesus purchased with His own blood (Acts 20:28) and common salvation that we enjoy in the brotherhood of Christ. We are close to those that we find commonality and as Christians we have the greatest things in common. We have a mutual faith, hope, and love that should cause us to thankful for one another (Romans 16:4; Colossians 1:3). Please don’t forget to thank God for shepherds who watch out for your souls. Don’t forget to be thankful for sound preaching and teaching and for brethren who love you and only want to help you and others go to heaven!
3. Opportunities to help others
What a blessing to be able to serve and to help others! This might not always make the list when sitting around the table at Thanksgiving, but we must be thankful for opportunities to serve and to be more like Jesus. He came to be served, but to serve (Mark 10:45). Paul was thankful to God for the ability to serve and we must be too (1 Timothy 1:12). We must be thankful for all things at all times (1 Thessalonians 5:18).
Enjoy the food. Enjoy the family and the great company. But please don’t fail to be see the need to combine your thanksgiving with praise to God – He truly blesses and blesses again!