Thursday, November 26, 2009

“Sacrifice thank offerings to God, fulfill your vows to the Most High, and call upon Me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you and you will honor Me.”  (Ps. 50:14-15)


                I love football.  I confess, when the Cowboys are playing early, I glance at my watch on Sunday mornings.  When the Aggies are playing, I spend more time trying to resurrect my Christianity than I do cheering them on.  I think mean thoughts about the Longhorns (except for Colt McCoy) and whoever chooses to play against the Boys.  Adding to my confession, watching those guys has become part of my Thanksgiving Day that I love and enjoy.  Having made my confessions, so that you don’t think this letter is coming from one who ignores football on Thanksgiving Day, I will press on.  But I wonder, do we really understand the depth of Thanksgiving as our forefathers did?  Are we really as thankful as we should be as we celebrate this day of feasting on overstuffed turkeys and athletes?  I wonder how the football thing got started anyway?  (It was probably anticipated by Governor Bradford that the Aggies would win all their games.  And we have of course.  We have been outscored a few times, but we have “never been licked.”)

                Kidding aside, on this day of food and fun, I would like to visit the power of thanksgiving as the Bible envisioned it.  God dwells in the thanksgiving of His people.  He loves for us to give thanks.  He cherishes honest thanksgiving before our meals and rejoices when we joyfully give thanks to Him in the little and big blessings of each day.  He is a God that cherishes the time we stop and earnestly and honestly praise Him for all the blessings He bestowed upon us.  And there are three specific reasons He is so delighted that David mentions in the 50th Psalm.

                First of all we give thanks because God commanded us to.  He is the Creator and Owner of everything.  He does not need our offerings and prayers.  But our vows of Baptism and salvation come out from the realization of all that God has done for us in Christ Jesus and we break out in praise.  And at that moment, we vow we will always be close to God.  Now God knows we are only human and we will drift away from the euphoric attitude on the day of salvation.  But the vow to continue on is still there.  So when we give thanks to God, we are fulfilling a vow.

                Secondly, by pulling back to God in thanksgiving He encourages us to lay our troubles upon Him (“call on Me in the day of trouble”).  God knows we have troubles.  He may be at work in those troubles in a special kind of way.  (See yesterday’s article)  But through our real and contrite thanksgiving and praise, God tells us to bring those troubles to Him.  And He says, I will deliver you from those troubles.  And that brings up the third reason.

                Third, our thanksgiving and reliance upon Him brings us deliverance and it brings Him glory.  When people see real thanksgiving in our hearts, they will instinctively see God through us.  It is all pretty simple really.  In Thanksgiving, we are reminded of the special salvation that God has provided, and to His saved ones he deals out deliverances.  And from those deliverances and the glow upon our faces, He is glorified.

                Enjoy your day of feast and football. But take time and give thanks to God.  You just might find that the problems at the office yesterday will be resolved tomorrow.  And if they are, make sure God is glorified in your response.


Happy Thanksgiving friends and family.

Kingdom Road Ministries
PO Box 503
10 South Main, Suite 201
Victor, ID 83455

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