With the Thanksgiving holiday upon us, traditionally the lesson has to do with being thankful. This year, something a little different is going to take place. You see, Brad was planning on giving the lesson today, but due to his surgery and pace of recovery, he is unable to do so. He asked me to take his place, and how could I say no, especially since he did most of the work in preparing the slide presentation. As I sought to walk through it, I found myself with a unique opportunity to learn what he was seeking to relay as I prepared to be his conduit so to speak. I am blessed with this opportunity.
And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also
you were called in one body; and be thankful.
Interesting is the simple task given to us by our Lord; that is, be thankful. I can hear my parents saying, “Dennis, say thank you for that.” The very first thing Brad reminded me of is the sense of duty behind thankfulness. That word, duty, is not very well received, is it. Yet, the bible speaks clearly about it in not only the above verse, but also places like 1st Thessalonians 5:18 that says plainly, “…in everything give thanks.” History is brought forth by Brad concerning the establishment of the Thanksgiving holiday. As you will see in the lesson, the very idea of this special day was rooted in their deep conviction of God’s wonderful care for people. The next word caught me off guard; that is, description. Thankfulness is not merely a thought, but rather an action that finds it’s roots in a thought, and that thought is gratitude. How do you express thankfulness? Psalm 100 speaks of making “a joyful shout to the Lord.” The fact of the matter is this, in whatever we find ourselves doing, thankfulness should be ever present (Colossians3:17). This brings us to the final thought from Brad and it has to do with benefits. In Revelation 7:12 we read, “Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom, thanksgiving and honor and power and might, be to our God forever and ever. Amen.” Angels could not help but to lift their voices in thanks to God. Then Brad wrote this, which caused me to pause, “It appears that rejoicing in thankfulness is just what happens when those who belong to God stand in full awareness of who He is.” Because of who He is, we are a blessed people! Because of who He is we are a saved people! Because of who He is, we have “every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ” (Ephesians 1:3).
Thank you, Brad, for helping to remind us all that thankfulness is not so difficult to do. All we need to do is look in the right direction. For it is our duty as believers in the one true God, to acknowledge Him for what He has done, continues to do and plans on doing when we go home to be with Him. Whether in our heavenly home, or waiting faithfully for His return, may our lives paint a picture to both Him and the world that describes how thankful we are, for the benefits of our God are impossible to number. Have a blessed Thanksgiving holiday.