These things I remember as I pour out my soul: how I used to go with the multitude, leading the procession to the house of God, with shouts of joy and thanksgiving among the festive throng. Psalm 42:4
Least than twenty-four hours after Thanksgiving, people will line up outside of stores to do their Christmas shopping. Black Friday has become an American tradition, and the reason behind Thanksgiving has been forgotten. Before we start the mad rush to finish our Christmas list, we should go over our Thanksgiving list. Then we will realize how much we have to be thankful for, and we will see the cup as half full, instead of half empty. Here is a partial Thanksgiving list.
Number one on the list is Jesus Christ. In Christ we find the answer to the question religion tries to answer. How can sinful man please a holy God? Some religions offer us salvation through works. But the Bible reminds us that our righteousness is as filthy rags. Rags that only can be cleansed by the blood of Christ. Other religions offer us good intentions and noble paths, but they ignore man's sinfulness. Only Christianity offers a way off of the religious treadmill. We can be thankful because of Christ, our lives have meaning, and we have a future in Heaven.
Number two on the list is God's love. God's plan of salvation was made possible because of His love for us. Like the songs says, what the world need now is love. People are starved for love. The phrase, I love you, can become meaningless and full of empty promises. But that isn't true with God. The Bible tells us that God so loved, that He gave. We do not serve a lifeless idol, but a God that proves His love for us.
Number three is God's answered prayers. Anyone who has been a Christian for very long can make their own list of answered prayers. In tough times God provides healing, comfort, and many other blessings. Take a look around you and see all of the things God has blessed you with. Each one is a part of a Thanksgiving list. Many times, we spend our time looking ahead to what we need, and we forget to thank God for what He has already done for us. Thank God for past blessings, as well as future ones.
Number four on the list is our nation. Often overlooked among the partisan noise, is the fact that our country is still the greatest nation on earth. Perfect no, problems yes, but still we have more freedoms than any other country. While politics may resemble a bad reality show at times, we should remember it is all part of the checks and balances of our Constitution. In God we trust, is more than a motto on our money, it is the way for us to keep our freedom. The most patriotic thing a person can do is to pray for our country, and offer up thanks to God for our nation.
The list is far from being complete, but if we approach Thanksgiving with the proper attitude, it can help prepare us for the Christmas season. Going over our Thanksgiving list before we go out to the stores will help make the shopping less demanding. The two holidays should be looked as one. Thanksgiving is for God's blessing, while Christmas celebrates the greatest gift of all. This Thanksgiving, try to be like David. Instead of leading the festive throng to the malls, let us lead the festive throng to the House of God.
Copyright Danny Woodall