173

Colossians 3:16

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God.

A quick search revealed that references to giving thanks are mentioned 102 times in the Old Testament and 71 times in the New Testament. I confess I did not spend the time looking them all up or doing a count of my own. It was an exercise just to get an idea of the total amount. 173. Enough to know it is essential in our relationship with God.

November 24 is our National Day of Thanksgiving this year. I remember the day as a child as one with a lot of food, football games, and me hiding away in my bedroom, Shep on the bed beside me as I either played my guitar or scribbled out the latest short story. Looking back it is obvious that my major loves in life were on display even as a child. Writing, music, dogs.

It wasn’t until I was 22 that I discovered an even greater love – for Jesus. That is my greatest reason for giving thanks.

I love the verse above. Maybe because, other than a dog, it represents those early loves continued. And if the verse doesn’t mention dogs, they were gifts from Him I could be thankful for. (James 1:17 English Standard Version Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change)

It has become a tradition to list things we are thankful for, either at Thanksgiving Dinner or during the entire month. It is a great thing to do. Even greater if it’s something we live in every day. Doing something as a tradition can be impactful, but if handled wrong, it can become nothing more than a tradition with no depth.

Let’s not do that. On this week’s Facebook group page, Faith By Choice-Faith Study Discussions | Facebook, let’s pick three of the greatest things we are thankful for, share them, including why they are your top three, and let’s be thankful together.

Mine are:

God’s Mercy: There are so many times on this journey of faith that I have done stupid, even dangerous things, that could harm me physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. I can’t begin to count the many times I’ve uttered a frantic Have Mercy God! and watched situations change.

Family: They accept me. That is key in my world.

God’s Provision: I have lived a life of having and not having. God has provided, in His strength and power, in so many ways. I understand Paul’s statement in what many consider his last letter. Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance, and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me. Philippians 4:11-13 ESV

Join us in the next few days as we share our thankfulness.

May your holiday to be thankful be blessed!

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