First order of business: Congratulations are in order to the winner of the drawing for the book, Talking to Jesus by Jeannie Blackmer – M. Moltz! I have already contacted you by email and will get your prize in the mail this week. Congrats!!
And now, on to some thoughts I had hoped to share before the US holiday of Thanksgiving last Thursday before a killer migraine disrupted my week…
Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise!
Here in the United States, it is officially that time of the year known collectively as “The Holidays.”
Although some shops begin small displays of Christmastime merchandise right alongside the pumpkin-spiced products and Halloween masks in early autumn (or even late summer), the biggest retail assault on the American wallet kicks into high gear almost as soon as the Thanksgiving turkeys are carved and before the gravy congeals.
Despite the commercialism, I still love this time of year.
I adore Thanksgiving – a day set aside to focus specifically on gratitude to the Lord, and for me, a day to play in the kitchen with no deadlines. I even enjoy the irony that a nationally celebrated day dedicated to giving thanks for the bounty of the year is immediately followed by one of the most frenzied shopping days of the entire year…
Perhaps because of the national holiday or perhaps just because, Psalm 100 has been on my mind lately. With those words as the backdrop, my heart has been convicted that for me, Thanksgiving should not be observed only once a year. Instead, Thanksgiving is the obedient posture of the Redeemed in Christ every single day.
For the Christian, every day is Thanksgiving. Every day is Christmas. Every day is Easter.
During the course of last week, I was deeply convicted about my prayer life. For years now, I have faithfully lifted up all my requests to the Lord – prayers for the salvation of loved ones who do not follow Him, prayers for daily needs, intercessory prayer on behalf of others.
Yet too often, I have entirely failed to enter His gates with thanksgiving; choosing instead to rush in and fling my “to-do” list at the foot of the Throne of Grace without taking a moment to simply adore the One who sits on the Throne.
Starting today, I am making a conscious effort to not only to make my requests known to God, but to do so with thanksgiving. I want to praise Him more. I want to love Him more.
Whether this is an official holiday season for you or not, will you join me? Together, let’s humble our hearts and focus on gratitude. Let’s enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise.
Let’s give thanks in all circumstances – even the unpleasant ones – because we know that He is good and has already given us far more than we deserve. The opportunity to “taste and see that the Lord is good,” to establish saving faith in Jesus Christ, to even approach the Throne of Grace at all… even just the opportunity is more than I deserve.
And yet, He has given me eternal life in Christ Jesus my Lord. Why would I not praise Him?
Today, even with an oncoming migraine scattering my thoughts and some persistent hip pain, I give thanks to You, Lord, for You are good! Your steadfast love endures forever, and Your faithfulness to all generations. Thank You for taking this rebel under Your care, for cleansing me of my horrible choices and adopting me as Your child!
…give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
(1 Thessalonians 5:18)
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.