Be Thankful

LifeLink Devotional

Thursday, November 28, 2019

As a youngster, and still today, I think I enjoy Thanksgiving more than any other holiday. I know, that sounds so secular and unspiritual, when Christmas is the celebration of the birth of our Savior and Easter is the celebration of His resurrection. But the memories of Thanksgiving still stir my heart. Maybe it’s because of my love affair with food. I think it’s mostly because of my love affair with family. (Just ask my kids what dad says at every family gathering.)

We have had a family tradition since I was young.  While we sat around the table, but before we could eat the turkey and all of the other great side food, we each had to express a thought of thanksgiving. One thing I have noticed over the years is that this has become an uncomfortable experience for most. The true sentiment of thanks is just not there much of the time. We say thanks for shallow stuff, and anything deeper and “mushier” draws snickers (giggles, not candy) and moans. Why has it become so hard for us to express heartfelt thanks?

When the disciples asked Jesus to teach them to pray, He taught them much more than just words to say: He taught them about the condition of the heart. One of the attributes of a person who prays is to be humbly dependent upon God for all things.

Luke 11:3 Give us each day our daily bread.

When Jesus told the disciples to ask for their daily bread in their prayers, he was emphasizing an attitude of the heart that honors God as the provider of all things.

In the book of Proverbs there is a warning given to all who would be ungrateful and self-dependent: you may end up disowning God or dishonoring His name.

Proverbs 30:7 – 9  “Two things I ask of you, O LORD; do not refuse me before I die: Keep falsehood and lies far from me; give me neither poverty nor riches, but give me only my daily bread. Otherwise, I may have too much and disown you and say, ‘Who is the LORD?’  Or I may become poor and steal, and so dishonor the name of my God.

Look at this carefully:

  1. If we ask God for more than just our needs and demand that we become rich, we will be tempted to trust in our riches and not in the Lord who gave them to us. Riches are not wrong, but the wise writer of this passage recognized the danger of self-dependence that could result from having too much. He specifically asked God to not let that happen to him. His faithfulness to God was more important than the pleasures of riches.
  2. If we don’t ask God to provide for our daily needs, then we will eventually choose illegal means to maintain our lifestyle rather than providing for ourselves. We will dishonor the name of God by our behavior. The author knew that if he was dependent upon God, God would be glorified by his choices, and honoring God was of far more importance to him than his financial security or status.

So on this Thanksgiving, no matter what you are able to eat, be thankful that God is your Provider. He knows your every need, and will never fail to provide for those who trust Him. Listen to these words of the prophet Isaiah in Isaiah 33:14–16.

The sinners in Zion are terrified; trembling grips the godless: “Who of us can dwell with the consuming fire? Who of us can dwell with everlasting burning?” He who walks righteously and speaks what is right, who rejects gain from extortion and keeps his hand from accepting bribes, who stops his ears against plots of murder and shuts his eyes against contemplating evil—this is the man who will dwell on the heights, whose refuge will be the mountain fortress. His bread will be supplied, and water will not fail him.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Pastor John

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