Earlier this week I had a flashback to my earliest memories of Thanksgiving, which were in Miss Dunnigan’s first grade class:

  • Making a stuffed turkey out of cheese cloth and cotton balls
  • Learning how to spell and pronounce “giblet”
  • Listening to the story of how the native americans showed the pilgrims how to fertilize the corn they were planting by putting a dead fish in the hole with the corn seed
  • Wondering what fish-flavored corn must taste like

This story was always fondly referred to as, “The First Thanksgiving.”

As it turns out, I later learned that it wasn’t the first Thanksgiving at all! God has pretty much always valued thanksgiving. It’s all through the Bible, which by the way, tells a much older story than that which was told by Miss Dunnigan.

GOD LOVES IT WHEN WE ARE THANKFUL FOR WHO HE IS AND WHAT HE DOES.

And as a matter of fact, we all love it when someone says to us those magic words, “thank you.”

Here are three of the many, many Scriptures that encourage us to have thankful hearts and express thankful words:

“The Lord is my strength and shield. I trust Him with all my heart. He helps me, and my heart is filled with joy. I burst out in songs of thanksgiving.” – Psalm 27:8

“Every time I THINK OF YOU, I give thanks to my God.” – Philippians 1:3

“Be thankful in ALL circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.”– 1 Thessalonians 5:18

IF YOU WANT YOUR LIFE TO REVEAL REAL EVIDENCE OF FAITH IN JESUS, DEVELOP AND MAINTAIN A THANKFUL HEART.

Being thankful and expressing thanksgiving is sort of like saying,

“I totally trust You, Lord! You are the source of every good thing that I experience. And even when it’s hard to find anything good about my circumstances, I trust You, Lord. You know what You’re doing…and You are working everything together for my good and for Your glory.”

The bottom line is, we want our hearts to be truly thankful in all things, and we want our mouths to express that thanksgiving to God and to people.

  • To God // At the beginning of every day thank Him for everything, small and large, that He has done for you. Ask Him to remind you of things you may not have noticed, or things you’ve forgotten. Be consistent in doing this and you’ll find that the reaction time between God’s action, answer or blessing and the time you say, “thank you” will get shorter and shorter.
  • To People // Notice when people do or say something that is “thanks-worthy.” If you’re not a noticer, ask God to elbow you in the ribs when folks bless you or someone else. Develop a heart that is grateful, and then develop a mouth that says, “thank you” readily. Don’t just assume somebody knows you’re grateful, tell them you’re grateful.

There’s no better time than this Thanksgiving season to intentionally begin to develop a thankful heart! Let’s do it!

Thank you, Jesus!

By Danny Mulkey – Elder and Caleb Zone Pastor