Rejoicing and Thanksgiving

“The one who offers thanksgiving as his sacrifice glorifies me.” (Psalm 50:23)

“Rejoice always, pray continually(without ceasing), give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will God in Christ Jesus.” (1 Thess. 5:16-18)

With Thanksgiving upon us and Christmas coming close on its heels…this is the time to take the time to acknowledge God’s great gifts and promises. According to the first text, just by giving thanks we are glorifying God…or said another way, God IS glorified in our thanksgiving! Easy…peasy! Glorifying God…really? Sometimes the concept seems so foreign…(“How do I do that?” we ask ourselves) that is, unless we listen to God and His word. “The one who offers thanksgiving as his sacrifice glorifies me.”  

Here, God makes it easy for us and yet it is hard…because it is also a sacrifice which requires submission to His will. In other words, we have to set ourselves aside for a moment or more, to recognize all that we have HAS BEEN given to us by God and because of that we must give thanks to God. Problem is it is “hard” for us not to take credit for “our” accomplishments…God knows this… that is why it is called a “sacrifice” in the first text…it costs us something…a denial of self and a submission to His will.

But that is something else that plagues us since we don’t read enough or we don’t meditate enough on what we read and that is this pesky little question, “What is God’s will?” Again God makes it easy for us with an easy answer– Rejoice alwayspray continuallyGive thanks IN all circumstances; for this is the will God in Christ Jesus.” 3 things that clearly defines God’s will that we need to participate in everyday, especially today and then again tomorrow. We have so many reasons to rejoice, of course …some of them will be around our tables tomorrow.  We have so much to pray for that there really isn’t enough time in the day if we truly prayed as the Scriptures command…and once again giving thanks is not hard when we set ourselves aside and recognize for a couple of moments where everything we has come from… even the ability and desire to give thanks!

This is especially true in the dark times of life…for it is easy to settle for the darkness…uncomfortable maybe,  but it is easy just to give up. But for the believer this isn’t an option we must move towards the light…we NEED the light, “In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” (John 1:4-5) Or as John says in I John 1:5-7, “This is the message we have heard from Him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all. If we say we have fellowship with Him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.”

Just a side note: When we walk in the light we must have “…fellowship with one another…” People wonder about the importance of the Church, well here is yet another reason why the unity within the Church is so important.

So GIVE THANKS…God makes it so easy and it enables us to do two things that we were expressly created to do…glorify God and do His will.

A Prayer of Thanksgiving and praise from The Valley of Vision

Praise and Thanksgiving

O my God,
Thou fairest, greatest, first of all objects,
my heart admires, adores, loves Thee,
for my little vessel is as full as it can be,
and I would pour out all that fullness before Thee in ceaseless flow.

When I think upon and converse with Thee
     ten thousand delightful thoughts spring up,
     ten thousand sources of pleasure are unseal,
     ten thousand refreshing joys spread over my heart,
     crowding into every moment of happiness.

I bless thee for the soul thou hast created,
     for adorning it, sanctifying it, though it is fixed in barren soil;
     for the body thou hast given me,
     for preserving its strength and vigour,
     for providing sense to enjoy delights,
     for the ease and freedom of my limbs,
     for hands, eyes, ears that do thy bidding;
     for thy royal bounty providing my daily support,
     for a full table and overflowing cup,
     for appetite, taste, sweetness,
     for social joys of relatives and friends,
     for ability to serve others,
     for a heart that feels sorrow and necessities,
     for a mind to care for my fellow-men,
     for opportunities of spreading happiness around,
     for loved ones in the joys of heaven,
     for my own expectation of seeing thee clearly.

I love thee above the powers of language to express,
     for what thou are to thy creatures.

Increase my love, O my God, through time and eternity.

God Bless y’all and HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

In His Grip,
Pastor Mike

Mike Singenstreu

Mike Singenstreu

Mike Singenstreu is Pastor of Christ Presbyterian Church in Victoria, TX.

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