“What do you say?”
“What’s the magic word?”
Ah. I remember the days.
Teaching my children to be polite.
Teaching the words?
Changing the heart?
9 “The heart is more deceitful than all else And is desperately sick; Who can understand it? Jeremiah 17:9 NAS
18 “But the things that proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and those defile the man. 19 “For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, slanders. Matthew 15:18, 19 NAS
Yes. We learn the polite conventions. The socially soothing phrases. The “right” thing to say at the “right” time.
- But, how often do we say what we mean?
5 “Everyone deceives his neighbor And does not speak the truth, They have taught their tongue to speak lies;
8 “Their tongue is a deadly arrow; It speaks deceit; With his mouth one speaks peace to his neighbor, But inwardly he sets an ambush for him. Jeremiah 9:5a, 8 NAS
- How often do we mean what we say?
15 but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ, Ephesians 4:15 NAS
I remember calling in sick to my boss. He’d say, “How are you?” And I’d automatically answer “Fine,” when really I felt too ill to come into work.
Teaching politeness and civil discourse and remorse and repentance are topics for another time.
Today is for Gratitude.
Thanksgiving in the US
Thanksgiving in the US is a time of family, friends, and feasting.
- It’s a time of family gatherings, family fall-outs, family feuding, and, hopefully, family forgiveness.
- It’s a time of friends who are far from family coming together and being family.
- It’s a time of eating too much food and a time of serving food to the hungry and homeless.
- How often do we receive with a truly grateful heart?
- How often do we “accept what is our due” without a thought of the giver?
- How often do we take for granted the “giving” to us without considering the “thanks” to the giver?
Thanksgiving: A “Holy-Day”
Throughout the Bible the people of God come into His presence with a grateful and joyful heart.
1 Shout joyfully to the LORD, all the earth. 2 Serve the LORD with gladness; Come before Him with joyful singing. Psalms 100:1,2 NAS
As Christians, Thanksgiving should be one of our biggest “holy days.”
4 Enter His gates with thanksgiving And His courts with praise. Give thanks to Him, bless His name. 5 For the LORD is good; His lovingkindness is everlasting And His faithfulness to all generations. Psalms 100:4,5 NAS
For the Israelites, the feasts of YeHoVaH set a regular pattern for His people to recognize and acknowledge Who He is and Whose they are.
Jesus, too, kept the Feasts of the LORD
4 ‘These are the appointed times of the LORD, holy convocations which you shall proclaim at the times appointed for them. Leviticus 23:4 NAS
Passover (Pesach) and the Feast of Unleavened Bread to the LORD
1 Now the Feast of Unleavened Bread, which is called the Passover, was approaching. Luke 22:1 NAS
13 The Passover of the Jews was near, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. John 2:13 NAS
23 Now when He was in Jerusalem at the Passover, during the feast, many believed in His name, observing His signs which He was doing. John 2:23 NAS
55 Now the Passover of the Jews was near, and many went up to Jerusalem out of the country before the Passover to purify themselves. 56 So they were seeking for Jesus, and were saying to one another as they stood in the temple, “What do you think; that He will not come to the feast at all?”
1 Jesus, therefore, six days before the Passover, came to Bethany where Lazarus was, whom Jesus had raised from the dead. John 11:55,56; 12:1 NAS
The Feast of Booths/ Tabernacles (Sukkot)
2 Now the feast of the Jews, the Feast of Booths, was near.
8 “Go up to the feast yourselves; I do not go up to this feast because My time has not yet fully come.”
10 But when His brothers had gone up to the feast, then He Himself also went up, not publicly, but as if, in secret.
11 So the Jews were seeking Him at the feast and were saying, “Where is He?”
14 But when it was now the midst of the feast Jesus went up into the temple, and began to teach. John 7:2, 8, 10, 11, 14 NAS
Feast of Dedication/ Lights (Hanukkah)
This winter feast (called Hanukkah, Chanukah, the Feast of Dedication, the Feast of Lights) is not a Feast of the LORD, a Feast of YeHoVaH. It is not one of the feasts named as mandatory in the Torah.
Nevertheless, the Feast of Dedication was celebrated by the Jews in the time of Yeshua.
22 At that time the Feast of the Dedication took place at Jerusalem; 23 it was winter, and Jesus was walking in the temple in the portico of Solomon. John 10:22, 23 NAS
Yes, Yeshua, too, regularly went before His Father, His Abba, to worship with thanksgiving and praise.
With the same grateful and humble heart, we too, are to come to God our Father.
But not just one time a year.
Not even just one time a week.
No, but every day.
Hour by hour.
Heartbeat by heartbeat.
Why Are We to Give God Gratitude?
- Because God is the source of our very breath.
7 Then the LORD God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being. Genesis 2:7 NAS
4 “The Spirit of God has made me, And the breath of the Almighty gives me life. Job 33:4 NAS
- Because God is the source of eternal life.
4 “Behold, all souls are Mine; the soul of the father as well as the soul of the son is Mine. The soul who sins will die. Ezekiel 18:4 NAS
33 “For the bread of God is that which comes down out of heaven, and gives life to the world.” John 6:33 NAS
- Because all that we are, all that we have, all that we ever desire is from God, of God, through God.
5 ‘Now then, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be My own possession among all the peoples, for all the earth is Mine; Exodus 19:5 NAS
23 ‘The land, moreover, shall not be sold permanently, for the land is Mine; for you are but aliens and sojourners with Me. Leviticus 25:23 NAS
- Because God gives.
34 “For He whom God has sent speaks the words of God; for He gives the Spirit without measure. John 3:34 NAS
5 But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him. James 1:5 NAS
- Because God gave.
12 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, 13 who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God. John 1:12-13 NAS
16 “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.John 3:16 NAS
5 Now He who prepared us for this very purpose is God, who gave to us the Spirit as a pledge. 2 Corinthians 5:5 NAS
- Because God has given.
32 “And we are witnesses of these things; and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey Him.” Acts 5:32 NAS
20 And we know that the Son of God has come, and has given us understanding so that we may know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life. 1 John 5:20 NAS
Giving YeHoVaH Our Thanks
The Israelites and the early Christians acknowledged the provision and protection of YeHoVaH and gave God thanks.
13 “Now therefore, our God, we thank You, and praise Your glorious name.1 Chronicles 29:13 NAS
2 Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving, Let us shout joyfully to Him with psalms. Psalm 95:2 NAS
4 Enter His gates with thanksgiving And His courts with praise. Give thanks to Him, bless His name. Psalm 100:4 NAS
2 Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it with an attitude of thanksgiving; Colossians 4:2 NAS
So, What Are We Going to Give to God?
What do we return to God out of that which He has given to us, as His stewards?
- Do we say “It’s mine. I don’t have to give anything to anybody”? (See Psalm 50:12b NAS)
- Do we say, “Ok I’ll give some; but not much. I’ve got to live, you know”? (See Malachi 3:8 NAS)
- Do we give “to God what is God’s and to Caesar what is Caesar’s”? (See Matthew 22:17-21 NAS)
- Do we give lip service to our commitment to be His disciple? (See Luke 14:26, 27, 33 NAS)
- Do we give a good witness to the world by our behavior? (See John 13:12-15 NAS and Philippians 2:14-16a NAS)
- Do we give glory to God where glory is due, even if it isn’t the PC thing to do? (See Luke 12:8, 9 NAS)
- Do we say, “Thank You God for all that You’ve given me”? (See John 3:27 NAS)
- Do we say, “Thank You YeHoVaH for all the blessings from You. As You blessed Abram, I am blessed to be a blessing to others”? (See Genesis 12:1-3 NAS)
- Do we say, “Thank You God for my very life, this eternal life that You’ve given me”? (See John 5:24 NAS and John 6:47 NAS)
What will your Thanksgiving be like this year?
Who will you be thanking this Thanksgiving?
Will you give thanks with your mouth, or with your heart?
Will you give thanks in word and deed?
It’s ok to doubt, if you check it out!
Be a Berean!
10The brothers immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea, and when they arrived they went into the Jewish synagogue. 11 Now these Jews were more noble than those in Thessalonica; they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so. Acts 17:10, 11 ESV
Please join me in this journey of discovery.
- Share this blog with others, whether they are doubting, or not.
- Take what I say and CHECK IT OUT FOR YOURSELF!
For a reference to the holy oil for the temple, see Exodus 30:22-25 NAS