Heartprints

Thanksgiving a time to reflect…

Thanksgiving a time to reflect….

Thanksgiving is upon us…and on this day many cooks, men and women, will rise early in the morning to put the turkey in the oven, make the pumpkin pie, and set the table with beautiful china and crystal in preparation for a celebration. Once the meal is ready, families will sit down at the table together and enjoy food, fellowship, and give thanks to God for all of His provision and the blessings He has provided throughout the year.

Thanksgiving a time to reflect….

Thanksgiving is upon us…and on this day many cooks, men and women, will rise early in the morning to put the turkey in the oven, make the pumpkin pie, and set the table with beautiful china and crystal in preparation for a celebration. Once the meal is ready, families will sit down at the table together and enjoy food, fellowship, and give thanks to God for all of His provision and the blessings He has provided throughout the year.

To some, however, this day represents no more than a day with…no school or no work…a time to watch parades and football…overeating without feeling guilty…hanging out with family and friends…and maybe the start of the Christmas shopping season. Little or no acknowledgement will be given to God for His provision and blessings upon the family…and any “thanks” that is given will be given to man, not to the “provider” of all we have – Jehovah-Jireh!

According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, the word thanksgiving is defined as “the act of giving thanks; it is a prayer of gratitude, and a public acknowledgement or celebration of divine goodness.” Thanksgiving Day is defined by Webster as “a day appointed to give thanks for divine goodness.”

American history tells us that this day was set apart by President Abraham Lincoln as a Federal Holiday on October 3, 1863, when he signed the proclamation for all citizens of the United States of America to acknowledge and give thanks to God. Within this proclamation, President Lincoln states that “this day will be a special day of thanksgiving, celebrated on the fourth Thursday in November and observed as a legal holiday in the United States of America.” The proclamation goes on to state that, “Thanksgiving day will be a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens.” Do you observe and teach your children to observe this day as a day of thanksgiving and praise…to our beneficent Father?

The word thanksgiving is used fifty seven times in the Bible…thirty-nine times in the Old Testament and eighteen times in the New Testament. Thanksgiving is found in the book of Psalms more than any other single book of the Bible and is quoted in fourteen different passages. How many times do you pray and give thanks to God for the many blessings He has given to you throughout the year?

In his book, And I will Praise Him, Dr. Ronald Allen gives readers a guide to worship in the Psalms and he quotes, “Thanksgiving occurs when one breathes a prayer of thanks to God for His mercy and goodness; praise occurs when one tells someone else about it.”

My favorite Psalm, Psalm 100, teaches us to give honor to our God with thanksgiving and praise. Throughout this Psalm, the Psalmist takes the reader on a thanksgiving and praise journey. He gives thanks through celebration and praise, celebrating that Israel is experiencing a special relationship with God…and praise to the Lord for His faithfulness. Do you give thanks and praise to God?

Within this passage thanksgiving and praise are used together to acknowledge the goodness of God and His faithfulness. How many times do you let children experience praise and worship together in your ministry? Do you teach children that He is faithful and His word is true?

As children’s leaders if you desire for children to experience praise and thanksgiving then you must teach them that God is worthy of our thanksgiving and desires to be praised. He is our provider…Jehovah-Jireh…and our source of all things good. Spend time reciting Psalm 100 together with your family…or in your Sunday School classroom rejoicing with thanksgiving to Him for His provisions and praising Him for all he has provided.

“Shout out praises to the Lord, all the earth! Worship the Lord with joy! Enter his presence with joyful singing! Acknowledge that the Lord is God! He made us and we belong to him; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture. Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give him thanks! Praise his name! For the Lord is good. His loyal love endures, and he is faithful through all generations.” Psalms 100:1-5

Thanksgiving is a time to encourage children to reflect and give thanks to God…not man…for His goodness and blessings. Give Him Thanksgiving and Praise…for He alone is worthy.

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Lisa Goodyear

Lisa Goodyear holds a Master of Arts degree in Christian Education, with a focus in Children's Ministry, from Dallas Theological Seminary. She has over twenty-eight years of local children's ministry, as well as an extensive background in early childhood education and international ministry to children. Currently, she is serving with the family/children’s ministry in her local church in Shawnee, Kansas. Lisa's passion is to see children from every nation, tongue, and tribe trust in the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior and grow in their relationship with Him. She is married to Rolla and they have two grown children and three grandchildren and a little Yorkie, Romeo. Lisa lives in Olathe, Kansas.

2 Comments

  • Avatar

    Tara Sonichsen

    As I searched this morning

    As I searched this morning how many times is thanksgiving found in scripture I found your letter. Thank you for blessing me with such a wonderfully written very informative page. God bless you!        Tara

  • Lisa Goodyear

    Lisa Goodyear

    Rejoicing in God’s blessings!

    I am so glad God used this blog to encourage you today. May the Lord bless you and your family with a wonderful Thanksgiving. To God be the glory for He is so worthy of our praise and honor.