Christian Devotionals

"Thanksgiving From Now Until Christmas..."

“And now, just as you accepted Christ Jesus as your Lord, you must continue to live in obedience to him. Let your roots grow down into him and draw up nourishment from him, so you will grow in faith, strong and vigorous in the truth you were taught. Let your lives overflow with thanksgiving for all he has done..”
Colossians 2:6-7 (New Living Translation).

Thanksgiving 2005 is here and we Americans have an officially designated opportunity to offer our thanks to Almighty God for His provision, protection and blessings. Of course it goes without saying that this should be a daily practice rather than an annual occurrence. We are a mighty and prosperous nation, but contrary to popular belief, it isn't all our own doing. God's hand has been with our country from the time of the first colonial settlers until now. Our founding fathers established this nation on Christian values and throughout our 229 year U.S. history, we have been good neighbors and defenders of freedom throughout the world. I do believe, however, that we are enjoying residual blessings from previous generations who were more righteous, appreciative and God-fearing than we are today. Throughout the Bible we see examples of how our gracious Lord blesses His people for obedience and punishes them for being disobedient, ungrateful and obstinate. It would be safe to say that our culture today is pushing the limits of God's incredible patience.

Okay, so maybe my morning readings from the Books of Isaiah and Jeremiah inspired me to write these things. Those prophetic biblical passages hit close to home when considering the similarities between the cultures of ancient Judah and modern day USA. You name it, we're doing it: idol worship, blatant disregard for biblical laws, ingratitude, immorality, greed, adopting foreign religious beliefs, the whole nine yards.

Before you click off this website in anticipation of my "woe is you" speech, relax. This isn't intended to be a gloom and doom message. Yes, we have gotten off course as a nation and as a people, but we also have a merciful God who is patient, loving and eager to forgive. Maybe you can't reverse Supreme Court decisions and legislative amendments that run counter to biblical values. And let's be realistic, there may be very little you can do to stop the entertainment industry from spiraling downward into depravity. Pray about those things, stand up when and where you can and PRAY. Let God be God and handle the big stuff.

Here's what I'm asking you to do personally and individually. Please take some time to be alone with God and thank Him for all He's done for you (not just "Thanks for blessing us"). Think about it awhile and be specific. This is no small thing. God like everyone else, loves to be appreciated. When regular people like you and me stop long enough in our busy-busy lives to acknowledge what God has done and offer up prayers of thanksgiving, it honors and pleases our Creator. It also has a positive impact on us and our perspective on life. Moreover, our families, friends and colleagues will be touched and influenced as well - gratitude is contagious.

Here's a short list to get you started: God sent His Only Son to die for your sins and He's given you eternal life through faith in Christ. I'm still in awe over that one: no hell for me, praise God! If you haven't asked Jesus to be your Lord and Savior, here's your chance to ensure an eternity in heaven. Now, let's look for more reasons to be thankful. As messed up as our country may seem, it's still the greatest nation in the world and we're fortunate to live here (in freedom). Give thanks for your family, friends, good health, employment, a promotion, a kind word or perhaps an act of kindness that someone has recently shown you. We take so much for granted, I know that I do. Let's give thanks where thanks are due. This can be a turning point in our personal attitudes and in our collective attitudes as a nation. Let's acknowledge God for what He's done and head into the Christmas season with grateful hearts.

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