Thanksgiving 2022

“Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving.” —Colossians 4:2
“But godliness with contentment is great gain, for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world. But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content.” —1 Timothy 6:6-8
Thanksgiving is such an important and distinctly Christian holiday. It’s right and good to set aside a time every year to stop our normal activities to give thanks. I trust that yesterday was a such a time for you, your friends, and family.

Thankfulness is a Christian virtue constantly emphasized in scripture – from thank offerings in the Old Testament, to Jesus’s regular pattern of giving thanks in prayer, to constant commendations in the New Testament to live a life of thankfulness. Your heart of thankfulness reflects your belief in the goodness and faithfulness of God. If God is good and merciful, then it holds that what He provides for His children will be good. A good God provides good things for His children whom He loves. For this we should be thankful.

Does God’s goodness mean that He will give us all we want when we want it? Does any good parent give their children all they want whenever they want it? No! A child given their every desire when they want it is called a spoiled child. Children raised in this way become the most ungrateful people, usually demanding of others what is unreasonable to give. Receiving more does not equal a thankful or content heart. A godly parent will be generous, but also teach a child the virtue of self-control by reigning in their desires. Thankfulness and contentment are twin virtues that enable each other. A content heart can be thankful. A thankful heart can be content. God is good, generous, and merciful. He will provide your needs according to His good purposes for your life. As you follow after Christ Jesus, waiting on His timing and purposes in your life, may the Holy Spirit cultivate thankfulness and contentment in your heart.

We should recognize that due to the sinful nature of our hearts we are bent toward greed, covetousness, and discontent. We should pray for a thankful heart and ask God to help us by the Holy Spirit to be truly content people. I encourage you to cultivate Christian patterns of thankfulness in your life. Genuinely pray with thanksgiving before each meal (Matt 14:19, Luke 24:30, and many others) and make thanksgiving an intentional, regular part of your personal and family prayers (Philippians 4:6).

Let’s walk by faith in thanksgiving and contentment!
Pastor Vic

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