This is not a sermon, not a message, just a little heart-to-heart. This verse of Scripture is just to put our minds into the direction I would like for us to go for just a little while.
Colossians 3:15: "And let the peace of God rule in your hearts to the which also you are called in one body and be ye thankful."
Look at those last three words. That's my message tonight to you.
A couple days from now we are going to have Thanksgiving Day. The first Thanksgiving in America was celebrated by the Pilgrims in 1621. President Lincoln declared a national day of Thanksgiving in 1863. Long before Thanksgiving was a 'day,' Thanksgiving was given to us in the Bible as a responsibility, as a duty, as an exercise in obedience. God's Word says, "be ye thankful."
Thanksgiving is an amazing medicine. When we are thankful, worries cease. Complaining disappears. Peace comes into our hearts. When we learn to be thankful, when we develop the attitude of gratitude, we're on the way to being happy, contented people. It spares us from being complaining, critical, angry, depressed people. Thanksgiving has a marvelous healing, soothing quality to the people who learn to display it.
You will read your Bible and find that thanksgiving is all over the Bible. The children of Israel had special days of thanksgiving when they were to come before the Lord and express their gratitude and appreciation to Him. In fact, some of the Levites were set aside particularly to lead God's people in the exercise of thanksgiving. Then when you pick up the Jewish hymnbook, the book of Psalms in your Bible, you will find out that there are many of those psalms that are dedicated to the theme of thanksgiving. We are to enter into his courts with praise and with thanksgiving. Many times, in the book of Psalms, it says, "Oh, give thanks unto the Lord, for He is good."
Then you go to the New Testament and you just find it scattered all over the New Testament. You will find that thanksgiving is connected with prayer. Jesus, when He prayed before meals, He would give thanks to the Heavenly Father. When Jesus broke the bread in the last supper, the Bible says that He gave thanks and He broke the bread. The Apostle Paul, in prayer, would give thanks. He said, "I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, always in every request of mine with thanksgiving." So, prayer is a part of thanksgiving.
Praise is a part of thanksgiving. When we praise the Lord, one of the things we do, one of the ingredients of our praise to the Lord is our gratitude and our thanksgiving. Hebrews 13:15 says, "Let us therefore offer unto him our sacrifice to God continually. That is the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to his name."
So, prayer and thanksgiving go together. Praise and thanksgiving go together.
I think the passage in the New Testament that always comes to my mind when we think about the subject of Thanksgiving is the account of the Ten ...
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