A Thanksgiving week devotion

I originally wrote this devotion last year for the Nov. 19, 2013, Wellspring group. That was before I started the blog so I thought this would be a good time to post it here. So much to be thankful for today and always!

Wishing you all a very Happy Thanksgiving!

Psalm 75:1-We give thanks to you, O God; we give thanks, for your name is near. Werecount your wondrous deeds.

As the Thanksgiving holiday nears, it is a good time to give thanks to God for all we are thankful for. The word thanksgiving is used more than 60 times in the Bible and in most cases it is used generally as giving thanks to God. The book of Psalms is known for the many prayers of thanks and praise to God! Though the holiday of Thanksgiving as we know it today is not a celebration that comes directly from the Bible, it is a great reminder for us to praise our God who has created everything and has given us so much in our lives.

When Jesus walked on this earth he lived a life filled with thanksgiving and praise to his heavenly father. Jesus was full of gratitude and when he would perform miracles he often told the people to give thanks to God. He knew that God was in full control and could do anything. Jesus did not take credit for God’s abilities. And he instructed people often to give thanks. This is a great reminder to all of us to continue to give thanks to God for all he has done. It is important we thank God for sending his son to die on the cross for our sins. Without that sacrifice out of love for us, we would have no hope.

1 Peter 2:24 says, “He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed.” Oh how we have so much to be thankful for—God sent his one and only son to die on the cross and pay the price for our sins.

And after giving thanks to God for sending Jesus to die on the cross, it is a good time to reflect on all we have to be thankful for during this past year. Think of the ways God has worked in your life to bring you closer to him. Think of the many blessings he has bestowed upon you—health, marriage, children, grandchildren, new friendships. The list goes on and on. And we must thank God for the struggles and challenges we have faced during this past year. Thank him for the way these challenges have shaped us and made us who we are. We must continue to have faith that God is working during all of these situations and his will, will be done. And as we are giving thanks for all of these things let us remember and pray for all of the people who do not know Jesus. Let the life that we live be a beacon to others so that they may see the love of Christ in action.

Prayer for the week: Dear God, just as Psalm 75:1 says, “We give thanks to you, O God; we give thanks for your name is near.” As I go throughout the week this week help me to remember that you are near and help me to see the many things in my life I have to be thankful for. I cannot thank you enough for sending Jesus to save me from sin. Help me to live my life more like you Jesus, giving thanks for everything and being kind to everyone I meet. In your precious name I pray. Amen.

Discussion questions:

During the past year, what things are you most thankful for?

Have you had challenges and/or blessings this past year that have helped grow your faith?