“In every thing give thanks, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:18
It would be interesting if a poll were taken in which this question was asked: “What is your idea of success?” No doubt some, if not all, of the answers would be very interesting: recognition, wealth, dandy retirement, big name college for the kids, and an endless list dealing primarily with “things.”
A few years ago the Gallop people did conduct a poll with the question, “What do you wish for more than anything?” The number one response — 58.5% — was good health. Following, in order, were enjoyable job, happy family, good education, peace of mind and good friends. It was notable that money, cars, houses, and other material wants were surprisingly down at the end of the list.
Now I believe this would be a good place to point out that God is not opposed to financial or positional success. But we need to understand that material wealth, in and of itself, is not what Jesus came to earth to give us. In fact, Jesus spoke out very clearly against the love of money and material goods that could easily become our god. There is no Biblical bias against honorably achieving financial and material success. But in the process we are instructed to remember that the abilities and talents that we possess, plus the opportunities that come our way to earn and gain, are all blessings from God.
The truth is, we Born-Again Christians can never take credit for our accomplishments, no matter how great they are or how hard we have worked. Whether it be singing, teaching, preaching, being a carpenter, piano tuner, auto mechanic or whatever, each of those occupations should be a matter we cover every day with a great big and continuing “Thank you Lord Jesus!”
In the English language there is no description for being half full of thanks or gratitude. We are either thank-full and grate-full or nothing. For example, it is impossible to celebrate Thanksgiving Day halfheartedly. You are either celebrating it thankfully, or you are really ignoring it; or worse, you are simply a boor.
There has been a special day officially set aside in our nation called “Thanksgiving Day,” and that is wonderful. But we need to recognize every day with heartfelt prayers of thanksgiving to God in Jesus Name; for He is the source of every good thing we have.
We should live our lives in continuing thanksgiving. I have told this story more than once, but it is worth repeating here and now. It is a true story and told by a pastor who experienced it.
One of the families in his congregation had adopted a Vietnamese boy, and the youngster learned very quickly to speak creditable English; except he had trouble pronouncing his “g’s” and “l’s” correctly. As they were leaving the church after a Thanksgiving Day service, the little boy shook the pastor’s hand on the way out with the greeting, “Happy Thanksliving.”
Grammatically he may have been a little off, but in reality he didn’t miss it at all. It really should be happy and joyful Thanksliving for all of us every day of our lives! Let’s live out the gratitude and thanksgiving we feel toward our Lord Jesus Christ — God’s Son, our Savior, Healer, and Deliverer!
Happy Thanksgiving and Glory!