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  • Jason Wade

GIVE THANKS WITH A GRATEFUL HEART


31 Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad; let them say among the nations, “The Lord reigns!” 32 Let the sea resound, and all that is in it; let the fields be jubilant, and everything in them! 33 Let the trees of the forest sing, let them sing for joy before the Lord, for he comes to judge the earth.

34 Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.

1 Chronicles 16:31-34

How do you come to the table? How do we all come to the table this Thanksgiving? Is it with our schedules or with a grateful heart. I hope and pray that it comes from the later. I know that for many of us, the holiday seasons seem like a blur. Especially when it comes to Thanksgiving and Christmas. We want it to get here so fast and then we rush through it so that we can get it over with. Well, not me. Nope, I really want it to truly take as long as it can. I am the type of person that loves to celebrate each holiday as it comes. So it hurts sometimes when I already see Christmas items out in the stores before Halloween has even come yet. Don't get me wrong either, I am a Christmas junkie. I love the season, the music, the lights, the sounds, the weather, the food, the movies, and of course the story. But I am grateful for each of these holidays and so today I want us to come to Thanksgiving with a grateful heart.

What does it mean to come with a grateful heart? It means that we take the time and give to it what the holiday deserves. It is not about how many shopping days until Christmas or about Black Friday deals that started last week. It is about sitting in the room and being present. It is about watching the Macy's day parade and the Purina Dog Show. It is about

sharing all of the memories from years past and seeing how the faces have changed around the table. Some have gotten older and more mature or maybe taller and still just as immature. Life has hit us all in different ways, but all in all it is about giving our hearts in gratitude to a God who has carried us through. Just like the first pilgrims that endured the first Thanksgiving, we are coming to the table to give thanks for God helping us to endure. For the people, like the Native Americans, that God placed in their path to help them make it through. Please understand that we would have never made it through without the help of others along the way. And the quintessential point of it all, they all sat down together, with grateful hearts and gave thanks.

As we look at the Scripture for today, we step into the Chronicles of God's people. We are able to read through and see the ups and downs that God's people endured during this time and once again how God gave them the fortitude that they needed to endure. The Chronicles are about Israel's history, the lineage of the kings who ruled and what the Israelites experienced on their return from exile. Chronicles leads us back to the most important part of what God has called us to do and that is worship. And not just any worship, but PURE WORSHIP offered on God's terms. The author, probably Ezra, helps us to see the depiction of this worship in our scripture today. It is with a pure heart that we see worship in all of its fullness. We see it from the heavens, the oceans, the forests, and ultimately from us. The common theme is GIVE THANKS TO THE LORD because HIS LOVE ENDURES FOREVER! As we take these words to heart, we must be reminded that the only way we are capable of this pure worship is through humility and thanksgiving. Remember it is never about us, but that worship is our action back to God. It is our response to the many blessings that we have received. Just like breathing, our worship should be so innate to us because of our desire to grow in our gratefulness to God.

So today I want you to think through how you approach the table this week. Do we approach it because you are physically hungry, or do we approach it because we are spiritually blessed to receive such an offering and with gratitude we want to offer our praises

back to God. It is a different mentality and my hope and prayer is that you don't speed through it. Enjoy the moment... enjoy the company. Because if you only see these people once or maybe twice a year, there is a lot that can happen in a year and you don't want to miss out on connecting with their story. The deals will still be there or maybe God is able to protect you from going too crazy with the "deals" that really are not to great of a deal. Remember you always have cyber Monday, lol, but you may never have that time together around the table in the same way ever again. Give thanks to the Lord for He is GOOD. His Love endures forever! AMEN!



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