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THANKSGIVING


One of the most beautiful words in the English language is “thanksgiving.” It involves gratitude and appreciation. It is a wonderful thing to be thankful, both to God and others. People are thankful for a variety of reasons. One of these reasons should be for life itself. The fact that we are alive, breathing, and enjoying a measure of health and strength should definitely be appreciated.

The United States designates the fourth Thursday in November as “Thanksgiving Day,” and is a public holiday. Everyone can celebrate this day however they choose. As christians, many of us utilize the season to render thanks to Almighty God for His bountiful goodness and mercy each day of our lives. One verse of an ancient hymn goes like this, “When all thy mercies, O, my God, my rising soul surveys. Transported in the view I’m lost in wonder, love, and praise.”

The Bible sets forth the “what” and “why” of giving praise and thanksgiving to God, the Creator of the universe. Psalm 100 (also known as “Old 100th”) is a psalm of gladness and thanksgiving to the God of heaven. This psalm can also be considered a doxology or hallelujah chorus of praise and worship to Almighty God for His faithfulness to His people, and uttered by the Christian Church

Verse 1. “Make a joyful shout to the LORD all you lands! Because christians are a “rejoicing people,” making a joyful shout to the LORD should be a natural exercise coming from worshipful hearts with a cheerful spirit. This brings to mind the beautiful thanksgiving hymn, “Now thank we all our God With hearts and hands and voices, Who wondrous things hath done, In whom His earth rejoices” (Martin Rinkhart, 1586-1649). It means that God’s people are in every land and are capable of honoring Him with a joyful shout of thanksgiving and praise.

Verse 2. “Serve the LORD with gladness; Come before His presence with singing.” God’s true worshippers recognize the importance of serving the LORD with gladness of heart and willingness of spirit, counting it a joy and an honor in doing so.

Verse 3. “Know that the LORD, He is God. He it is who made us, and not we ourselves. We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.” God’s people are conscious of who He is, what He means to them, and the reasons to acknowledge it. God is our creator and the very source of our existence and also the source of our wellbeing. The Bible says, “It is in Him we live and move and have our being” (Acts17:28). God is also our great Shepherd and we are His flock, hence we look to Him for protection, help, guidance, and direction so that our lives can bear fruit for His glory.

Verse 4. "Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, And into his courts with praise. Be thankful unto Him and bless His name." Here is an invitation of worth with great excellence, grandeur, and inspiration from the awe-inspiring Sovereign God. This beloved hymn offers some thoughts: “Praise to the Lord, O let all that is in me adore Him! All that hath life and breath, Come now with praises before Him. Let the Amen sound from His people again, Gladly for aye we adore Him” (Joachim Neander 1650—1680). Be thankful unto Him and bless His name. We are already blessed, now we must bless the Lord O our souls and all that is within us bless His holy Name.

Verse 5. "For the LORD is good." Embedded in the summary of this beautiful psalm are some of God's great attributes, such as His loving-kindness, great mercy, love, amazing grace, faithfulness, and forgiveness, just to identify a few.

We should always be thankful to God not only on Thanksgiving day but everyday, for his love is everlasting and His mercy endures throughout all generations. Let thankfulness be unconfined. Have a great and blessed Thanksgiving.

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