Miss Thanksgiving worship? Here is the link to watch!
THANKSGIVING EVE WORSHIP
The irony of Black Friday…
Just as you are finishing a day of thanksgiving and reflecting on all the blessings God has given in the past year, focus shifts to the pile of advertisements or emails that call your name to…go buy more stuff!
You would think that after a day of thanksgiving would come a day of contentment…at least an hour or two.
Truth be told, I have gotten up early, stood in line, and been one of the first in a door to get a special on Friday morning. However, it does lead me to pause and ask, “Is the purpose of Thanksgiving to end one year of accumulating stuff with gratitude, only to start another year of accumulating stuff?
Of course it isn’t, but it’s easy to go there.
The purpose of giving thanks isn’t to GET more; the purpose of giving thanks is to GIVE more.
The Apostle Paul inspired by God’s Spirit, puts this into perspective.
2 Corinthians 9:10 Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. 11 You will be made rich in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.
Remember who gave you all you have in the first place…God is the one who “supplies seed to the sower and bread for food.” As the “Common Doxology” says, “Praise God from whom ALL blessings flow.” Giving thanks realizes all I have is a gift of God.
Then what happens?
God continues to give…for a purpose.
- To “enlarge the harvest of your righteousness.” The goodness of God leads me to do the good God encourages. The generosity of God, not only in material things, but in the spiritual (especially what God has given to me in the grace of Jesus) is the motivation to produce fruits of faith.
- To enable us to be generous on every occasion. God is a giver. He wants his people to be givers as well. Jesus condemned the rich farmer who just wanted to take his bumper crops and build bigger barns and store everything up for himself. His life was taken from him. Jesus concluded that parable with the words, “This is how it will be with anyone who stores up things for himself but is not rich toward God” (Luke 12:21).
- To lead others to give thanks to God as well. Just as we have been God’s message to share with others, we have been given a portion of God’s possessions to share with others. When we love others by sharing the blessings we have received, others give thanks…not to us…but to God.
Paul continues in 2 Corinthians 9 of what happens when we give thanks…and give more:
2 Corinthians 9:12 This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of God’s people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God. 13 Because of the service by which you have proved yourselves, men will praise God for the obedience that accompanies your confession of the gospel of Christ, and for your generosity in sharing with them and with everyone else. 14 And in their prayers for you their hearts will go out to you, because of the surpassing grace God has given you. 15 Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!
So this “Black Friday” remember the greatest gift you received on “Good Friday”. May this “indescribable gift” lead you to give thanks…AND give thankfully!
Apply: Perhaps in your shopping this weekend think of someone who has a need which you can bless with a generous gift, simply to show them the love of Jesus.
Prayer: Lord, thank you for giving so generously to me all things physical and spiritual. Enlarge my heart of gratefulness so I can be generous on every occasion. AMEN.