One of our Inspirational Devotions
photo courtesy of Steve Evans
What are your favorite thanksgiving verses?
Here are a few of mine:
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. Philippians 4:6
Enter His gates with thanksgiving and into His courts with praise; give thanks to Him and praise His name. Psalm 100:4
After Jesus healed 10 men of leprosy, One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice. He threw himself at Jesus' feet and thanked him. Luke 17:15-16
I urge then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession, and thanksgiving be made for everyone - for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. I Timothy 2:1-2
Jesus modeled a thankful heart.
He thanked God for His presence and power before He fed the 5,000 (John 6:11), and before He raised Lazarus from the dead (John 11:41). Every follower of Jesus is called to be like Him. This means learning to cultivate a grateful and trusting heart. The natural habits of worrying and complaining can be reversed by thanking God for what He has done. Thankful people are contented people. That describes Jesus. I want to be like Him.
Making the Thanksgiving Verses Personal
A friend recently gave me a book entitled, Jesus Calling, by Sarah Young. The book is a 365 day devotional (a brief devotion for each day of the year). What makes it so engaging is the way it is written. As Sarah Young meditated on various Scripture passages, she wrote down what she perceived to be the application of those verses. Her application sentences are written in the first person, with "I" designating God.
She repeatedly reminds her readers that her words are not inspired, as Scripture is. Nevertheless, I find her insights to be biblically sound and personally encouraging. Below are some excerpts from the month of November that pertain directly to cultivating a thankful heart. Remember, "I" and "Me" refer to the Lord.
"Thank Me throughout this day for My presence and My peace. These are gifts of supernatural proportion. Ever since the resurrection, I have comforted My followers with these messages: Peace be with you, and I am with you always. It is impossible to spend too much time thanking and praising Me. Thanksgiving and praise put you in a proper relationship with Me."
"Thankfulness takes the sting out of adversity. That is why I instructed you to give thanks in every situation. If you give Me thanks regardless of your feelings, I will give you joy regardless of your circumstances. Thankfulness opens your heart to My presence and your mind to My thoughts. You may still be in the same place, with the same circumstances, but it is as if a light has been switched on, enabling you to see from My perspective."
"When your mind is occupied with thanking Me, you have no time for worrying or complaining. If you practice thankfulness consistently, negative thought patterns will gradually grow weaker and weaker. Draw near to Me with a grateful heart, and My presence will fill you with joy and peace."
You can personalize thanksgiving verses
Colossians 3:15-17 uses forms of the word "thanks" three times.
I'll get you started - "Since you called to be united in one body, let my peace rule in your hearts. Be thankful for one another and all that you contribute to each other."
Finish personalizing the rest of the passage:
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms, and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
As you celebrate this Thanksgiving holiday, consider making a list of 10 things that have come from God's gracious hand… and thank him.
The words of the apostle Paul will challenge you: Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus
(I Thessalonians 5:16-18).
Author: Paul Schlieker www.bible-study-lesson-plans.com
For any reuse or distribution of Thanksgiving Verses or any of our free Bible study materials author credit and web address is required.
Discussion questions for your Sunday School class or small group:
1. Share your favorite verse of thanksgiving.
2. How does thankfulness make you more contented in God's will and gifts?
3. Write out your personalization of Colossians 3:15-17.
4. What could you do to remind yourself to be thankful?
us with questions or comments.
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