Happy Thanksgiving!

Today’s Passage – Romans 1 – 3

Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. (Romans 1:21)

I woke up this morning a little before 6; and I started to go through my normal routine of making coffee, and going to my chair in the living room to read God’s Word. But this morning things were different in my house. Nearly every room in the house had people sleeping in it, including the living room. Last evening, Katelyn’s mother and brother arrived; and early this morning Sami, Melissa, and Wesley came in. It’s been a long time since the whole family was all together. What a joy to spend this Thanksgiving with family. I am truly blessed of God.

I didn’t forget about the text. In this morning’s reading, I noticed in the latter part of the Roman’s 1, Paul gives a list of what man is capable of in his worst state. The description given there includes a list of some of the most wicked sins imaginable. We see this list of sins displayed before our eyes every day in this ungodly world that we live in. However, the people who are guilty of these things in our text did not start out in such a state. The Bible reveals that at one time these people knew God. The problem started back in verse 21, where the Scripture reveals that they did not give God the glory; they were not thankful. A lack of thanksgiving to God, and to people whom God has used in your life is a first step in a downward spiral which will ultimately lead to an immoral, godless lifestyle.

Thanksgiving begins in our attitude. You cannot sincerely express thanksgiving unless it is in your heart. We all need to examine our hearts to see if we have the right attitude. Do you find yourself often looking on the dark side of life? Is your cup always half empty instead of mostly full? Do you find yourself envious of what others may possess? Do you whine and complain a lot about your circumstances. If you do, you have an attitude problem that only God can fix. But it can be fixed. You must first confess to God the sin of ingratitude and discontentment. Then you must ask Him to help you change your perspective on life. It really is a matter of perspective. Have you ever seen on television children from a third world country, living in the most deplorable conditions, playing contentedly, seemingly oblivious to their adverse circumstances? Have you ever known a person who struggled with a debilitating and painful illness who seemed to always have a smile on their face? These people have a positive outlook on life. They have a good perspective. You and I live in America, and most of us have health, yet we complain constantly like spoiled children. We need to look at life differently.

On a practical level, there are some things that you and I can do that will help change our perspective. For instance, you could write in a journal or a diary a list of the blessings that God has given you. When you find yourself feeling negative and down on your life you can pull it out and review how really blessed you are. Take time to think about the good things that God has done for you. If we really think about it, we all have been blessed of God far more that we could possibly deserve.

Once you get the attitude right, it will be easy for you to express gratitude and thanksgiving audibly, and through some tangible actions. Take some time today to think about what you are thankful for and who you are thankful for, and then go through the process of expressing your thanks to the people who have been a blessing to you; and most of all to God, who has sent those blessings your way.

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