The Act of Being Thankful

Lesson for November 24

The theme of tonight’s devotional is Thanksgiving.  Not the day of food and football but the act of being thankful

Here are some interesting quotes about thanksgiving.  Do any of these particularly resonate with you?  If not, are there quotes that do resonate with you?

“We would worry less if we praised more. Thanksgiving is the enemy of discontent and dissatisfaction.”-H.A. Ironside

“Gratitude unlocks the fulness of life.  It turns what we have into enough and more.  It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend.” -Melody Beattie

“He is a wise man who does not grieve for the things which he has not, but rejoices for those which he has.”- Epictetus

“We need to discover all over again that worship is natural to the Christian, as it was to the Godly Israelites who wrote the psalms, and that the habit of celebrating the greatness and graciousness of God yields an endless flow of thankfulness, joy and zeal.”- J. I. Packer

“A thankful heart is one of the primary identifying characteristics of a believer.  It stands in stark contrast to pride, selfishness and worry. And it helps fortify the believers trust in the Lord and reliance of His provision, even in the toughest times. No matter how choppy the seas become, a believer’s heart is buoyed by constant praise and gratefulness to the Lord.”-Jon MacArthur

“We ought to give thanks for all fortune: if it is good, because it is good, if bad, because it works in us patience, humility and the contempt of this world and the hope of our eternal country.”  C.S. Lewis

Jonathan Edwards calls the deeper, primary form of thankfulness “gracious gratitude.” It gives thanks not for goods received, but for who God is: for His character—His goodness, love power, excellencies—regardless of favors received.  And it’s real evidence of the Holy Spirit working in a person’s life.”-Chuck Colson

  1. Exodus 15: 1-21 called the song of Miriam and Moses The song of the sea is one of the oldest surviving texts describing the Exodus, possibly written as many as three thousand years ago. When something significant happens in our lives, it seems embedded in our DNA to celebrate with song.  How many saving acts of God are described in these verses.  What actions do Moses and Miriam set out in the song?
  2. Luke 1: 46-55  The song of Mary. This kind of praise seems so unusual given all the uncertainty that swirled around Mary at this time.   What caused Mary to create this song?  What are the various things that she was thankful.
  3. Psalm 22.  This is a song of lament.  What is the mood of David at the beginning of the Psalm?  What is his mood at the end.  Is this a song of lament or of thankgiving?
  4. Psalm 13  What is David’s situation as he writes this psalm?  How difficult is it to express thanks to God when he is distant or silent?  How do you react during these times?
  5. Phillipians 1: 12-21  Paul is giving thanks even though it does not sound like his circumstance are conducive to being thankful.  What was Paul’s situation as he was writing this letter.  I wonder how we would react during these same circumstances.  How was Paul able to do it?
  6. Mark 14: 12-26  When Jesus gave thanks in this reading do you think it was difficult for him to do knowing what he was about to endure?   During the Lord’s Supper are you able to truly give thanks in the manner that Jesus did?  How do you get your mind situated so you can do that?
  7. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18  How do you pray without ceasing  and give thanks in all circumstances?
  8. Romans 6:17-18  Why is God so concerned with us being thankful?

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