Thanksgiving Encourages Encounter
Pastor Reece Bowling
We are well into the holiday season. There are six weeks until Christmas; and 2019 is fast approaching. I want the holidays of 2018 to be remembered for something more important than green bean casseroles and marshmallow sweet potatoes (not that there is anything wrong with those).
But I really want us as individuals, families, and a community to finish 2018 on a spiritual upswing.
- What if this was the season when you finally reconciled with your family?
- What if this season you were set free from depression?
- What if this season you were healed of chronic illness?
- What if this season you led someone to the Lord, shared your testimony with your family, or got a prophetic word from God.
- What if this season you experienced the breakthrough you’ve been praying for!
But for this Holiday season to be different from past holiday seasons, we need to be open to celebrating differently.
This spiritual upswing can begin by realizing that Thanksgiving is the natural consequence of understanding our relationship as believers with our Father God through Christ and how that relationship changes everything else about our lives.
Psalm 100 is called the Thanksgiving Psalm and it reveals why we should be thankful and instructs us how to express our thanksgiving to God. Why and How.
Shout joyfully to the Lord, all the earth. Serve the Lord with gladness; Come before Him with joyful singing. Know that the Lord Himself is God; It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves; We are His people and the sheep of His pasture. Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise. Give thanks to Him, bless His name. For the Lord is good; His lovingkindness is everlasting and His faithfulness to all generations.
Let’s break this down a little.
- Shout joyfully to the Lord, all the earth. Serve the Lord with gladness; Come before Him with joyful singing.
Attitude can encourage or discourage an intimate encounter. If I come home and Sarah’s not happy, I’m not likely to engage.
So, in worship we strive for more celebration and less sack cloth. Being excited looks differently for different people. Depression is always based on deception. Depression isn’t disappointment. It’s an expectation of failure and defeat.
- Know that the Lord Himself is God; It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves; We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.
We’re not strangers to God, but sometimes it seems He may be a stranger to us and it makes us uncomfortable.
John 4:29 “Come, see a man who told me all the things that I have done…”
Become comfortable sharing about ourselves.
- Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise. Give thanks to Him, bless His name. For the Lord is good;
Assignment between now and Thursday – List of personal victories, family victories, church victories.
Write Down 7 Things that God has done for you.
Revelation 3:20 “Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me.”
- His lovingkindness is everlasting and His faithfulness to all generations.
Teach our families to be thankful which helps to make encountering God a family tradition.
Thankful Journal –
Write down 7 people who you are thankful for, and this week, let them know.