The Fulness Of Being Thankful

Is Thanksgiving more than just saying thank you? We see that the Pilgrims celebrated the first Thanksgiving with their Native American friends. They were thankful that they taught them about the land and the seasons in America, and so they showed them their gratitude by their hospitality. But is there more to being truly thankful. Yeshua tells us this in Matthew 5:43-48, “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’  But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,  so that you may prove yourselves to be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Even the tax collectors, do they not do the same?  And if you greet only your brothers and sisters, what more are you doing than others? Even the Gentiles, do they not do the same?  Therefore you shall be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” 1 Thessalonians 5:15-18 says,  “See that no one repays another with evil for evil, but always seek what is good for one another and for all people.  Rejoice always,  pray without ceasing,  in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God for you in Messiah Yeshua.” 

Thanksgiving and love go together. You see there is more to God’s Commandments than what was written on the tablets. Yeshua expounded on many of the Commandments and in Exodus through Deuteronomy God also expands on the Commandments.  Thanksgiving is “giving” with a thankful heart and a thankful heart is love.  Let’s look at a few examples. First, Psalm 136 is about giving thanks for God’s love. Verses 1-4, “Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good, for His loyal love endures. Give thanks to the God of gods, for His loyal love endures. Give thanks to the Lord of lords, for His loyal love endures, to the One who performs magnificent, amazing deeds all by Himself, for His loyal love endures.”

2 Corinthians 9:6-15 tells us this about “giving” with thanksgiving,  “Now I say this: the one who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and the one who sows generously will also reap generously.  Each one must do just as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.  And God is able to make all grace overflow to you, so that, always having all sufficiency in everything, you may have an abundance for every good deed;  as it is written: “He scattered abroad, he gave to the poor, His righteousness endures forever.” Now He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness;  you will be enriched in everything for all liberality, which through us is producing thanksgiving to God.  For the ministry of this service is not only fully supplying the needs of the saints, but is also overflowing through many thanksgivings to God.  Because of the proof given by this ministry, they will glorify God for your obedience to your confession of the gospel of Messiah and for the liberality of your contribution to them and to all,  while they also, by prayer on your behalf, yearn for you because of the surpassing grace of God in you.  Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!”

You see, when someone shows love to us, then we should be thankful, but in our thankfulness we also must show love.  1 John 3:16-18 says, “We know love by this, that He laid down His life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers and sisters.  But whoever has worldly goods and sees his brother or sister in need, and closes his heart against him, how does the love of God remain in him?  Little children, let’s not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth.”  Colossians 3: 16-17 tells us,  “Let the Word of Messiah  richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God. Whatever you do in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Yeshua, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.”

As we saw in 1 Thessalonians that prayer and thanksgiving go together, let’s look at a few more examples. Philippians 4:6-7, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and pleading with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.  And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and minds in Messiah Yeshua.” Colossians 4:2, “Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it with an attitude of thanksgiving.”

Romans 12: 9-13, “Love must be free of hypocrisy. Detest what is evil; cling to what is good.  Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor,  not lagging behind in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord;  rejoicing in hope, persevering in tribulation, devoted to prayer, contributing to the needs of the saints, practicing hospitality.”

This Thanksgiving show your love and gratitude (thanksgiving) by giving.

Matthew 25: 34-36, “Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in; naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me. Then the righteous will answer Him, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed You, or thirsty, and give You something to drink?  And when did we see You as a stranger, and invite You in, or naked, and clothe You?  And when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’  And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it for one of the least of these brothers or sisters of Mine, you did it for Me.’

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