Written By: Alora Yee
It’s that time of the year! Thanksgiving is coming, hurry everyone and make those grateful lists!
How do you feeling about those grateful lists? Are you feeling burned out? Do they seem cliche?
What does the Bible have to say about such treasures we hold in our hearts?
“Do not accumulate for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal. But accumulate for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Matthew 6:19-21)
If we reflect on our past or current grateful lists, do we mostly see things that “can be destroyed by moth or rust?” I have to be honest. At times, I am really grateful for the cozy sweater I scored a great deal on that makes me smile from ear to ear. At times, I’m grateful for the car we always wanted for our family that we had to scrimp and save for a long time to buy.
Our greatest commandment:
“Jesus said to him, ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. The second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.'” (Matthew 22:37-39)
With all our hearts, all our souls, and all of our minds.
I want to challenge you today to think about your list before God in prayer. The scriptures tell us, “in everything give thanks” from 1 Thessalonians 5:18. In everything! That means, yes, give thanks for that softest sweater you’ve ever felt and the car that finally fits your entire family comfortably. We also need to give thanks for the good and the bad, the times of much and the times of need. We need to give thanks in all of our circumstances, our relationships, and material wealth. In everything! Why?
Colossians 3:17 also tell us, “And whatever you do in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.” This is a thankfulness we take accountability in. We control our thoughts, emotions, and actions, which is our realm of responsibility. Everything else is out of our control. With that said, we can have faith that all things are in God’s control! And while we do deeds and say everything to honor our Lord, we also give him thanks unconditionally in our labors. Not by our strength but His. Not for ourselves but for Him to glorify Him.
“Sing praises to the Lord, who rules in Zion! Tell the nations what He has done.” (Psalm 9:11)
“Let the nations thank You, O God! Let all the nations thank You!” (Psalm 67:3)
Why is this so important? James 1:17 states, “All generous giving and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or the slightest hint of change.” Whether it is from our thoughts (which we must submit to Christ), or our hearts (which we protect because everything we say and do flows from it), or even what we do, let it be from the Lord, for the Lord, to glorify the Lord.
The Way is not about us but about Christ. Let us not walk through this season in our strength and in our understanding. Let us be the Church, shining upon all the earth with gratefulness from the Holy Spirit!
I am grateful to God for…
I am grateful to God to be able to…
I am grateful to God for everything I have is from Him.
God did not intend for us to live a double life. We cannot be dedicated to both the world and God. We must be intentional and self-aware so that we’re not distracted or deceived by the blessings God has given us. We are called to live in constant unity with the Spirit. Remember the reason for the season. Remember the greatest commandments and seal them in your heart, soul, and mind.
Instead of simply stating, “I am thankful for this sweater. I am thankful for this car.” Bring focus to the Lord your God! Let everyone know, “I thank God for His provision. I thank the Lord my God for this sweater on my back. I thank the Lord for finding the perfect car for our family. He is a great Father!” Change the trajectory of that grateful list. With it, you might just change the trajectory of the world.
“Let the nations thank You, O God! Let all the nations thank YOU!” (Psalm 67:3)
Written by Alora Yee