If you're really thankful, tell someone about it

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Minister's Forum

It’s that time of year again.  The leaves have fallen from almost all of the trees. The air is cold. The morning dew is now the morning frost. The smell of pumpkin pie is wafting from the kitchen. And the stores are all gearing-up for Black Friday sales.

Yes, it is late November and Thanksgiving is here.
It is the time of year when we all take at least one day to be thankful. And we should be thankful. The Psalmist writes:

Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good! His faithful love endures forever.
    (Psalm 107:1 NLT)
Of course, we should be thankful; and for the most part we are. I am thankful for my wife and my kids, our home, my job. I am thankful for my parents and the way they raised me. I am thankful my church and the friendships I have with the wonderful people there. I am thankful for other folks in and around Vandalia that I know. I am thankful to be living in the greatest nation on God’s green earth.
For all these things, I am thankful. But  that is not what the Psalmist was writing about when he penned that verse (Psalm 107:1) thousands of years ago. Look at it again, but this time include verse two  with it:

Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good! His faithful love endures forever. Has the LORD redeemed you? Then speak out! Tell others he has redeemed you from your enemies.
This isn’t just a command to be thankful. This is more than simply knowing that every good and perfect gift comes from the Father above. He is telling us to actually do something, particularly two things. First, he is telling us to give thanks. Second, he is telling us to speak out.
Just how are we supposed to give thanks to the Lord? We don’t do that by gorging ourselves on turkey and dressing. I love the Thanksgiving meal as much as the next guy (probably even more than the next guy),  but that’s not giving thanks. We don’t do that by getting together with all the aunts, uncles, cousins and in-laws. They are fun to be around, but they’re not the ones to whom we give thanks. We don’t do that by dozing off while watching football. (Go Cowboys!)
We do that by getting quiet, at least for a little while, with God.  Let him know just how thankful you are.
The second thing that we are supposed to do, according to that Psalm, is speak out. That means that we must not keep our thankfulness to ourselves. It is more than just a private attitude which we keep to ourselves. We have to tell other people. This does not mean being prideful or boastful of the material blessings that God has given us. It’s fine that we recognize that all of the “stuff” that we have actually belongs to God, and we are to use it to glorify him. The writer of that Psalm was telling his readers to tell others about how God had redeemed them from their enemies.
Has the Lord redeemed you?  Yes, he has. You see, at one point every one of us has been captured by our enemy, sin. Every one of us is a sinner. All of us are slaves to sin. It’s our own fault, we freely chose to sin – nobody forced us to do it.
The problem is that while we got ourselves into it, we cannot get ourselves out of it. That’s where Jesus comes in. When he died on the cross, he redeemed us (bought us back) from our old enemy, sin.  All we have to do is accept the gift of his redemption and live for him instead of ourselves.
If you have accepted his gift, then you know that, just like the writer of Psalm 107:1-2, God has redeemed you from your enemy. Just like the Psalmist said, tell someone. Let them know how God has saved you. Let them know how God redeemed you from your enemy.
This is the best way we can give thanks to the Lord.