Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The Heart of Thanksgiving

Better it is to be of an humble spirit with the lowly, than to divide the spoil with the proud.
Proverbs 16:19
Many of us are busy in preparations for Thanksgiving, some to travel, others for the meal. I am happy to report that pies, potatoes, and cranberry sauce are all ready awaiting that feast at our house. Yet, even if the turkey is ready to cook, the pies made, or the car packed; are you ready to give thanks? In the midst of our making ready let us never forget that one thing needful, preparing our hearts for the true purpose of the day.

Thankfulness begins with a humble heart. True gratefulness of heart is never half-hearted, no, it is rather born of a deep sense of unworthiness and lowliness of mind. Who are some of the most grateful people you can think of? Would you ever in the same breath call them proud, arrogant or haughty? Never, because we can only be thankful when we realize that what we deserve we do not get, and what we don't deserve we receive. Those who believe they have earned what they have, or have some right to what they don't have, will never be thankful. Complaining comes from a wrong view of ourselves and of God.
Ah, did we but rightly understand what the demerit of sin is, we would rather admire the bounty of God than complain of the straithandedness of Providence. And if we did but consider that there lies upon God no obligation of justice or gratitude to reward any of our duties, it would cure our murmurs (Gen. 32:10).
-John Flavel

When we have a right view then we will say with the Psalmist:
He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities. For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him. As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.
Psalm 103:10-12

The best way to prepare our hearts for thanksgiving is to soberly consider our own unworthiness and the great goodness our God has bestowed upon us. The blessing of mercy and grace that receive through our Lord Jesus is equal to the greatness of the punishment we deserve. Now what we receive is upon His merit, our praise can never be enough for such a gift. For most of us our earthly blessings also far surpass what we deserve. Do you have health, food, and clothing on your back? Then you are blessed far more than many in this world, all the rest we have is extraneous blessing. As we come to this holiday may it not just be one day of thanksgiving to God for us; may it renew in us a heart of continual gratitude, for this is the will of God.
In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.
I Thessalonians 5:18

May the Lord bless you with a thankful heart!



What a wonderful post, thank you for sharing, Lydia! I hope you all had a good Thanksgiving!!

Lydia said...

Yes, we did. I got your letters off today! Finally!

Under Southern Skies said...

Happy late Thanksgiving, Lydia! We had a very nice one. :) BTW, we received your letters yesterday!