Happy Thanksgiving

November 21 2018
November 21 2018
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This Thanksgiving weekend, let me affirm the practice of expressing horizontal gratitude—that is, to each other.  It’s fitting to convey appreciation to one another, whether for large or small kindnesses.

Speaking of which:  I am so thankful to you, my Goshen family, for all the ways you encourage and support and challenge me and partner with me in this wonderful venture of being the church!

Plus, there are many reasons to be grateful to our families and close friends for their loving presence in our lives.  Also, I’m thankful to Christian leaders who’ve taught and shaped me through the years.

But let me add:  for the Christian, thanksgiving must also be vertical.  If our gratitude doesn’t prompt us to “look up” and isn’t centered on the greatness and grace of Jesus Christ, it’s profoundly incomplete.

Let me encourage you to infuse vertical thanks into your holiday con­versations:  look for ways to express your heart-felt gratitude to God for the forgiveness of sins and the secure hope of heaven.

Which means don’t just focus on material blessings or temporal com­forts.  To be sure, it’s good to thank God for health, food, shelter, etc.  But make sure your Christian gratitude takes in the price­less spiritual and eternal gifts of God!  Let Scripture be your guide:

  • I will praise the name of God with a song; I will magnify him with thanks­giving (Psalm 69:30).
  • Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever (Psalm 136:1).
  • But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 15:57).
  • Thanks be to God for his inexpressible gift! (2 Corinthians 9:15).
  • Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you (1 Thessalonians 5:18).
  • We give thanks to you, Lord God Almighty, who is and who was, for you have taken your great power and begun to reign (Rev 11:17).

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