Thursday, November 19, 2009

What Are You Thankful For?

Its that time of year where there's constant talk of turkey, parades, football, and Black Friday. Yes it's Thanksgiving next week and so last night we focused on the subject. I asked the students to tell me a few things they are thankful for and some of their favorite Thanksgiving foods (my favorite Thanksgiving food is Buttermilk pie, and I don't like turkey). The other night I asked my 5 year old nephew Noah to come sit in my lap and tell me what he is thankful for. He thought for a minute and then without my prompting looked at me and said "Jesus and God", which brought tears to my eyes. Then he proceeded with a long list that included "food, drink, tv, video games, couch, house, family, dog, etc. As we think about all the things we are thankful for I challenged the students with a tough question. Its the kind of question we know how we want to answer it, but we need to consider how we would truthfully react in the situation. I asked them this: "If you woke up tomorrow and had nothing at all, would you still be thankful?" If everything you have today that you are used to- home, friends, family, possessions, etc. If all of that was gone and left you with nothing but Jesus, would you still be thankful. Its a tough thought and I hope that no one would ever experience that type of situation. I personally know that I need to be in love with Jesus to the point that He is all I need and all I want. I believe that's what it means to be a true follower of Christ. Its not to say that we would be disappointed or hurt when we experience loss in our lives, but that we realize that Jesus is so much more valuable.

We are told in 1 Thessalonians 5:18 to give thanks in everything. When we endure hard times- we need to give thanks. This is why we sang Desert Song last night. I love the theme of this song about how no matter what we are going through in life- we have to bring praise and acknowledge that God is sovereign and in control, and most importantly that He loves us through it.

I asked the students to enter into a time of prayer and consider these four things to ask God, which we need to pray each and every day.
1) Ask God to reveal to you what you need to be thankful for
2) Ask God to give you a thankful attitude and heart
3) Ask God to give you a greater love and appreciation of Him
4) Ask God to show you how blessed you are

I then had the students write down on a card the things that they are thankful for. I urge you to do the same as well. Think about what you're thankful for and share it with others. I'll be posting my list soon.

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