1 Thessalonians 5:18 Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
I was in Target this week with three of my grandkids. They were coming over for dinner and to hang out at our house for the evening. I had picked them up and Kristi (my wife and ‘MorMor’ to our grandkids) was going to meet us at home. I needed a few things and thought it would be fun to have a little adventure at the store. As we got situated in the cart, two inside, one hanging on the side, we headed out to find my needed items. Of course, we found a few treats along the way! One then asked, “Papa, can we get a toy?” What happened next was a surprise and made me think! The oldest grandchild, in response to his sister’s question, said, “Why are you asking for a new toy. We just had Christmas … and got lots of toys. We should be thankful for what we have!” The one who asked the question started thinking out loud in a pouty voice, “But I only got a few toys!’ Then you could tell she was going through her mind at all she did receive at Christmas. A smile came over her face and she looked at me with a sheepish grin and said, “I did get a lot Papa, so maybe just a snack?” I smiled and said, “Of course, let’s find a snack!”
As we made our way to the cookie aisle I started to think of how unsatisfying and joy-draining the path of want can be. Want can rob the fun and joy of what we do have. Want can pull our attention away from the good we have and move us to play the victim. Want can even push us away from relationships, and sometimes even God.
Yet, being thankful can add so much to life. Many studies have been done that prove being thankful reduces stress, helps us feel better, allows us to be more open to relationships and connecting with others, and strengthens our mental health. Thankfulness enhances empathy and calms our inner aggressions. Some studies suggest being thankful even makes us more attractive and improves our physical health! Wow, so much from just being thankful. Can you think of something right now you are thankful for? If so, you just gave yourself a gift! God does encourage us to be thankful.
Colossians 3:15 And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful.
Psalms 100:4 Enter His gates with thanksgiving, and His courts with praise!Give thanks to Him; bless His name!
Psalms 106:1 Praise the LORD! Oh give thanks to the LORD, for He is good,for His steadfast love endures forever!
Psalms 28:7 The LORD is my strength and my shield; in Him my heart trusts, and I am helped; my heart exults, and with my song I give thanks to him.
Can you think of a few more things you are thankful for? Maybe family, friends, how God encouraged you, helped you, provided for you? Why not take some time to look over life and be thankful. It can hold back that wayward path of want.
Oh, as we were heading out of the store, the oldest grandson turned to me and asked, “Would a Nintendo game system be too much to get right now?!?” We both laughed on the way to the car.
Church is a great environment to express thankfulness. If you do not already have a church you attend, we would like to invite you to view or visit Neighborhood Church. We are a fun, welcoming church that loves God and seeks to live life His way. Each Sunday we study the Bible and have a great time together. We would love for you to join us. Our website has all the information you need for times and locations of all our gatherings. You can also find us online at neighborhoodchurch.com. As well, if you would like to view any of our past worship gatherings or videos, visit our YouTube channel, or just search Neighborhood Church Cypress or Neighborhood Church Los Alamitos on their YouTube site.
Seeking to be more thankful along with you,
Mike McKay, Lead Pastor, Neighborhood Church