The Training Table: Giving Thanks
Welcome to the Training Table where you can depend on some spiritually-nourishing chow, carefully prepared, to help you run the Godly and good race! For what good is a good race, unless it’s a Godly race? (2 Timothy 4:7; 1 Corinthians 9:24; Galatians 5:7)
The Most Scrumpdillyicious Feast of the Heart? Giving Thanks!
Thanks for What? Jesus!
On the eve of The Thanksgiving Holiday we’re here today to feast on the fact that GIVING THANKS is both the foundational measurement of giving God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit the glory AND the highest realm we can reach in our minute-by-minute acknowledgment and praise of Him AND what is the most essential thing missing when we suppress the True Truth and Love of God if we do not have faith in Him by faith in His Son, Jesus Christ. (Romans 1:18-32)
Giving thanks to God softens our heart; not giving thanks to God hardens the heart. (Ezekiel 11:17-21)
Giving thanks to God will always make us better; not giving thanks to God will always make us bitter. (1 Thessalonians 5:23; Ephesians 4:31-32)
Giving thanks to God will fill us with joy; not giving thanks to God will fill us with fear. (James 1; 2 Timothy 1:7)
Giving thanks to God will grow our fruitfulness in love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; not giving thanks to God will diminish the fruitfulness in our life and replace it with the works of the flesh such as sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. (Galatians 5:16-24)
Due the The Fall in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3), the hearts of humankind have a default mode: Sin, sinning, and a form of radical self-centeredness that is more murderous and afflicted than we could ever dare imagine AND YET by the totally unmerited favor of God the Father’s mercies, God the Son’s sacrifice on the cross, and God the Spirit’s heart regenerating “jump-start” from death to life… We can repent and be born-again and live to serve King Jesus with a heart-full of immeasurable thanks!
Having a heart full of thanks to God is absolutely essential to life; and the lack thereof is an attribute of death… even as we live. This is so because being capable of reaching outside ourselves and attributing each and every joy, jot, tear, and tilttle of life to God flourishes ALL of our life. And the opposite is sadly and most searingly true as well: Devoid of being able to get outside ourselves and glorify God, ALL, ALL… RE: ALL of life is about ME, YOU, OURSELVES. It’s choosing a life of a dead man walking, Beloved: Only our pride, pretense, egotism, and vacuous self-centeredness can reign… When God, in Christ, and by the Spirit does not Reign instead.
It is as predictable, axiomatic, and anecdotal as the rise and fall of the sun. Period. The second oldest religion is humanism! And even the slightest hint of reaching outside ourselves to acknowledge dependence on another… especially God… is a very good thing indeed.
Don’t just pig-out on turkey!
Please spend lots of quality time feasting on the promises of God in Holy Scriptures [below] pertaining to what having repented and having faith in Jesus Christ assures you of.
Give All Your Heart and Life to Thanksgiving to God for Jesus Christ…
…in You, the Hope of Glory!
2 Corinthians 5:17
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.
1 Peter 2:9
But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.
There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.
For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
“We ought to give thanks for all fortune: if it is good, because it is good, if bad, because it works in us patience, humility and the contempt of this world and the hope of our eternal country.” (C.S. Lewis)
But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God,
2 Corinthians 5:21
For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
1 Corinthians 6:19
Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own,
I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.
“The Lord afflicts us at times; but it is always a thousand times less than we deserve, and much less than many of our fellow-creatures are suffering around us. Let us therefore pray for grace to be humble, thankful, and patient.” (John Newton)
Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
1 John 4:4
Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.
1 Corinthians 12:27
Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it.
No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you.
“Gratitude is an offering precious in the sight of God, and it is one that the poorest of us can make and be not poorer but richer for having made it.” (A.W. Tozer)
For in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith.
But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ,
1 Peter 2:9-10
But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.
1 Corinthians 3:16
Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you?
2 Timothy 1:7
For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.
“Pride slays thanksgiving, but a humble mind is the soil out of which thanks naturally grow.” (Henry Ward Beecher)
For you are all children of light, children of the day. We are not of the night or of the darkness.
1 Corinthians 6:17
But he who is joined to the Lord becomes one spirit with him.
Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.
2 Peter 1:4
By which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire.
2 Corinthians 5:20
Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.
1 John 5:18
We know that everyone who has been born of God does not keep on sinning, but he who was born of God protects him, and the evil one does not touch him.
“A thankful heart is one of the primary identifying characteristics of a believer. It stands in stark contrast to pride, selfishness, and worry. And it helps fortify the believer’s trust in the Lord and reliance of His provision, even in the toughest times. No matter how choppy the seas become, a believer’s heart is buoyed by constant praise and gratefulness to the Lord.” (John MacArthur)
1 Corinthians 6:20
For you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.
And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.
For through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father.
And raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,
2 Corinthians 2:15
For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing…
“I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought, and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.” (G.K. Chesterton)
For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.
And, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness.
I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.
“Reflect upon your present blessings — of which every man has many — not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some.” (Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol and Other Christmas Writings)
1 John 5:14-15
And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him.
But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.
You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden.
“A state of mind that sees God in everything is evidence of growth in grace and a thankful heart.” (Charles Finney)
But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience,
Jesus said, you did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you.
Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
1 Peter 2:5
You yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.
“I exalt gratitude as a central biblical response of the heart to the grace of God. The Bible commands gratitude to God as one of our highest duties. “Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise. Give thanks to him, bless his name” (Psalm 100:4). God says that gratitude honors him: “He who offers a sacrifice of thanksgiving honors me”” (Psalm 50:23). (John Piper, Future Grace, 32)
I can do all things through him who strengthens me.
I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.
He predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will,
“Gratitude is the healthiest of all human emotions. The more you express gratitude for what you have, the more likely you will have even more to express gratitude for.” (Zig Ziglar)
1 John 1:9
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight
“I liked my name pronounced by your lips in a grateful, happy accent.” (Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre)
He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son,
2 Corinthians 1:22
And who has also put his seal on us and given us his Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee.
For as by the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous.
1 Corinthians 2:16
“For who has understood the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?” But we have the mind of Christ.
“Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all the others.” (Marcus Tullius Cicero)
Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil.
1 Corinthians 3:9
For we are God’s fellow workers. You are God’s field, God’s building.
Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known.
And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.
“Those blessings are sweetest that are won with prayers and won with thanks.” (Thomas Goodwin)
There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit.
And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!”
2 Corinthians 5:15
And he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised.
And if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.
But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
“Take a saint, and put him into any condition, and he knows how to rejoice in the Lord.” (Walter Cradock)
Jesus said, I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.
1 Peter 2:11
Beloved, I urge you as sojourners and exiles to abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against your soul.
Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.
1 John 1:1-10
That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we looked upon and have touched with our hands, concerning the word of life— the life was made manifest, and we have seen it, and testify to it and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was made manifest to us— that which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ. And we are writing these things so that our joy may be complete. This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.
“No one is as capable of gratitude as one who has emerged from the kingdom of night.” (Elie Wiesel)
1 Peter 5:8
Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.
For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.
I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called…
“Worry is a cycle of inefficient thoughts whirling around a center of fear.” (Corrie ten Boom)
In whom we have boldness and access with confidence through our faith in him.
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet.
“As we grow in the practice of thankfulness, in a mysterious way, more of our heart of flesh is unbound from its encasing stones. Gratitude produces life, joy, and healing.” (Anon.)
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.
O Lord, in the morning you hear my voice; in the morning I prepare a sacrifice for you and watch.
1 Peter 4:10
As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace:
2 Corinthians 1:21
And it is God who establishes us with you in Christ, and has anointed us,
Jesus said to her, “Did I not tell you that if you believed you would see the glory of God?”
“The Christian struggle with gratitude is because we have become immune to the size of the debt paid by God in Christ.” (Tim Keller)
1 Peter 3:15
But in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect,
Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”
1 Corinthians 12:13
For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and all were made to drink of one Spirit.
Because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.
In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.
“True gratitude or thankfulness to God for his kindness to us, arises from a foundation laid before, of love to God for what he is in himself; whereas a natural gratitude has no such antecedent foundation. The gracious stirrings of grateful affection to God, for kindness received, always are from a stock of love already in the heart, established in the first place on other grounds, viz. God’s own excellency.” (Jonathan Edwards)
And you have been filled in him, who is the head of all rule and authority.
For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.
2 Timothy 3:16
All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness,
He has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him,
I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call— one Lord, one faith, one baptism…
“Cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you, and to give thanks continuously. And because all things have contributed to your advancement, you should include all things in your gratitude.” (Ralph Waldo Emerson)
1 Corinthians 1:2
To the church of God that is in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints together with all those who in every place call upon the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, both their Lord and ours:
In whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
Who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.
For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned.
More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.
“True happiness is to enjoy the present, without anxious dependence upon the future, not to amuse ourselves with either hopes or fears but to rest satisfied with what we have, which is sufficient, for he that is so wants nothing. The greatest blessings of mankind are within us and within our reach. A wise man is content with his lot, whatever it may be, without wishing for what he has not.” (Seneca)
Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth.
If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love.
Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.
“To be grateful is to recognize the Love of God in everything He has given us – and He has given us everything. Every breath we draw is a gift of His love, every moment of existence is a grace, for it brings with it immense graces from Him. Gratitude therefore takes nothing for granted, is never unresponsive, is constantly awakening to new wonder and to praise of the goodness of God. For the grateful person knows that God is good, not by hearsay but by experience. And that is what makes all the difference.” (Thomas Merton)
1 Peter 1:23
Since you have been born again, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God;
Bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.
And you were dead in the trespasses and sins
For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God…
May you and your be THANK-FULL TO THE OVERFLOW each and every day.
“If the only prayer you said was ‘Thank you.’ that would be enough.” (Meister Eckhart)