Enter with Thanksgiving

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Thanksgiving is one of the great national holidays in the United States. One may argue about the effectiveness of a mandated giving of thanks, but the reality still stands that many will pause next Thursday to give thanks for what they have, even in the secularization and commercialization of the holiday. Of course, we as believers recognize the significance of thankfulness outside of the national holiday, for the Scriptures speak often to its importance. Just last week, Pastor Nate showed us Paul’s emphasis in Ephesians 5 on thanksgiving as a remedy for idolatry (Eph 5:4-5), since thanksgiving removes our natural self-focus and thus turns us away from the idols of our hearts. But the Scriptures emphasize the impact of thanksgiving in other passages as well. Paul again in Philippians 4:4-7 and Colossians 3:15-17 emphasizes thanksgiving as the remedy for anxiety and worry. When we are content with what God has given us and where we are in life, we will have peace and shun the anxiety and worry that stem from too close a connection to the things of this earth. Hebrews 12:28, Colossians 2:6-7, and James 1:17 seem to indicate that thanksgiving will strengthen our resolve in temptation. When we recognize God as the giver of good gifts and all He’s done for us spiritually speaking, we will stand strong in our faith and worship Him in reverence and awe instead of pursuing our own selfish ends. Perhaps the struggles that most of us have in our day-to-day life of discipleship is connected more to a heart of discontent than it is to anything else. As we celebrate Thanksgiving this year, let us pursue a heart of true gratitude, for God has done much for which we should give thanks. He made us (Ps 100:3a); He makes us His people and cares for us as His sheep (Ps 100:3b); He welcomes us into His presence (Ps 100:4); and He is unending in faithful mercy (Ps 100:5). For this God deserves our thanks and praise, and if we can get our hearts to that point, from what Scripture says, we should find our hearts at a point of Christlikeness not long after. “Let all things now living a song of thanksgiving to God the Creator triumphantly raise!” –Pastor Rory

Sunday at Liberty

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