“Offer Thanksgiving for God’s Glory!”
The Rev. Lou Tiscione, Pastor, Weatherford Presbyterian Church (PCA)
Believers throughout the ages have offered thanksgiving to God to acknowledge His providence. Therefore, it was fitting for our first President to set one day apart to give God thanks for His providence. Thanksgiving is man’s reasonable response to God.
God is “The Mighty One, God the LORD,” and “The one who offers thanksgiving as his sacrifice glorifies” Him, Psalm 50:1a, 23a.
We have been blessed with many relationships by God’s providence. God has providentially led many of us to our spouse. He has blessed many of us with children. He has directed our steps to our church home. Our homes and our nation are likewise examples of God’s blessings.
Even those things that may not be to our liking or are less than desirable have been provided by God and are opportunities for Christians to give thanks. The word of God says to give thanks in all circumstances, Philippians 4:6; 1Thessalonians 5:18. Believers know “for those who love God all things work together for good,” Romans 8:28.
It is instructive to look back at one of the greatest celebrations in the Bible. It was a thanksgiving service! 1Chronicles 16 records King David’s preparation and implementation of a thanksgiving worship service. His motivation was the return of the Ark of the Covenant. David organized this great worship service to, “invoke, to thank and to praise the LORD.” 1Chronicles 16:4 The Ark was a visible sign of God’s covenantal faithfulness.
The Ark contained the stone tablets upon which God wrote the Ten Commandments. There was also with the Ark in the Holy of Holies, the golden urn containing the manna from heaven and the budded staff of Aaron.
King David knew that the people of God needed a visible reminder of His providence. As a man of God, David knew that God’s people were commanded to thank Him. The Ark of the Covenant was a constant reminder that God would be faithful to His promise made to Abraham and his seed, Genesis 17:7. God demonstrated His faithful providence by providing food for Israel in the wilderness. Jesus confirmed God’s faithfulness. He declared that the Father will provide the needs of His people, Matthew 6:25-32.
God’s people in the wilderness were fickle as are we. Even though God gave them a sign of His leading them through Moses and Aaron rebellion broke out regularly. As a visible sign of Aaron’s leadership God caused his staff to bud. God told Moses to keep that budded staff before the people to remind them of His chosen leadership. It continued as a reminder of God’s promise to lead His people by His chosen instruments.
Now, consider what God has given to us! We have been given God’s word written. We hear Him every time we read His word. Every Christian has been given the Holy Spirit who works in concert with the Word to change us and speak to our hearts. God has said that believers can approach His throne of grace with confidence because of the Person and Work of Jesus Christ. As we come to the Father in our quiet moments, He has promised to hear us and to answer our prayers in ways that are beyond what we ask or think.
Christians are assured by the Holy Spirit that they are children of God, Romans 8:16. Believers have God’s constant presence leading and protecting them. Believers have eternal security. Believers have been given a clear revelation of God’s plan of redemption in the Bible. Christians, therefore, should have a greater desire to give thanks to God. The Church of Jesus Christ belongs to Him. He is the head and king of the Church. The most fundamental reason to give thanks to God is His grace of adoption, Galatians 3:26-29. “See what kind of love the Father has given to us that we should be called children of God; and so we are.” 1John 3:1
May we all speak the words of King David from our hearts, thanking God for all our blessings. “Yours, O LORD, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty for all that is in the heavens and in the earth is yours. Yours is the kingdom, O LORD, and you are exalted as head above all.” 1Chronicles 29:11