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Thanksgiving in the Bible

Reprinted with permission: Allan and Beth McNabb
www.BibleStudyGuide.org 

Bible study on Thanksgiving.

As we celebrated Thanksgiving last Thursday, I began to wonder what the Bible says about "thanksgiving." I generally remembered what the Bible said, but I was curious about the specifics. So I did a little research, while Beth fixed Thanksgiving dinner.

Good Deeds Produce Thanksgiving
Jesus died upon the cross to purify for Himself, a group of people zealous for good deeds (Tit. 2:14). As Jesus' people, we work diligently in our Lord's kingdom, to do the good works God prepared beforehand (Eph. 2:10).

As we do the Lord's work, we affect the lives of others. The result is thanksgiving, directed toward God.

  • People in the world see our good works and glorify God (Matt. 5:16).
  • Good deeds directed toward our brethren produce thanksgiving to God (2 Cor. 9:11).

As we go through our day-to-day walk, letting our light shine as God's children and doing the good deeds He has ordained, it causes others to glorify God and give thanks.

Thanksgiving in Prayer
When we pray, expressing our concerns to God, we should take time to express our thankfulness.

  • We tell God our problems, making our requests known to Him with thanksgiving (Phil. 4:6).
  • We are devoted to prayer, staying alert in it with an attitude of thanksgiving (Col. 4:2). .
  • We rejoice, praying without ceasing, giving thanks to God (1 Th. 5:16-18).

A thankful life is a prayerful life. A life void of prayer is an unthankful life.

Thanksgiving in Heaven
We don't know a lot about heaven, often making us wonder what it will be like. One thing occurring in heaven is thanksgiving.

  • The angels in heaven give thanks to God (Rev. 11:17).
  • When we get to heaven, we will give thanks to God for salvation, as those who were washed in the blood of the Lamb (Rev. 7:1-15).

If we're not thankful in our prayers upon the earth, it's doubtful we'll live in heaven, where we'll be busy offering thanks to God and our Lord Jesus Christ.

Every Day is Thanksgiving, for Christians
As we experience God's goodness in our lives, and offer thanks to Him, we could say that every day is a day of thanksgiving. We don't feast upon turkey every day, in observance of a secular holiday, but we offer our thanks to God in prayer, reflecting our thankfulness in everything we say and do.

  • The result of our thankful lives, doing the good works God has ordained, is that it produces thanksgiving to God.
  • The effect of things we do upon the earth is far reaching, even reaching the throne of God.

Whatever you do in the bustle of day-to-day life, remember to give thanks. And live in such a way that others, who watch you and experience God's goodness from your hands, can't help but pause and offer up a prayer to express their thanks. In these ways, God will be glorified, and receive the thanks He deserves.


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