By Jay Pearson

My desire is to encourage you and me to explore a deeper appreciation of Thanksgiving toward God and extend that appreciation beyond the declared holiday. As the time approaches toward this declared holiday, I naturally think of turkey, pumpkin pie, and gathering together with family and friends. Tradition speaks loudly of the Pilgrims and Indians celebrating together in what is recognized as being held in the year of 1621. I don’t know what day they ate this feast of celebration, but Abraham Lincoln in 1863 declared Thanksgiving to be celebrated in the United States on the last Thursday of November. There you have it ,Thanksgiving. So 157 years later we still celebrate on the last Thursday of November.

As a songwriter I love to experiment with words to grab an audience’s attention. I guess this carries over in my preparation of sermons. I like to think of catch-phrases. Analyzing and separating compound words are also something I like to do. With Thanksgiving I could not separate in my mind Thanks from Giving or Giving from Thanks, not only as a national holiday, but as a verb or adjective. It seems to be inseparable.

I found this verse in Leviticus, and I believe it predates 1621.

Leviticus 22:29
And when ye will offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving unto the LORD, offer it at your own will.

It is your conscious decision to give thanks. True thanksgiving comes from the heart. Here are two more familiar verses about Thanksgiving and giving or thanks. Thanks and giving go together like peas in a pod.

Psalm 100:4
Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.

Psalm 26:7
That I may publish with the voice of thanksgiving, and tell of all thy wondrous works.

In the giving of thanks, it truly must imminent from the heart to be genuine. That is with no strings attached and expecting nothing in return. This Thanksgiving we need to remember who we are giving thanks too. Let us come together to GIVE thanks and not to GET thanks. The best gifts are associated with and from love. The best thanksgiving you could possible give to God is to return the love he gave you.

Give Second WhatGod Gave Firstt.

John 3:16
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

1 John 4:19
We love him, because he first loved us.

John 15:12
This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.

We are able to believe in the Lord because God gave us that belief. Anything and everything you have received in your life that will withstand fire was given to you from God and his son, Jesus Christ by way of the Holy Spirit. The godly desires of your heart, the Holy Spirit within you, fruit of the spirit, love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance, fellowship, and even time, yes time, all from the Father. What a beautiful gift to give to God, your time. Taking time with him and giving God the gift of Thanksgiving.

Psalm 50:14
Offer unto God thanksgiving; and pay thy vows unto the most High:

God never ask you for anything he has not already provided you with. He ask us to be thankful. Jesus was thankful for us. Read John chapter 17 and see how Jesus gave God thanks for his disciples and all who would believe, you and I included. What an example of thanksgiving. Give thanks and remember who you are in Jesus Christ.

1 Corinthians 6:19-20
19 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?
20 For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.

Ephesians 4:32
And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you.

Before you ever forgave anyone of anything, God forgave you. Remember God and his Son Jesus Christ this Thanksgiving Day and every day. Keep thanksgiving fresh in your heart and mind always.



Presented November 22, 2020 in French Settlement, Louisiana