There are always enough negative and sinful things going on around us to make us sad. And in case we missed any of it the media industry in its various forms will find it and emphasize the negative in order to catch our attention. So a person has to deliberately decide to take a break from looking at whats wrong with the world long enough to let thankfulness fill the heart. The mind has to focus on good things. Thats what Paul tells us when he teaches us how to find peace. He says we are to focus our attention on the good, not the bad.
This Thursday is a national holiday for Thanksgiving which the United States has formally observed since Abraham Lincoln first proclaimed it. But in truth the first Thanksgiving was celebrated by the Pilgrims at Plymouth Colony In October of 1621. We as a nation have our problems, but we also have much for which to thank God. And so do we as individuals. So lets start today. Lets prepare for Thanksgiving by letting our minds dwell on the things which are true, honorable, right, pure, lovely, of good repute, excellent and worthy of praise.
A. Dwell on These Things (Php 4:8, 9)
1) True (reality as seen from Gods perspective)
2) Honorable (dignity, behavior or attitudes that cause people to respect you)
3) Right (things that conform to the will of God as revealed in the Bible)
4) Pure (undefiled morally)
5) Lovely (inspires proper love)
6) Good repute (behavior that produces a good reputation) (2Co 6:8)
7) Excellent (virtue, moral strength that inspires others)
8) Worthy of praise (behavior that deserves to be praised by others)
Paul tells us to let our minds dwell (focus our attention, reflect upon, meditate upon) these things.
This, along with godly behavior (v 9) will allow the God of peace to be with us.
B. Why Im Thankful
1) For life (Psa 139:16)
2) For new life (Eph 2:8, 9)
3) For people who love me
4) For calling me to serve Him (Jer 20:9; 1Co 9:16, 17).
5) For calling me here (Pr 16:9; 20:24).
6) For giving me the hope of eternal life (1Th 4:13).
C What Are You Thankful For?
Reflect on the categories listed above. Is there a story of what God did for you that can be told about each one?