To glorify God is the ultimate purpose of our jubilant thanksgiving. “Whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” (1 Cor. 10:31). This Thanksgiving, we will be doing plenty of eating and drinking. But will we consciously lift up our eating and drinking as God-glorifying acts of worship?
Meditate on Your Spiritual Gifts
There are many material blessings to be thankful for this year at Thanksgiving. Matthew 6:31-32 encourages us, “Do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all.” Our Father in heaven is the provider of all and deserves thanks for all. But as those in Christ, we are especially grateful for his spiritual blessings in Christ.
Paul said, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places” (Eph. 1:3). It is a fitting reminder of the innumerable blessings that flow to God’s children—blessings that the world does not understand. Some families take turns sharing blessings around the table. Others snatch a handful of beans or corn kernels from a dish and share a blessing for each one. Whatever you do to express thanks, considering giving special focus to your spiritual blessings this year.
Our spiritual blessings are many: justification, redemption, new birth, adoption, citizenship in an unshakeable kingdom, the indwelling Spirit, peace, wisdom, and much more. Most of all, we should remember the one through whom all these blessings flow. We should thank God for the gift of his Son. Colossians 3:17 says, “Do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.” Speaking of the Son, Paul exults, “Thanks be to God for his inexpressible gift!” (2 Cor 9:15).
Meditate on the Gift-Giver
Being conscious of the glory of God this Thanksgiving—and intentionally offering the kind of thanksgiving that redounds to that glory—means that there is nothing better to thank God for than who he is. God is honored when his character is celebrated. “Bless the Lord, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name” (Ps. 103:1).
God is good, sovereign, our helper, an ever-present friend, on our side, mighty, merciful, and abounding in grace. “Praise the Lord! Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever!” (Psalm 106:1). “Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving; let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise! For the Lord is a great God, and a great King above all gods” (Ps. 95:2–3).