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What's on Your Thanksgiving List?
(November 24, 2005)

      By Fern Horst

"Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God. Do ye think that the scripture saith in vain, The spirit that dwelleth in us lusteth to envy? But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble. Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you." (James 4:4-8a)

A couple years ago our pastor preached on thankfulness in preparation for the upcoming U.S. Thanksgiving holiday. He asked the congregation a very thought-provoking question, which I'd also like to ask you:

When making a list of those things you are thankful for, what does that list consist of mostly? Is it primarily full of externals such as friends, family, food, clothing, a good job, and a nice car?

Or perhaps I should ask it this way: do you find it difficult to be thankful when your list is void of these things - family and friends close by, a spouse, nice clothes to wear, a dream job, and something other than a ten-year-old car to drive?

If so, then we haven't found the real reason to have thankful, grateful hearts.

James told us in his epistle that there is a spirit that causes us to lust for what we don't have, and to envy the lives and possessions of others. Such a spirit is not from the Lord, but from Satan. It is a spirit that encourages us to have a friendship with the world and all its enticements, rather than with the Lord Almighty. When we make those external, earthly things more important than our relationship with the Lord, we become His enemy, rather than His friend.

The real reason to be thankful is that we do have a friendship with the God of the Universe. Everything else can be taken away from us - or never given to us in the first place. But when we have a close relationship with the Lord we have every reason to be thankful. God's love for us will never be taken away, neither will His presence, nor His guidance, nor His ever constant care and provision. As we start listing all that He is to us, our hearts can swell with thankfulness no matter what items may be on our list, or missing from it.

I trust that close relationship with the Lord is on the top of all our lists. If not, it's never too late to take that first step of drawing near to Him.

"Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you."

© 2000 Fern Horst

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