Discipline of Thanksgiving


In our Christian Life, we are taught many Disciplines that shape us into the person God wants us to be. We learn the disciplines of prayer, scripture reading, hospitality, and service. One discipline that goes unnoticed or overlooked it the Discipline of Thanksgiving. I realized that the discipline of giving thanks is a new concept for me. I would often give thanks in my prayer, but I never considered it a discipline. The discipline of thanksgiving is really more of a state of mind or it may be better to describe it as a state of grace. Our very lives are an example of God’s grace to us. We often neglect the small things in life and forget to be thankful for all we have been blessed with. One example of thanksgiving that really spoke to me is a passage about Paul and Silas. In Acts 16:16-40, we see an example of 2 men who had every right to be angry and bitter over their capture, but instead were singing praises of thanksgiving to God.

This might seem strange, but God tends to speak to me in unusual ways. A couple of years ago, I went to court with one of my students to support them at an Arraignment Hearing. As I sat there and looked around the room, my heart began to sink. I was face to face with the cost of sin as it runs rampant through our world. Charge after charge was read and each person entered his or her plea. Some plead guilty others plead not guilty and wanted a jury trial. For the first time, I could really see how much I have been saved from. The only difference between the people in that courtroom and me was grace. I was given a gift of grace that is open to all who would receive it. My heart swelled with thanksgiving and praise. I walked out of the courthouse that afternoon with a greater appreciation for the gospel than I have ever had before. I
also had a renewed my passion for the lost. There is a lost world out there, and we have been given the
responsibility to share this good news with others. We have been called by Christ to be “transforming salt” and “attractive light” that point people to the saving grace of God. The Discipline of Thanksgiving is a way for us to be reminded of God’s Amazing Grace. This grace is available with no strings attached. If we walk in a state of grace, we will begin to see things through the eyes of Christ. We will love what He loves. We will be heartbroken by the very things that break His heart. Take some time this Christmas Season season reflecting on God’s Grace and how He would want you to share that grace with others. This will transform our world!!!

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