TargetPoint Vol 18 of 31
Today's Verse/Thought: THANKSGIVING-The Act of Expressed Appreciation
I Thessalonians 5:18 . . . in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
Basically, thanksgiving is the act of EXPRESSING SPECIFIC GRATITUDE to God for blessings He has bestowed upon us. These expressions may be mental or vocal.
THANKSGIVING differs from praise in that praise focuses on WHO God is, whereas thanksgiving focuses on WHAT God has specifically done for us. Thanksgiving helps us FOCUS ON GOD'S FAITHFULNESS.
It is during this aspect of prayer that we RECOGNIZE ALL OF LIFE'S BLESSINGS and confess them before God. This is essential to prayer because it draws the heart to God . . . it draws our attention from ourselves and places it where it must be centered to make prayer effective. Think of it as a SPECIAL GIFT to God for His kindnesses.
One might say-Look, I've had a hard life; I've been divorced; my kids are haywire; I've had to declare bankruptcy . . . and on and on . . . However, I would challenge you to see the GLASS HALF FULL instead of half empty. The Scripture doesn't say "FOR everything give thanks", it says "IN everything . . ." That means FINDING THE THINGS THAT ARE GOOD in your life and giving God thanks for those. It could be as little as the fact that you woke up this morning without a headache. Seriously, as we begin to thank God for His blessings, we are opening the door to receive more of His blessings in our lives.
ALLOW YOUR MIND TO REFLECT over the previous day's activities. This will lead you to many points of concentration for specific thanksgiving. MENTALLY CATALOG these specific things and put these blessings into words and speak them back to God.
BECOME AWARE of all that exists around you. What do you SEE worthy of thanksgiving? In the same sense that we need to watch in prayer, we need to watch in thanksgiving. Once you are aware of those specific things Jesus has done for you, then VERBALIZE THESE BLESSINGS.
Tomorrow In TargetPoint:
Thanksgiving, A Confession of Blessings