Easter - 2018

Monday, November 25, 2013

A Parade of Thanksgiving that lasts all year long!

What do you do for thanksgiving? Maybe you celebrate with family and friends. You might watch a Macy's day parade. You probably will watch some sort of football. Then there is the food...loads and loads of food...turkey or ham, dressing, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, pumpkin or sweet potato pie. Your family might sit together and play games or retell the stories of past Thanksgivings. Maybe you will go to the movies or rent a movie to watch at home. You might put up your Christmas decorations. You might buy a newspaper and look through all the ads for black Friday. You might take the time and tell others how you have been blessed.

It might be a sad time for you. Maybe there is no house to visit, or meal to cook, or family to share the day with. It might be a time that reminds you that things are not what they used to be and there are people missing from your life.

It is a time to move beyond the Holiday to a place of daily living. We have talked about Giving Thanks through being an Encourager, by living in gratitude, by Praising the Lord...and today we wrapping things up by talking about Giving Thanks through living a life of Thanksgiving.

Giving thanks and thanksgiving are not the same thing. Giving thanks is exactly what is says...to “give away thanks.” Thanksgiving is the act of expressing thanks. It is more than saying “thank you.” Thanksgiving is the expression, the essence, and the life of encouragement, gratitude, and praise. The response of life atoned through the power of Jesus is reflected in the actions of thanksgiving.
What happens when God gives a parade? 2 Corinthians 2:14, “who always leads us as captives in Christ’s triumphal procession and uses us to spread the aroma of the knowledge of him everywhere.”
The Military marches in formation in honor of the King. Yet, look at the text closer...You and I are not the military in formation. We are the spoils of the war. We are the captives of the war. Christ has paid the price for our captivity and we are lifted up because of His willingness to go to war. He is the authentic King. Our thanksgiving is on parade so that all of Jesus' enemies might see He is Lord above all.

Our actions of peace within a hostile world brings about transformation within us and within the world around us. OUR ACTIONS of Thanksgiving are on PARADE.

The following story is an prime example of our Thanksgiving Parade!
An Armenian nurse had been held captive along with her brother by the Turks. Her brother was slain by a Turkish soldier before her eyes. Somehow she escaped and later became a nurse in a military hospital. One day she was stunned to find that the same man who had killed her brother had been captured and brought wounded to the hospital where she worked. Something within her cried out "Vengeance." But a stronger voice called for her to love. She nursed the man back to health. Finally, the recuperating soldier asked her, "Why didn’t you let me die?" Her answer was, "I am a follower of Him who said, ’Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you’" (Luke_6:27). Impressed with her answer, the young soldier replied, "I never heard such words before. Tell me more. I want this kind of religion."

OUR ACTIONS of Thanksgiving are on PARADE. What are your actions like?

You know I love ya, Don

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