Summary: Thanksgiving Day for Christians (Christ-ones) is a prelude to an everlasting Day of Thanks.
A Thanksgiving to Remember: Revelation 7:9-12
Thanksgiving Day in our country has deviated so from what it was intended to be. In 1789, George Washington had said: “It is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore his protection and favor.” I realized this week that cultivating thanks to God sometimes sounds more like discipline than something that we should naturally be doing. Maybe it’s because we have grown so accustomed to the material things that we possess, that we fall short in giving thanks to the Giver of those gifts.
Sometimes we look at the people who have nothing or far less than we do and then we say to ourselves: If I don’t want to end up like them, I’d better give thanks. We warn ourselves that ungrateful people are losers, so we had better give thanks or risk losing what we DO have. The problem with this approach is that guilt is a terrible motivation for giving thanks.
On my “bad” days, I almost feel like talking back to the Scripture, “Don’t tell me I should be thankful! Can I just wear a “happiness jacket” on the outside?” Yet, giving thanks is clearly the will of God, so if it’s the will of God, I have to learn the secret of joy and thanks from the inside out. God certainly knows the difference between “giving thanks” and having a thankful heart, and I think we do too.
Open God’s Word to Revelation 7, where we have an invitation to join in worship with the countless multitude of believers who have come out of the great tribulation, whose sins have been washed clean by the Blood of the Lamb, the Lord Jesus. (As followers of the Lamb, we are in that number too!)
By FAITH we join in Revelation 7:9: “After this I looked and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and in front of the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands. (In Christ, WE ARE MORE THAN CONQUERORS!) 10 And they cried out in a loud voice: "Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb." 11 All the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures. They fell down on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, 12 saying: (HERE IS THEIR SONG:) "Amen! (IT HAS BEEN FULFILLED. SO BE IT!) Praise and glory and wisdom and thanks and honor and power and strength be to our God for ever and ever. Amen!" (LET IT BE FULFILLED!)
What a concert of Praise and Thanksgiving! I think the largest Christian concert I ever attended had around 30,000 people, and the magnitude of that many people singing praises to our God together was an experience I will never forget, but this chorus before the presence of God will be infinitely longer, and unimaginable this side of God’s Heaven. Look at the words of our Praise song.
1.Praise or Blessing: (Eulogeo): Our God, the Giver deserves Adoration with the Praise of Words. We do not provide. God does! Magnify Him. Celebrate with the praise of words and celebrate THE WORD. It is from HIM that ALL BLESSINGS FLOW… and so to HIM all Praise should flow, but ESPECIALLY for justification by FAITH through the Blood of Christ! We are seated in the Heavenlies on account of Christ.
We are reminded of that BLESSING each month as we partake of the Lord’s Supper: 1 Cor. 10:16: “Is not the cup of blessing which we bless a sharing in the blood of Christ?” There is NO blessing without the Blood of Christ. There is inadequate knowledge of God and no access to God without the blessing of the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.
2. Glory (Doxa): The word often pertains to ones “opinion”. God doesn’t want your “opinion” as we think of the word; the only opinion that matters when it comes to “God” is God’s Opinion, not ours. God’s WORD alone teaches us who God is and so we are to GIVE to God the exaltation that He alone deserves according to the revelation given to us in His Word and by His Spirit. Give to God what BELONGS to Him. (Words and Actions) Praise Him for His magnificence, excellence, preeminence, dignity, grace of God. The Majesty and Supremacy of our God demands our exaltation. Glory be to Him!
We have sung so many times, the song “To God Be the Glory! Great things HE HAS DONE. Psalm 24:10: “Who is he, this King of glory? The LORD Almighty-- he is the King of glory.” Ps. 29:10: “Ascribe to the LORD the glory due his name; worship the LORD in the splendor of his holiness.”