Thanks Living vs Thanksgiving:
A former pastor of a church I once was a member of said, “As Christians we should be engaged in Thanks Living rather than just celebrating Thanksgiving.” Those words are true.
We as Christians have a lot to be thankful for. Death has no meaning for us. None what so ever. We often forget that in today's busy, hurry up, stop do this, now do that world. With that alone we should be living each day in thanks living. The fact is, we often do not.
In 1 Corinthian, Chapter 13, we learn love is the greatest.
Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love.
1 Cor 13:13 (NLT)
It is Christ's love for each of us that He gave himself willing to save us. With that said the words, thank you just do not seem to really describe it for me.
As my walk with Christ improves daily so does my love for the lost. Especially at this time of the year. One Christmas not so long ago, my wife and I sat on a bench in the middle of the mall watching the people go by. It was sad. There was Christmas music playing. People going here and there. We watched the clerks busy ringing up purchases non-stop. Very few smiles we began to notice. It seem we were the only ones enjoying the Christmas songs playing. You see, we had no money. We would like to shop and buy gifts for our children, friends and neighbors, but we could not. God gave us a wonderful gift that night. Such peace. While others were caught up in stuff. We enjoyed the moment of what the season is supposed to be like. My wife and I are still thankful for that moment. We were the least of these and happy and thankful for it.
Have our financial status improved since then? No, but we are very thankful. The last thing we need is more stuff. How many in that mall were lost? Lost without a relationship with Christ? All of us I would say. We enjoyed the moment but share it with no one. Did we share our love of Christ with others that evening? No. So what good is it to be blessed with such a gift and not share it, if not give it away to others? That is where I stand now. Being humble is hard. Hard in a world of want. Our needs are met. We should be grateful for that alone.
Is there any thing wrong with success? No. If we pass by someone in need and have nothing to offer them but prayer. Give it to them. If we have means then we should give and help others. Often as we collect things we stop thinking of others. Money can give you opportunities. We are told to spend it wisely. To be good stewards of our money. Yet does this mean we should go to the Walmarts instead of the mom and pop stores of downtown? If we do not only the Walmarts will be left. We may pay a higher price, but at least we know it is going to them rather than some global corporation.
So what does it mean, “Thanks Living.” Great question. With today's pressures, do we really get up in the morning and praise God that we are alive? More than likely we wake and are ready to smash the alarm clock. We forget to look at the bigger picture. We see our own little world rather than the world itself. When is the last time you picked up your Bible and said, “Yes, Lord I can change the world.” The fact is, you can.
The clerk behind the counter who has seen over 200 people go through their line with not one person taking the time to read their name badge and calling them by name. That can be your first step. Give them and others a smile. It cost you nothing yet can and will make a difference in the lives of others. While in the parking lot or walking along the sidewalk, give someone a smile and say hello or good day. Get copies of the Gospel and just hand one to someone else. Just say, “Did you get one of these.” Then tell them to have a good day. If the Holy Spirit guides you then share your faith with them right there and then. I know of one man who sits in the food courtyard in the mall and reads his Bible and prays for those walking by. When you get home take time not to just roll your garbage bin back in but your neighbors as well. They will appreciate it. These are all acts of Thanks Living. Try it.
Teach, Preach and Reach.