And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. Colossians 3:17
I don’t know about you guys, but these upcoming holidays have always been tough for me. This year I find myself even more stressed and cynical than before. What difference would it make if I didn’t do all the decorating this year? How am I going to get everything done when I am working full time? Where am I going to get the money to pay for things? Just when is my ship going to come in?
Then I read the Colossians verse above. And it dawned on me. I was muddling through my holiday “duties,” doing what I had to do, getting things done because it was expected of me. But I wasn’t doing it in the name of the Lord Jesus. Nor was I giving thanks to God the Father.
I promised myself I would try to cultivate an “attitude of gratitude” this season. I promised myself I would do whatever I did in the name of the Lord Jesus. And you know what? It has already made a difference.
It’s a crazy, busy time of year but that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t take time to count my blessings. Yes, I am working full time and don’t have a lot of extra time to get things done. But every morning I give my busy day to God the Father. Every morning I give Him thanks that I have a job, that I work with loving and caring people, that I can make a difference in someone’s life. It is a conscious effort on my part to take Jesus with me in my day. And it has already paid off with increased camaraderie, more smiles and high fives, more laughter and less grumbling. But most important, it has made a change in my heart. I drive home with a smile, thanking God for the day behind me, for being with me, for loving me.
And that holiday dinner shopping? Well, I’ll do that in the name of the Lord, too. It won’t give me more time and it won’t give me more money. But it will give me a thankful heart. Yes, things are tight, but I give thanks to God the Father that I can celebrate this holiday with my children and grandchildren. Yes, it’s a hassle to cook and clean and get everything ready, but it’s a blessing to be able to share the fruits of my labor with the ones I love. Yes, it’s going to mean extra work and extra expenses for me, but the blessings far outweigh what I put into it. And since I am working in the name of the Lord, it will make things that much better.
And the dreaded holiday decorations. My least favorite holiday “thing.” Dragging those boxes up from the basement, putting the tree together, getting the decorations on the walls and the door. But I know that my son-in-law is always there to help and he always brings along my grandchildren. That in itself is a blessing. A blessing I may “forget” if I don’t do my work in the name of the Lord, giving thanks to God the Father.
Thanksgiving isn’t just a day on the calendar or a time of the year. Thanksgiving is a way of life, an attitude, a commitment we make to praise our Lord and King every day, to do everything in His name, to give thanks to God the Father for all He has done for us. It lives in our hearts and it shows in our prayers. It inhabits our praise and lights our path. It is demonstrated in our unconditional love, and celebrated in our forgiveness. It is our way to peace.
Today, as you look at all the work and time and expense of the upcoming holidays, offer it all up to God. Promise Him that You will do everything, whether in word or in deed, in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father. Then make a conscious effort to live up to this promise. We have so much to be thankful for. May we never forget that. I pray that this Thanksgiving Day, you will all be able to set aside your worries and hurt to bow before the Creator and say “Thank You for saving me. Thank You for loving me. Thank You for Your promises.”
Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice, Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:4-7
Grateful for all God has blessed me with,
Kim in Nebraska
Rejoice Marriage Ministries