Thanksgiving, properly viewed, is far more than a secular holiday or cultural tradition, it's a time set apart for both personal and public reflection and recognition of the grace and goodness we have received. It's in this light that we can see thanksgiving in the true sense is not simply an invention or derivative of carnal man but rather an expression that flows from a renewed heart and mind cutivated and endued by God's Spirit.
The act of thanksgiving, as distinguished from the observance of thanksgiving, consists and depends on four things: 1) An acknowledgement of God and our relationship with him and others wherein we recognize the freedoms of others and the places where they lack obligation toward us; 2) A belief and recognition in the reality which not only provides a basis and ethic but defines and distinguishes good in regard to people's motivations and actions; 3) A spirit of gratitude which acknowledges oneself to be the undeserving recipient of such good, favor and gifts of others; and 4) A heartfelt expression of gratitute and appreciation directed toward the giver for the grace and benefits received.
Due to our sinful nature, we often fail to experience and/or express thanksgiving the way we should, but thanks be to God that through the freedom and endowments of his Spirit thanksgiving is again not only made possible but freely flows from our quickened spirits and is to become the persistent practice and pattern of our lives rather than something we have to ponder and then fabricate for special days. That's why thanksgiving is so often expressed and held out by the scriptural writers as both the expectation and evidence consistent with the Christian life.
There's a familiar saying that if you want to find the corruption, then "follow the money trail". In a similar way, it's in coming not only to understand and embrace the truth but in following the paths which result in the grace and goodness that we receive which leads a person to see that indeed every good and perfect gift comes to us from God above!
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