Webster's II Dictionary defines thanking as "To express gratitude to," and Dictionary.com defines thanksgiving as "the act of giving thanks; grateful acknowledgment of benefits or favors, esp. to God; an expression of thanks, esp. to God; a public celebration in acknowledgment of divine favor or kindness; and a day set apart for giving thanks to God."
Our Bible is filled with verses of giving thanks, being thankful, and being full of thanksgiving.
What are you thankful for this season? I'm thankful for a girl that loved Jesus and who I followed all the way to the altar. I'm thankful for Rev. Bob Mowery who was ready to share the Good News of Jesus Christ with me, a teenage boy, who wanted to be like that girl I had met.
Of course, I'm thankful for many, many things in my life, but nothing impacted my life like deciding to follow Christ. The rest of my life was changed, influenced, and blessed by that one decision. The "T" in FAITH is for "turn" — turn from something to someone. I did that — I turned from my sinful self and ways to receiving Christ only as my Savior, and nothing has been the same since. I think I hear a bunch of "amens."
Now read the following testimony from Bruce Edwards, Minister of Education and Administration at Airline Baptist Church in Bossier City, Louisiana, about three lives who were delivered and who are truly thankful.
On our first visit, we went to a home where the name on our card was not there — but the teenage daughter was. She was pregnant and told the team she had been asking God to send someone to pray for her. This was it — the divine appointment we prayed for!
Her mother had made an appointment for her to have an abortion, and she was not sure about it. We talked with her and shared with her how to be saved. What excitement to be able to lead her to the Lord. We told her we would keep in touch, and as we left, we prayed for her, her mother, and the decisions she would have to make.
We immediately contacted the Crisis Pregnancy Center, and a counselor went to see the girl. We earnestly began praying for the baby.
She kept her appointment and went in for the abortion. As the Lord would have it, she had a fever so they would not perform the abortion. The Crisis counselors did contact her, and she went in for a sonogram and saw the heart beating and decided to place the child for adoption. Thank you, Jesus!
Our team stayed in contact with her but received a very cold reception from the mother on our follow-up visits. However, after a few weeks, we made a visit and the mother was very open. When we shared FAITH with her, she gave a "faith" answer to the key question about knowing how to go to heaven. She told the team she had seen such a change in her daughter and thanked us for keeping in contact.
We baptized this young lady, and her mother joined our church! We stayed in contact for over fourteen weeks and were instrumental in saving an unborn child, seeing the child's mother come to the Lord, and the child's grandmother get back in church. Thank you, Lord, for this wonderful opportunity!
Does the word "thankful" sound small sometimes when we see the Lord working? What if your daughter or granddaughter was off somewhere struggling, maybe with this decision or an equally difficult decision? Wouldn't you want the Lord to send a team of dedicated, willing, and available people to her door?
You may be the one our Lord wants to use. Are you prepared to share Jesus and see a life changed or even saved from death?
Life is too short not to be about His business. Be ready this season with a thankful word on your lips, praising our Lord and sharing His grace with anyone and everyone you come in contact with. God bless you as you go — many are waiting.