Thanksgiving though is a deeply theological act. Thankfulness is a key component of our worldview, revealing as Dr. Al Mohler has said, “what we truly believe about God, ourselves, and the world we experience.” The author of I Chronicles implores us to “give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; for His lovingkindness is everlasting.” The unalienable rights the American founders identified in the Declaration of Independence barely scratch the surface of what we ought to be thankful for each and every day, as well as this holiday season. An attitude of gratefulness should be especially poignant as we celebrate the greatest gift ever offered, forgiveness of sin through the death of the Son of the Living God.
There is much for us to be thankful for. As the Psalmist wrote, “give thanks to the Lord, for He is good (Psalm 107:1); give thanks to the God of heaven, for His steadfast love endures forever (136:26); All the kings of the earth shall give you thanks O Lord, for they have heard the words of your mouth (138:4); surely the righteous shall give thanks to your name, the upright shall dwell in your presence (140:13).”
For those of us in Christ, we are commanded to “give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you (I Thess 5:18),” giving our thanks “to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ (I Cor 15:57).” In contrast, the apostle Paul describes the ungrateful in Romans 1:21, “For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to Him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened.”
Recognizing God as the giver of all grace, whether common grace as Paul shared with the Athenians, “For in Him we live and move and have our being (Acts 17:28),” or the grace we receive through faith in Christ for salvation. When we see God’s goodness extended toward us, we should be grateful, and gratefulness drives us to give thanks to Him, the “author and perfecter of our faith.”
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Dennis Call joined the Army as an infantry officer shortly after the 9/11 attacks on our country, serving fourteen years on active duty. During his Army service, Dennis deployed for thirty-three months to Iraq and Afghanistan in support of the Global War on Terror. Prior to joining the Army Dennis served as the Director of College Ministries at First Baptist Church in Texico, N.M. where he mentored students at Eastern New Mexico University in Portales, N.M. Dennis and his amazing wife Katie live in Colorado Springs, CO with their five children (four boys and one super sweet daughter).