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Give Thanks by Giving
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America will celebrate Thanksgiving Day this month. Most families are planning for their gatherings already. For those who need to travel to get to where they’re gathering, they most likely have already obtained their travel tickets or allotted in their budgets for whatever their expenses will be as they come together for this national day of giving thanks.  And hopefully the giving of thanks will indeed be truly observed by most.

Charles Spurgeon, one of the great spiritual leaders of all time, lived and died a thankful man. He testified on his death bed, “My theology has become very simple, Jesus died for me.” Certainly that statement is a declaration of thanks.

Spurgeon certainly knew what to declare as thanks, didn’t he? The Bible says, “He has shown you, O man, what is good;
And what does the Lord require of you but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?” (Micah 6:8). Such a beautiful formula for living and giving.


As Americans celebrate another day set aside as a national day of giving thanks, I got to wondering how many of us even remember back to the first corporate thanksgiving that the pilgrims celebrated. It isn’t the football games and tailgate parties that make for merciful thankfulness, you know. Nor is it, just to enjoy the horns of plenty that adorn most American tables. However much we find pleasure in sitting down to a festive meal with family and friends, as well as the fun of football games, there’s really a requirement of us, as we do it. I suggest that requirement is exactly what the above Bible verse tells us, “do justly, show mercy, and walk in humbly with your God.”

There are lots of ways to show a humble spirit by acting justly and being merciful. Since Thanksgiving Day is largely geared around feasting, why not volunteer at a food kitchen to feed the homeless or those who are going through hard times financially? Or perhaps invite some of those very people to dine at your own table. If for whatever reason you can’t entertain in your own home, perhaps you can help purchase a cornucopia of food for others to prepare or distribute as food baskets. Jesus, Himself, told us that the poor will always be with us.

Such selfless acts can provide the sweetest memories. A simple quote by Mark Gerth is a good springboard for Thanksgiving Day, “Memories are photographs taken with the heart.” May this Thanksgiving season provide memories that will include both heart pictures of family and extended family by way of giving thanks by giving.

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By Betty Kossick. Copyright © 2012 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines. Scripture taken from the NEW KING JAMES VERSION © 1982.

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