Welcome and happy Thanksgiving from all of us at Back to the Bible!
Back to the Bible’s CEO, Dr. Arnie Cole, has a growing concern for people in this unusual and difficult year. As a researcher and behaviorist, he sees how the riots, closures, and elections we’ve all been enduring have taken a toll.
Just when the world needs to see Christ the most, God’s people are in danger. Circumstances may have us off-kilter and looking down instead of up. I think a recent email reveals Arnie’s concern. His suggestions are a great way to start this set of devotionals to prepare for Thanksgiving.I am not a Debbie Downer, yet when I was a kid, I think I fell for the half empty or half full question a lot before I realized something. If I continued to say half empty things, people would think I was one unthankful grumpy jerk.
Now fast forward a multitude of decades of years. Thanksgiving is just around the corner, and let’s be honest, it is hard NOT to be a half-empty, Debbie Downer, with all that is going on.
For certain 2020 will go into the history books, but for many of us, if we aren’t careful, it will have a lasting negative impact on our lives for years to come.
That’s why we can’t wait for thankfulness to find us. Today is the day to start looking for it!
The writer of Psalm 100 tells us: “Make a joyful noise to the LORD, all the earth! Serve the LORD with gladness! Come into his presence with singing! Know that the LORD, he is God! It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture” (Psalm 100:1-3).
Even during a difficult time, if you’re looking for a reason to be thankful, these verses are a great start. These verses are fact, and such truth won’t change tomorrow or on a bad day. The Psalm continues with:
“Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name! For the LORD is good; his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations” (Psalm 100:4-5).
Just think what a tremendous opportunity you have to be intentional about sharing the joy that only Jesus can bring with all the half empties out there. It won’t happen overnight. But it will happen as we take the time to give thanks to God and share the joy that this 2020 season of opportunity has laid right in your lap.
Be intentional—it helps you and the people around you.
A couple of comments before we get started. First, it is important to realize that thankfulness and joy go hand-in-hand like gravy on mashed potatoes or whipped cream on pumpkin pie. So when a verse mentions “joy” then thankfulness is right there, too.
Second, you’ll see that each of the devotionals ends with the steps receive, reflect, and respond. Taken together, these three ingredients lead
to Bible engagement. We discovered through scientifically significant research that if you want to grow closer to Jesus today than yesterday, Bible engagement four or more days per week is crucial to life transformation. Less than four days a week—the research shows how the culture around us rules in our lives.
If you like the changes you’re seeing in your life by engaging with God through His Word through these devotionals, please try the goTandem app. Go to your favorite app store and download it today. It is free and will help you engage God’s Word in areas of struggle or areas of desired growth like joy and thanksgiving.
My prayer is that God will fill our minds and hearts so much that the overflow will touch those around us who need Him the most.