Sometimes, a week like Thanksgiving can seemingly rush upon you without much warning. It comes at the same time each November, but this year you’ve just been too busy. Sure, you knew it was coming but it’s here now and you need to slow down and begin to get your heart right so you can enjoy the remainder of this week and year.
I want to help you with that. In four steps, I want to provide a guide to get your heart ready for Thanksgiving. Practice them long-term and you’ll soon notice a shift that takes you from Thanksgiving into thanks-living.
These steps are read, think, thank, and praise. To prime the heart pump, we start with a reading. Then we think about what we’ve read. Thoughtfulness should ease right into thankfulness. And finally, with a grateful heart, begin to praise God for your many gifts. That’s right, begin to pray and share your heart with your Creator.
There are four passages of Scripture that I suggest you read. You might want to separate them and go through each one at different times of the day, depending on your schedule. But rest assured, the best way to get the most out of this exercise is to clear your schedule and slowly work through these passages and their steps.
Click the linked passage and read each, one at a time. Then go through the remaining three steps: think, thank, and praise. Ready? Grab a cup of coffee and let’s begin.
- Start with Deuteronomy 8:11-20. Think about what you read. How does it apply to you? Begin to feel gratitude. With a thankful heart, begin to praise God. Don’t worry about what your feelings are saying. Do it by faith. Your feelings can catch up later.
- Move to Psalm 107:1-9. Now think about the words which spoke to you. Like the psalmist is encouraging, is your heart more thankful now than before you thoughtfully read through these verses? Now go to God in prayer and praise Him for His wonderful works to you and your family.
- Go into the Gospels and pause at Luke 17:11-19. It’s a fascinating story you’ve just read. Can you imagine how someone could be so blessed and not be thankful? Don’t be like the nine. Move on with thankfulness and go to the Savior with gratitude. Praise Him for His wonderful works over your life.
- Lastly, let’s take our fourth reading in 2 Corinthians 9:10-15. Thinking as you are reading, how does this apply to you? Who’s sharing has enriched your life? Have you shared with anyone lately? Now begin to praise God for His grace which is shown to you in so many different ways.
I’ll end this guide post with another passage. It’s not for this exercise, though I feel confident that you’ll have a hard time stopping yourself from moving through the think, thank, and praise steps as you read it. I just like the instructions that the prophet gave here. “Go your way, eat the fat, drink the sweet, and send portions to those for whom nothing is prepared; for this day is holy to our Lord. Do not sorrow, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” So the Levites quieted all the people, saying, “Be still, for the day is holy; do not be grieved.” And all the people went their way to eat and drink, to send portions and rejoice greatly, because they understood the words that were declared to them (Nehemiah 8:10-12).
It’s my prayer that you will understand the words, which have been declared before your eyes and recorded into your heart. Through practicing these steps, you will have a happy Thanksgiving and a shift will take place beyond this week as you move into thanks-living.
Please consider commenting and let me know if this was helpful. Thank you for reading and participating in a different perspective. The peace of the Lord be with you.