Friday, November 18, 2011

Preparing For Thanksgiving

How are you preparing to give thanks?

Beginning Sunday November 20 we at Crossroads will share a special opportunity to GIVE THANKS to God.  See the Crossroads Community Church home page for that day's order of worship.

How will we do this?  As the Bible teaches, we will give thanks by testifying, that is, by giving testimonies of God's goodness.  We always look forward to sharing what God has done and our hearts are stirred as we hear simple words of thanks!  This is the Lord's doing and the Lord's plan!

This Sunday at church we will especially encourage people to share words and stories of thankfulness.  Feel free to break out into song if you like ;-) but each person speaking should limit their sharing to three minutes or less.

As we prepare, consider these questions:
  • What evidence is there, in your life and in the lives of others that you love, that God is present, healing, forgiving, giving you peace, protection, joy and love?
  • How have you seen God at work?  Are there times or situations that you couldn't have gone through without the Lord?  How have you seen God blessing, protecting, rescuing, forgiving, providing?  
  • What testimony can you give of our Lord's presence during the past weeks or months or years?  Can you point out the "footprints in the sand" that have carried you through these days?
  • What good reasons do you have to be thankful?

Let's not let people think we're just "fortunate" or "lucky."  Let's give God the credit He deserves!  Let's share with one another!  Let's teach our children how to give thanks!  Let's practice that in church where you know people are there for you in Jesus' name!

Consider these Bible verses as you prepare to give thanks.

Psalm 22:22-31
I will tell of your name to my brothers and sisters;
   in the midst of the congregation I will praise you:
You who fear the Lord, praise him!
   All you offspring of Jacob, glorify him;
   stand in awe of him, all you offspring of Israel!
For he did not despise or abhor
   the affliction of the afflicted;
he did not hide his face from me,
   but heard when I cried to him.
From you comes my praise in the great congregation;
   my vows I will pay before those who fear him.
The poor shall eat and be satisfied;
   those who seek him shall praise the Lord.
   May your hearts live for ever!
All the ends of the earth shall remember
   and turn to the Lord;
and all the families of the nations
   shall worship before him.
For dominion belongs to the Lord,
   and he rules over the nations.
To him, indeed, shall all who sleep in the earth bow down;
   before him shall bow all who go down to the dust,
   and I shall live for him.
Posterity will serve him;
   future generations will be told about the Lord,
and proclaim his deliverance to a people yet unborn,
   saying that he has done it.

First Corinthians 1:4-7
   I give thanks to my God always for you because of the grace of God that has been given you in Christ Jesus, for in every way you have been enriched in him, in speech and knowledge of every kind— just as the testimony of Christ has been strengthened among you— so that you are not lacking in any spiritual gift as you wait for the revealing of our Lord Jesus Christ.

John 11:38-44
(from Jesus himself, giving a reason for giving thanks aloud)
   Then Jesus, again greatly disturbed, came to the tomb. It was a cave, and a stone was lying against it. Jesus said, ‘Take away the stone.’ Martha, the sister of the dead man, said to him, ‘Lord, already there is a stench because he has been dead for four days.’ Jesus said to her, ‘Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?’ So they took away the stone. And Jesus looked upwards and said, ‘Father, I thank you for having heard me. I knew that you always hear me, but I have said this for the sake of the crowd standing here, so that they may believe that you sent me.’ When he had said this, he cried with a loud voice, ‘Lazarus, come out!’ The dead man came out, his hands and feet bound with strips of cloth, and his face wrapped in a cloth. Jesus said to them, ‘Unbind him, and let him go.’

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