Deuteronomy 6:5: You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.
Romans 14:7-8: For none of us lives to himself, and no one dies to himself. For if we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord. Therefore, whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s.
Matthew 22:37-40: Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.”
Colossians 3:16-17: Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.
THE GREATEST GIFT of THANKSGIVING is the greatest HOPE, the greatest LOVE, the greatest GOOD, the greatest LIGHT, the greatest WAY, the greatest TRUTH, and the greatest GIFT of LIFE, bearing this FRUIT of the SPIRIT—love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, kindness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control—and this is the GIFT of GOD: JESUS CHRIST.
In the HEART of GRACE is the HEART of THANKSGIVING, for we know as believers SOULED-OUT, we are BORN of GOD—His Spirit—through FAITH in His Son, JESUS CHRIST, who surrendered Himself and PAID IN FULL the BRIDE PRICE for every one of us—the DEBT of SIN, REBELLION, and LAWLESSNESS we owed to GOD, the ETERNAL FATHER and SOVEREIGN KING—which was HIS LIFE, HIS BLOOD freely given on CALVARY’s CROSS for our REDEMPTION, SALVATION, HEALING, FORGIVENESS, DELIVERANCE, RECONCILIATION, and FREEDOM, and we all know without GOD, we can do nothing, but with GOD, all things are possible.
We live because of HIM: JESUS, GOD.
We're saved because of HIM: JESUS, GOD.
What GOD the FATHER really commands is that we LIVE and WALK as His Son JESUS DID: in SURRENDER and SUBMISSION, in FAITH and OBEDIENCE—LOVING HIM (GOD) and LOVING OTHERS.
Only GOD the BUILDER, CREATOR, and MANUFACTURER knows our real frame and form—what we’re made of; only He knows our loads and limits—how much we can bear; only He knows our purpose, our potential, and which path is best for us; and only He knows the plans He has for us, plans to prosper us and not harm us, plans to give us a hope and a future.
But we know this much: GOD made us FOR LOVING and FOR GIVING; GOD blesses us to BLESS HIM and BLESS OTHERS; and GOD made us FOR WORSHIPPING Him and GIVING THANKS for every BLESSING we receive.
Our bodies are the houses that GOD lives and works in, and our lives are SOULED-OUT because our HEART, SOUL, MIND, and STRENGTH are FULLY COMMITTED—ALL-IN—FOR JESUS, GOD, HOLY SPIRIT, and this is the HEART of THANKSGIVING, the HEART of GRACE—John 3:16 and Ephesians 2:8-10—that GOD so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life; that we are saved BY GRACE through FAITH, not of ourselves and this is the GIFT of GOD, and we are HIS WORKMANSHIP, created in CHRIST JESUS for good works, which GOD prepared beforehand that we should walk in them; that JESUS DIED, was RESURRECTED that we might LIVE through and be LIFTED higher in Him.
GOD loves us, with an everlasting love, and He wants us to love Him, not second, third, or last but first, and He wants us to make a real heart-commitment to Him, and this is the real test of any believer's faith—the Cs of Life that reveal the treasures of our heart and determine our legacy in this world and the one to come: our character, our convictions, our courage, our compassion, our choices, and our commitment to the King, GOD, and the King of kings, JESUS.
For whom are we living? To whom do we give thanks? Without whom can we live? If JESUS, GOD, isn't the answer, is He really our First Love?
As believers, our Banner is JESUS, GOD, and we're better, stronger with GOD than without Him. As Americans, our banner in red, white, and blue has stars and stripes, but in the BODY of CHRIST, where JESUS is the WAY, the TRUTH, and the LIFE, JESUS is the STAR who bore all our STRIPES, and we're BETTER, STRONGER when we're many members in ONE BODY, INDIVISIBLE under HIM, GOD, in HIM, JESUS 24/7.
And this is what we've got to remember, especially in times like these: Thanksgiving isn't just about us and our families; it's about HIM, GOD, and His Family, which is DIVERSE but UNITED, not DIVERSE and DIVIDED, and each day brings a new opportunity—to give and forgive, to love and obey, to live longer or die sooner—so every moment in life matters, especially this moment—today—the only time that’s guaranteed.
So, let us worship GOD in spirit and truth; let us celebrate every day with thanksgiving, love, and praise; and let us live our lives LOUD for GOD, JESUS, committing all our heart, soul, mind and strength—going all-in for the LIVING GOD, His Son JESUS, who gave everything, including His Blood, His Life, for us, because in the end, this is the greatest gift for thanksgiving, not that we live but that He—JESUS CHRIST, GOD—lives in us—and we can take Him—share Him—wherever we go.