Crossroads: Thanksgiving

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Philippians 4:4-9

Your Story

Tell your family about some things for which you are thankful. Include ways that God has answered your prayers this year.

My Story and the Bible Story

This is the time of year when we stuff our faces with turkey, dumplings (my grandmother makes the best!), mashed potatoes and gravy, green bean casserole, and a lot more dessert than we need. But it’s also a time when we gather with our families and we remember the things for which we are thankful. This year I am thankful that my sister got into a program to train her to live out her calling. I’m thankful for another year at a wonderful church and I am thankful to know so many caring people here. I am thankful for the smiles and hugs from the kids here at church, and I am grateful I get to teach them each week. I am thankful for my family and my friends, both near and far.

It can be easy to forget our blessings. During moments of pain, anger, or sadness, it can be easy to forget all the good things we have. That’s why this passage from Philippians is so important. Read Philippians 4:4-9. From the NIV: Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understand, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.

“Do not worry about anything, but present your requests to God with thanksgiving.” This is one of my favorite passages of scripture because it reminds me not to worry. Worrying doesn’t get you anywhere. All it does is upset you and make you feel bad. Worrying doesn’t change what’s going to happen. God doesn’t want us to worry. So when we worry, God wants us to talk to God. Tell God what’s going on, what we’re worried about, and what we need. But God also wants us to come to God with thankful hearts. When we worry, we tend to forget how big God is. We forget that God created the universe, that God knows everything about everyone, and that no matter how many people God has created, God still wants to talk to us. When we come to God with thankful hearts, it means that we remember the things that God has done. We remember how God has been there for us, how God has helped us, and how much God loves us. When we thank God for things, we remember that God is in control and we are not, and that no matter what happens, God will never ever leave us.

Thanksgiving is a time of remembering the good things and being thankful for them. It’s also a time when we can remember everything God has done for us and be thankful for God. When we remember the things God has done, God gives us God’s peace because it’s through those times when God has shown up for us that we know that God will always be there and will always love us. So whether you are worried or full of thankfulness, present your requests to God with a thankful heart, because God will always be there for you. And when you do, you will find God’s peace.

Discussion

• Ask your family about things for which they are thankful. Talk about these things as a family.
• Ask your family if they are worried about anything. Be sure to help your children strategize ways to deal with their worries as well as reassure them.

Prayer

Present your requests to God—whatever you are worried or upset about, give these over to God. Thank God for specific things God has done in your life and in the lives of your family members. Ask God for God’s peace.

Jessica Asbell is currently serving as the Minister to Children at First Baptist Church of Roswell, GA. She has worked with children in various capacities at several churches, including Winter Park Baptist in Wilmington, NC, First Baptist of Decatur, GA, and Highland Hills Baptist in Macon, GA. She has a Master of Divinity from McAfee School of Theology and a BBA from Mercer University. In her spare time she loves to read, watch movies, and of course spend time with her sweet kitty, Lucy.

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