1 Timothy 4:4–5 For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, for it is made holy by the word of God and prayer.
Made holy translates Greek hagiazō which means to “sanctify, make holy, consecrate”. Everything is, of course, everything.
Ordinary things should be considered “made holy” by God, and Christians, the priesthood of all believers, have the privilege of using such “holy” objects every day.
The word of God is probably a reference to Gen. 1:12, 21, 25, 31 (“God saw that it was good”)
Since all things are good and must be received with thanks, all things are gifts from the creator.
By giving thanks for all that comes to hand, the Christian correctly indented the character of created things as created gifts.
For Paul, thanksgiving has a performative effect on the things received. Receiving God’s gifts with thanks does not merely identify them as gifts but also sanctifies them, consecrates them as holy things.
For saints; those set apart by God, we sanctify the world, we make it holy, through the giving of thanks.
As God’s Saints, indwelt and anointed by the sanctifying spirit of Jesus, the priesthood of believers, everything we touch, eat and use, ought to be holy. If we receive anything that is impure, our priesthood is defiled.
Purity and holiness taboos continue to operate in the New Testament. Holy people must have holy things, but for Paul no elaborate ceremonial rites of sanctification are required: only the giving of thanks.
Once consecrated by thanks, a thing can be used only for God’s purposes. Holy food could be eaten only by priests in the OT, holy implements could be used only in the sanctuary, holy incense could be used only on the altar.
If Christians consecrate whatever they receive by thanks, they are not only claiming it as God’s own, but also obligating themselves to use it in a particular way; to use it with thanks.
Thanksgiving is thus the liturgy of Christian living.
It is the continuous sacrifice that Christians offer. Gratitude to God is the continuous sanctification of the world.
Therefore, if our nation is going to have a day of thanksgiving; who ought to lead the celebrations and set the standard? Well, the people whose very lives are a liturgy of thanksgiving.
A.W. Tozer, in his book The Roots of Righteousness, states “We should never take any blessings for granted but accept everything as a gift from the father of lights. Whole days may be spent occasionally in the holy practice of being thankful. We should write on a tablet one by one the things for which we are grateful to God and to our fellowmen. And a constant return to this thought during the day will serve to fix the habit in our hearts….In trying to count our many blessings the difficulty is not to find things to count, but to find time to enumerate them all.”
Let us therefore, try to enumerate the Glorious graces of God.
Be extravagant in your gratitude.
2 Corinthians 9:6–8 The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work.
Luke 6:38 give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.”
Deuteronomy 14:26 and spend the money for whatever you desire—oxen or sheep or wine or strong drink, whatever your appetite craves. And you shall eat there before the LORD your God and rejoice, you and your household.
And so, beloved of God, go forth and buy the best and cook it well. Uncork the finest and lay out the best table dressings you possess. Welcome warmly and with a song in your heart, let love cover a multitude and lift your glasses, pass the pie round twice….
For Thursday, the 22nd of November 2018, is a day of thanksgiving. Let us enjoy it with overflowing hearts of gratitude.