Give Thanks: Part 2 (By Matt Williams)

Last week, I noted that we had entered the Christmas season, but tucked away in the middle of all this hullabaloo is a neat little, often unnoticed holiday called Thanksgiving. We briefly looked at Psalm 138:1, “I WILL GIVE you thanks WITH ALL my heart” (emphasis added), and you were challenged by David to truly GIVE THANKS.
 
But as I looked closer, there is a condition to the quality of my giving thanks. David noted that I am to give thanks with ALL MY HEART. If David were to write that today, it might sound something like, “I’m gonna be ALL IN with my thanks to that big awesome Dude in the sky.” (Okay, that was a stretch.)
But the point is to be ALL IN.
But what does that mean? If I’m ALL IN, I could be thinking about the Cleveland Cavaliers. Or maybe I’m watching a MSNBC news program.
I could be listening to Matthew West’s latest album or playing poker, tossing all my money into the middle hoping to win big. The phrase “ALL IN” has many venues in which to play, but the meaning is all the same: ALL IN means without restrictions.
David is saying that our giving thanks is to be from an unrestricted heart. For the Hebrews, the heart was the center of all emotional, intellectual, and moral aspects of our lives. So we are challenged to be ALL IN with all of our understanding minds, with all of our passions, appetites, and affections. ALL IN with our whole character, emotion and will. To withhold absolutely nothing when giving thanks to God. In other words, with an unrestricted heart.
Giving thanks that way is difficult when our focus is on the perfectly browned, thoroughly cooked turkey, or when we have one eye on the family and the other on the “big game”, or when we are positioning ourselves for the best sale. A divided or distracted heart is a heart in danger.
 
David challenges us to not only GIVE THANKS but to do so with an ALL IN unrestricted heart.
 
So go wild with your Thanksgiving.

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