Thanksgiving post 2016

Thanksgiving time is a perfect and natural time to cultivate within a generation a spirit of praise and thanksgiving towards Jesus. The spirit of thanksgiving and praise is vital and required to birth a generation of authentic worshippers on this earth; there is nothing my heart desires more than that. Today I am going to take a few minutes and share with you some key mini- object lessons to ushering your kids and families into a spirit of thanksgiving and praise.

“Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, And into His courts with praise. Be thankful for Him, and bless His name” (Psalms 100:4), I love using this scripture when teaching kids and families about thanksgiving and praise because it gives you such a visual to use to bring the natural into the supernatural.

“Enter into His Gates with Thanksgiving …” (Psalms 100:4)

Thanksgiving is how we get inside the door of the presence of God. Just as if you wanted to go visit a friend you would have to knock on their door, a thankful heart knocks on the heart of God and says “I want to be with you; to hang out with you; to ‘play’ with you”. This is always to be the starting place of our worship towards God. We must teach a generation that if they want to see, feel, hear, and be with Jesus they must take the roadway of worship, and the first street on that roadway is always thanksgiving. There are no shortcuts and no gate jumping. We must teach them to be thankful for who God is and who He is in their life.

“And into His Courts with Praise…” (Psalms 100:4)

This portion of the scripture is significant because it takes us from the door of thanksgiving to the house of praise. Going back to my first illustration of thanksgiving, if you want to see a friend and knock on their door, would you be satisfied by hanging out in their doorway or would you desire to go inside the house? A stranger would stay at the doorway, but a friend is invited in. Praise acknowledges what Jesus did for us and does for us, and in that place of praise we are called His friend and are invited in to the place of His presence. We don’t just get to say hello, we get to hang out in His house and in His presence. This is why when we begin to praise Jesus in worship, our emotions are often time effected; allowing us to rise above what it is going on in the natural world, because we are in that moment by the spirit in the house of God and in the presence of Jesus. This is why Praise continually brought victory in scripture, it brings us access to the supernatural world and the reality of Christ.

“…Will Magnify Him with Thanksgiving” (Psalms 69:30)

There is one last thought of thanksgiving and praise I want to bring to you. Again this is a perfect visual of what a thankful heart does. Just like a magnifying glass makes things bigger, our thankful heart makes Jesus bigger in our life. You can measure how much you can see Jesus in your life, by how much you thank him and recognize His role in your life. I often tell kids and families, Jesus is like a deflated balloon we carry around with us in our spirit when we do not have a thankful heart towards him; insignificant and not easy to see.  But every time we thank Him a breath of His Spirit is placed inside our spirit and He becomes bigger and bigger in our lives, just like a breath breathed inside a balloon makes it bigger and bigger.

Thanksgiving knocks on the door of the heart of Jesus where we can begin to see Him in our life; praise takes us into His house and into His presence. These two things are the gateway to worship, but if we stop there with this generation they will never go into the deepest place of worship where Jesus isn’t just a part of their life, He is their life.  It is possible to have a thankful heart and praise Jesus without ever worshipping Him. We will address this in our next article on authentic worship expected to come out during the Christmas season.

These mini-worship lessons are part of our Acts of Worship Curriculum found at www.kimiohio.org

In Christ,

Alicia White

Director and Founder of Chosen Stones Ministries  www.chosenstones.org

Director of Kids in Ministry Ohio  www.kimiohio.org