Read passages from the Word about giving thanks to the Lord. Here are a few examples.
- “Let us make a joyful noise to the Rock of our salvation. Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving” (Psalm 95:1-2).
- “Bless the Lord, O my soul; and all that is within me, bless His holy name!” (Psalm 103:1).
- “O give thanks unto the Lord. Call upon His name. Make known His deeds among the peoples! Talk of all His wondrous works!” (Psalm 105:1-2)
- “O give thanks unto the Lord; for He is good! For His mercy endures forever. Oh, give thanks unto the God of heaven! For His mercy endures forever” (Psalm 136:1,26).
- “Serve the Lord with gladness… Be thankful unto Him and bless His name” (Psalm 100:2,4).
Ideas for discussion:
- What are some of the ways that you can thank the Lord for His blessings? (These might include taking time to reflect on our blessings, worshiping the Lord, and doing kind things for others.)
- To bless someone is to communicate good to them. So doing something kind for someone else is a way the Lord can bless other people through us.
- Would you agree with this statement? “People can bless others only from the Lord, and not at all from themselves” (Norbert Rogers). Why or why not?
- The Lord is the source of all true blessings. “Nothing is a blessing except what is given by the Lord. For that alone is blessed because it is Divine and eternal and contains in itself heaven and eternal happiness. All other things which have not in themselves what is Divine and eternal are not blessings, even though they may be so called” (Apocalypse Explained 340).
Read more about thanking the Lord:
- “Saying ‘Thank You’ to the Lord” by Kenneth Stroh (ages 4-6)
How many times in a day do you say “Thank you” to somebody?
- “Acknowledging the Lord” by Louis B. King (ages 7-14)
On Thanksgiving wise people give thanks for the fruit of their work, acknowledge that this fruit is from the Lord, and celebrate their thankfulness with worship.
Projects and activities for various ages:
- With Grateful Hearts (ages 3-8)
Encourage children to draw pictures on a large heart to show the Lord the things for which they are thankful.
- Blessings Before Meals
One way to make this tradition especially meaningful is to vary the blessings you say at mealtime. Many families enjoy letting their children take turns selecting which blessing the family will say together.
- Let Us Be Thankful Coloring Page (ages 4-10)
This picture of children looking at beautiful sunrise has this caption: “Let us be thankful every day for the things we learn that show the way.
- Bless the Lord Calligraphy by Ruth D. Gyllenhaal (ages 8-15)
Use colored pencils or markers to color this lovely calligraphy of Psalm 103 with 3 illuminated letters.
- A Paper Chain of Praise to the Lord (ages 8-12)
Use pre-printed quotations from the Word to assemble a paper chain praising the Lord. A great activity for a family or Sunday School class.
- Bless the Lord, O My Soul Poster by Marguerite L. Acton (ages 10-up)
Print and display this lovely poster of portions of Psalm 103 with an illustrative color border.
- O Give Thanks by Robert G. Glenn
The words “O give thanks unto the Lord” are shown above a man holding a basket of produce to illustrate Psalm 118.
- People Who Have Been a Blessing in Your Life (teens and up)
Make an effort to recognize some of the people in your life who have been a blessing to you by expressing your thanks to them.
- Attributing All Life to the Lord (teens and adults)
Brainstorm everything good that is from the Lord to help you appreciate our many blessings from Him. Don't settle for listing the external blessings in your life - look for the spiritual blessings too!
- Go Forth and Be a Blessing
Make a sign for your door with these words as a reminder that the Lord can work through you to bring joy and happiness to others! Think about the abilities that the Lord has given you and how best to make use of them. We may feel inadequate, but the Lord sees our potential and provides the inspiration we need. Be alert to the daily opportunities that come your way to be a blessing.
The Lord blesses us with everything He gives us. As we receive these blessings, let us give thanks to the Lord as the source of all goodness and truth. When we truly acknowledge Him from our hearts, then the Lord can increase our blessedness—our happiness—and lead us toward the Divine blessing of eternal happiness in heaven.
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