“Whoever believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.” — John 7:38
From a Thankful Heart, by Randall D. Kittle

“Oh, give thanks to the LORD, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever. Oh, give thanks to the God of gods! For His mercy endures forever. Oh, give thanks to the Lord of lords! For His mercy endures forever … Oh, give thanks to the God of heaven! For His mercy endures forever.” — Psalm 136:1–3 & 26

Over and over again the Scriptures exhort us to have thankful hearts toward the Lord. But as believers, we don’t have to be commanded to be thankful. Thanksgiving is the natural outflow of every believer’s heart if we will only step back and look at the mercy and kindness God has so richly lavished on us.

I am more thankful than I can express that God has given me a wife who has been the greatest helpmate a man could ask for. God has used my wife instrumentally in my walk with Him — helping bring me to salvation, helping disciple me, ministering alongside of me, and encouraging and releasing me into all God has for me. I am thankful for God’s gift of my children who make life exciting, fun, and full. They each are a special gift from God I greatly treasure.

I am so thankful that God has placed me in a country were the founding father’s had such a heart for the things of God that they designed this country to follow the convictions of the Bible and insisted that religion be unhindered by the government. We are still reaping the fruit of freedom from the labor of love for which so many sowed their lives.

I am thankful to be part of a church with such a storied past, vibrant present, and hope-filled future. My heart overflows with gratitude that the Lord called my wife and me to start our ministry, Living Water, more than 16 years ago. Ever so faithfully He has led us, guided us, and encouraged us. The Lord has done far more than we could have imagined, allowing us the privilege of bringing His hope and revealing His heart to touch lives across our nation and around the world.

Let me encourage you to take some time not only this season but throughout the year to thank the Lord for His mercy and goodness to you. As believers, Thanksgiving is a perfect time to make certain we thank the Lord for all of His goodness to us while enjoying the fellowship of the friends and family He has given us. Don’t allow the world to press in and change the wonderful time we call Thanksgiving into a hurried and hectic time that is merely focused upon food, football, and shopping. True preparation for celebrating Thanksgiving isn’t found in coordinating the travel schedule, getting just the right turkey, making the most mouth-watering pie, or even getting the dinner to be precisely timed with half-time of some “important” football game. The most important preparation for celebrating Thanksgiving is reflecting upon the goodness and faithfulness of God to His saints, and the wonderful gift of salvation He has so freely given to a lost and dying world. As it says four different times in Psalm 107, “Oh, that men would give thanks to the Lord for His goodness, and for His wonderful works to the children of men!”

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