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When people hear the word thanksgiving, they often think of pilgrims, sweet potato pie, and the number of shopping days left until Christmas. For Christians, however, Thanksgiving should be more than an end-of-November feast—it should be a lifestyle. Thanksgiving is "the act of giving thanks." It means maintaining an attitude of gratitude toward God every day, and is a master key to seeing the fullness of God manifested in our lives.

Hebrews 13:15 (AMP) says we should "constantly and at all times offer up to God a sacrifice of praise, which is the fruit of lips that thankfully acknowledge and confess and glorify His name." This scripture talks about a "sacrifice" of praise. This simply means that it might be hard for us to give thanks to God at various times. The Word makes it clear, however, that we must give thanks continually—whether we feel like it or not.

It is easy to murmur, complain, or compare ourselves to others when things don’t go our way. Understand, though, that there is nothing inferior about anything God has given us. Ingratitude is an insult to Him. It says that we don't appreciate what He has done for us. A spirit of ungratefulness will cause us to miss out on receiving what God wants to give us. That's why we need to make thanksgiving a way of life.

Thanksgiving must be cultivated. To cultivate means "to improve by labor, to refine." This means that thanksgiving doesn't happen automatically; we are going to have to work at it. We must practice giving thanks all the time—not just in church—but also at home, at work, and even when we are stuck in rush-hour traffic! Wherever we are, we are to offer spoken words of thanks to help cultivate a spirit and atmosphere of thanksgiving. This continual praise will position us to experience fullness in our lives. Fullness means "nothing needed, nothing wanted."

Luke 19:26 (AMP) says, "I tell you that to everyone who gets and has will more be given." When we are thankful for what God has already given us, He will increase what we have. Jesus used this principle when He fed a crowd of thousands with only seven loaves of bread and a few small fish. The first thing He did was give thanks to God, and God immediately rewarded Him with increase.
He took the seven loaves and the fish, and when He had given thanks, He broke them and gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the people. And they all ate and were satisfied.
(Matt.15:36-37)
God has a purpose for each of our lives, and it is found in His will for us. In 1 Thessalonians 5:18 (AMP), God's perfect will concerning us is revealed:
Thank [God] in everything [no matter what the circumstances may be, be thankful and give thanks], for this is the will of God for you [who are] in [the Anointed] Jesus [the Revealer and Mediator of that will]."
We must thank God in everything. Not for everything, but in everything. Thank Him when you're sick, and when you're well. Thank Him when your old car breaks down, and when you get a new one. Stay on the path of thanksgiving, and Jesus—the Revealer and Mediator—will show you how to get where you are called to be.

Your thanksgiving pleases God more than anything else you do (Psalm 69:30-31). Therefore, make the decision today to maintain an attitude of gratitude—not just on Thanksgiving Day, but every day of your life.
First published in the Oct./Nov. 2011 issue of Change Magazine
Copyright © Creflo Dollar Ministries
All rights reserved.

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