The Scripture says, “Bless the Lord, O my soul: and all that is within me” (Psalm 103:1). I know that most of us certainly want God to bless us, but the psalmist calls for us to bless God to pour out our praise and adoration and blessings toward Him. In just a few days all of us here in America have a national holiday that is called Thanksgiving. If at no other time of the year, it is a wonderful day to pause and bless God, to pour out our Thanksgiving toward Him for His gracious benefits to all of us. I don’t want you to miss it; so make plans to get in on blessing the Lord.
It was decades ago in a world that knew nothing about cell phones, computers, even televisions or space travel. In those days, kids would have recess at school and occasionally they would play Leap Frog. It was a simple game that required no equipment just some kids that would jump up and down and jump over each other. It was a simple game of people jumping over the backs of other people who were in line who then in turn would jump over other people. The ongoing jumping and kneeling down so that others could jump could go on forever, and they called it Leap Frog.
While it is probably seldom played anymore because all the kids are on the phone or the computer or chasing little dots around on the screen, the word stays with us to describe something or somebody that is bypassed or jumped over or overlooked. Leap Frog. I just want to encourage you, all of us, not to Leap Frog Thanksgiving on your way to the holiday season and the celebration of Christmas and then a New Year.
It seems as though more and more we just dismiss Thanksgiving and the Thanksgiving Day experience because we are swamped by Christmas — well maybe not Christmas, but the commercialized holiday of Christmas. What used to be a great celebration of Jesus’ birth has become the holiday and the giving of presents and the getting of the same.
But this wonderful Thanksgiving Day celebrates no national figure nor any great event or the end of any war. It is just Thanksgiving where more than stuffing ourselves with more food, we pause to give thanks to God for the enormity of the blessings that He has poured out upon us. Don’t Leap Frog over Thanksgiving just to get to the Christmas holidays. You see, without Thanksgiving we miss out on a lot.
Without Thanksgiving, our greed grows instead of our gratitude growing. I know that we don’t pay much attention to it, but greed can grow in a person’s life. If we don’t feed our thanksgiving with gratitude, greed takes over. Greed is an interesting thing. It consumes a person’s life because it makes you the center of the universe and creates an insatiable need in your life for more and more of whatever you think is important. Recognizing that gratitude is more valuable, more significant, and more meaningful to you and everyone you express it to is when you have true gratitude toward God and those who have blessed your life. So don’t Leap Frog, for your greed will grow.
Without Thanksgiving, you will also begin to think that you are the source of blessings instead of heaven being the force of all your blessings. James in his little book says, “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights” (James 1:17). Sometimes we think that we created ourselves, we are the ones who made all good things possible, and we want to build a monument unto ourselves. Thanksgiving helps prevent that. Don’t miss Thanksgiving because truthfully you nor I are the source of every good and perfect gift that comes our way. The gift of food or friends, family or fellowship, all come from the beneficent hand of our great God. Don’t pass it up. Don’t Leap Frog.
Without Thanksgiving, we, like others before us have done, end up worshipping the creation rather than the Creator. It is a magnificent world in which we live with moon and stars, sun and mountains, marvelous forested areas and even great breathtaking deserts, but they all are the product of our Creator and the creation itself is just the handiwork of His hands. Don’t miss out on turning your face toward the Creator and giving Him praise, thanksgiving, blessings, and adoration. Don’t Leap Frog over Thanksgiving.
I know that Christmas is vitally important and we certainly want to celebrate that, but I also know that it’s become so commercialized that all the advertising and all the buying and mailing and getting and having starts so early so that we can get it all maximized and everybody can spend more and more money. It shocked me, in fact it was so stunning when I heard it that I just couldn’t believe my ears, but on October 31, I think that’s Halloween day, but that was the first day that I heard some Christmas music being played and sung.
Now it wasn’t the Christmas song “Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer”, but I thought about the song because I felt like our world, our culture is being run over by the wild-eyed commercialization of the great visitation of God Himself coming to earth to save us from our sins. Getting ready for His coming is enhanced and blessed as you pause at Thanksgiving and say, “Bless the Lord, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name” (Psalm 103:1). Don’t Leap Frog Thanksgiving.
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Dr. Jim Futral