Wednesday November 25, 2009
Hartsville News Journal
Page 2C
"Thanking Him for His Presence"

Thanksgiving is a time for celebrating! It is a time for thanking God and recognizing His closeness to you. With many turning their backs on Him, Thanksgiving may be your time for returning to Him and rediscovering His warmth and closeness.

Rev. 11:17 KJV talks about God and His desire to be recognized; Thanking Him for His Presence will lead you in that direction:

Saying, We give thee thanks, O Lord God Almighty, which art, and wast, and art to come; because thou hast taken to thee thy great power, and hast reigned.

God reigns and He always will. Always there for you, nothing pleases Him more than to receive attention from you; 1 Chron. 16:8 KJV shows the role you play:

Give thanks unto the Lord, call upon his name, make known his deeds among the people.

Hearing His name mentioned is a special Thanksgiving treat for God and boasting of His importance endears you to Him.

God shares how He feels about hearing His name in Psalm 100:4 KJV:

Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.

Hearing His name blessed and receiving praise from you is God’s favorite part of Thanksgiving and entering into His Gates is yours.

Thanking Him for His presence and blessing His name is a good beginning but defending Him is also necessary. Defending God shows your appreciation for Him and that you place Him first in your life.

The defending God part of celebrating Thanksgiving brings questions to the surface as you ask yourself: (1) Have I expressed my feelings about my religious rights being taken away by a handful of judges? (2) How well have I voiced my opinion about the courts disallowing prayer in our schools? (3) What action do I plan to take about a judge in my state being allowed to stop the issuing of automobile license plates with a cross simply because they reflect my right to Christian Faith?

Sharing Thanksgiving with Him has Philip. 4:6 KJV telling you to hold nothing back as making your requests known unto God opens His Heart to you:

Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.

Being taught that expressing thanks, needs, words, and deeds is God reaching out to you and Col. 3:17 KJV is where you learn that going through His Son guarantees reaching Him:

And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the



Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.

Additionally, Psalm 30:12 KJV tells you not to be silent; it tells you to openly praise Him and this verse also hands you a bonus: It tells you how long God wants you to thank Him:

To the end that my glory may sing praise to thee, and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give thanks unto thee for ever.

And 2 Cor. 9:15 KJV is where you are reminded to thank God for sending Christ, your redeemer and salvation:

Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift.

Celebrating Thanksgiving begins with Thanking God for His Presence and it is possible that your answer to two questions will make it a reality:

Am I committed to sharing Thanksgiving with God?

Am I contributing to the celebration?


Pastor Billy Johnson can be reached by email at or viewed online at