Which cancels all my fear;
Love remakes me like Jesus,
And love draws me near.
Character is Jesus’ imprint
Upon any the Father calls;
His mark is everlasting
And that one never falls.
The Spirit imprints holiness
In a life born anew;
He comes with great power
To sanctify through and through.
So my soul give thanks,
And let my heart be raised
To God, the Imprint Maker,
Forever to be praised.
Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you (I Thessalonians 5:16-18).
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him (Colossians 3:16-17).
“The chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.” These words from the catechism call us to become more God-centered and less self-centered. They call us to proclaim who we are in Christ Jesus and magnify Him at all times with thankful hearts, words, songs, prayers, and worship. Thanksgiving protects His imprint as we declare our Lord’s loving-kindness in the morning and His faithfulness at night.
Thankfulness humbly recognizes and acknowledges the abundance of God’s love in pursuing a relationship with us. Thanksgiving powerfully refreshes and revives the weary soul and spirit as we enumerate the Father’s manifold gifts. Thankfulness restores and enlivens the believer as his soul is drawn to the Giver of every good.
Thanksgiving names the Father’s blessings and mercies. The remembrance of His constant care engages our hearts and minds on things that endure. Recalling and proclaiming His holiness and His majesty broadens our appreciation.
Thankfulness abundantly praises and honors Jesus for His atoning sacrifice, His powerful resurrection, and His glorious ascension. Thanksgiving passionately exalts and worships our great, interceding High Priest. Thankfulness applauds and awaits the Rewarder of our faith.
Thanksgiving admires Jesus’ matchless name and His flawless character. The recounting of our Elder Brother’s commendations and excellencies focuses us on His superiority. Thinking on and proclaiming His word and His witness builds our strength.
Thankfulness rightfully lauds the Holy Spirit for life and light, for freedom and fruit. Thanksgiving properly lifts up and praises our wonderful Counselor and constant Encourager. Thankfulness recognizes and practices the presence of the Holy One who indwells.
Thanksgiving acknowledges the constancy of the Holy Spirit’s watchcare. The enumeration of the ways in which He protects us from fear and reinforces our faith fills us with boldness. Remembering and proclaiming His presence and His provision bolsters our faith.
Unthankfulness mars and destroys God’s imprint with its self-centered focus. Thankfulness beautifies and builds it with a God-centered focus. Unthankfulness discounts and forgets the great price that was paid for our redemption. Thankfulness exalts and remembers it with a Christ-centered focus. Unthankfulness deadens and destroys our spirits as we question His lovingkindness and faithfulness. Thankfulness enlivens them with a Spirit-centered focus.
How about thanking God through the Psalms for the next 150 days? Or if that seems too big a start, then invest ten days and thank Him for ten different things each day. Move to 66 days and thank Him through the books of the Bible; there are riches in each one for which to offer Him praise. Start a thanksgiving journal. Get a friend to hold you accountable for a complaining spirit. Meditate on a thanksgiving Scripture passage. Look for ways to amplify thankfulness to God in the coming days.
Oh give thanks to the LORD, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever! Let them thank the LORD for his steadfast love, for his wonderful works to the children of man! For he satisfies the longing soul, and the hungry soul he fills with good things (Psalm 107:1, 8-9 (ESV)).
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:6-7 (ESV)).
Words matter not only in our thankfully praising God, but also in our rightfully thanking others. Proverbs 25:11 says: A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in a setting of silver. Over this next year, at least once each month, I challenge you to give your own Golden Apple Award. Contact someone who has made God’s imprint on your life, and thank him or her. Both of you will be blessed.
Thank you for letting me think and share with you this year our choice standing as those imprinted with the Father’s love, with the Son’s character, and with the Spirit’s sanctifying presence. Let us faithfully make His imprint in word and deed until we receive the eternal reward of our faith, glorification in our Lord’s presence.