As we prepare for the Thanksgiving holiday, two Calvary Chapel pastors from different regions in the U.S. encourage us with Scripture-based devotionals. Enjoy these thoughts from Al Pittman, senior pastor of Calvary Worship Center in Colorado Springs, CO, and Mike Rodriguez, founding pastor of Calvary Chapel Corona, CA.
Giving Thanks in Everything
By Al Pittman, senior pastor of Calvary Worship Center in Colorado Springs, CO
Thanksgiving is an act of worship, by faith. At times, “thanksgiving” can be one of the most offensive acts for our flesh to engage in. There are times we do not want to “give thanks”! Why should I be “thankful” for the death of a child, a tragedy, or a trial?
But a closer examination of Scripture reveals a deeper purpose and meaning behind “thanksgiving.” First Thessalonians 5:18 tells us, In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. “In everything”—not “for everything”—because “in” everything, God is “in” control.
Jesus said in John 16:33, “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” By “giving thanks”, something supernatural takes place. First, Christ is “enthroned” over whatever we are “under”. Secondly, our hearts and minds are guarded by a “divine peace” that surpasses all human understanding (Philippians 4:6-7). Therefore, “giving thanks” is the path to victory and peace in Christ Jesus our Lord!
Lord, Keep Us Thankful, Lest We Forget
By Mike Rodriguez, founding pastor of Calvary Chapel Corona (CCC), CA
When he saw that he was healed, he returned, and with a loud voice glorified God, and fell down on his face at His feet, giving Him thanks. And he was a Samaritan. Luke 17:15-16
In a brief encounter, a man without hope was wonderfully given a life-changing blessing. One of 10 lepers who were cleansed by Jesus, he alone returned to give thanks. Every Thanksgiving, the Church of Jesus Christ should take the time to give thanks to God for the blessing of life that He has given to us! Like the Samaritan leper who was healed by Jesus, we too were religious outcasts due to the disease of our sin. Yet by the grace of God, we have been restored to a place of worship and honor in Jesus Christ.
At Calvary Chapel Corona, we are thankful for the restoration work God has done in our lives. We are thankful to God for the right He has restored in us to fellowship with the Creator of the universe who allowed His Son to be sin for us, that we might become the sons and daughters of God!
The examples of God’s grace, love, and mercy have been so evident that our church wants to continuously exalt the name of Jesus. The ministries God has raised up here at CCC have helped men and women to overcome past family hurts, addiction, post-abortion issues and to build marriages that excel in their love for God and one another.
God’s mercies are new every morning! Great is His faithfulness! That’s why we are so thankful every year for God’s blessings to His people, especially in times of testing.
Sponsor Message: Learn how you can receive a top-tier educational degree from a biblical perspective with Calvary Chapel University, a fully accredited school which is 100% online.
© 2022 Calvary Chapel Magazine (CCM). All rights reserved. Articles or photographs may not be reproduced without the written permission of CCM. All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.® Used by permission.