Nov 23

Have an Unshakable Thanksgiving posted by jwatson on Nov 23, 2014

Look up the word holiday in the dictionary.  You will discover that it is a contraction; two words made into a single word.  The two words?  Holy Day.

Think about this.  Whenever a spiritual truth or reality becomes institutionalized, its meaning is compromised, even lost…and its importance is watered down.  Just consider the three main “Christian holidays” in the increasingly secular America:  Easter, Thanksgiving (yes, Thanksgiving began as a Christian celebration) and Christmas.  Easter is about bunnies and eggs.  Thanksgiving is about turkey and, now, pre-black Friday shopping.  Christmas is about trees, presents and Santa Claus.

So the socially proper thing to say when you see people on Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday of Thanksgiving week is the deeply meaningful “Have a happy Thanksgiving!”

Well, I am on a one-man campaign (unless you join with me) to change this to “Have an unshakable Thanksgiving!”  Just stick with me for a moment, I think it will make sense…

My launch pad is Hebrews 12:28:  “Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken (is unshakable), let us be thankful and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe.”  Often, in the Bible, shake, shaken and shaking are connected with God’s judgment (see Isaiah 24:19; Amos 9:9; Matthew 24:29; Luke 21:26; Hebrews 12:26-27).

Therefore when the shaking of God’s judgment comes, we remain unshaken.  Why?  Because when we are “in Christ” and saved, the judgment and condemnation are gone from us because our judgment and condemnation have been placed upon Jesus Christ.

While this certainly is doctrinal and theological, it could not be more practical.  Think about it.

  • Creation is shaky and shakable.
  • Circumstances are shaky and shakable.
  • Health is shaky and shakable.
  • The economy is shaky and shakable.
  • Relationships are shaky and shakable.
  • Emotions are shaky and shakable.

The only unshakable place to stand is in the Kingdom of God.  And, while the Kingdom’s consummation is future, if we are in Christ through salvation, we are citizens of that Kingdom right here and right now.  So, in the midst of all of this shaking, we can remain unshaken and unshakable.

The Psalmist fully understood and experienced this:

  • I keep my eyes always on the Lord. With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken. Psalm 16:8
  • Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; He will never let the righteous be shaken.  Psalm 55:22
  • Truly He is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will not be shaken. Psalm 62:6
  • Those who trust in the Lord are like Mount Zion, which cannot be shaken but endures forever.  Psalm 125:1

Back to the Hebrews verse.  Our response to citizenship in this unshakable kingdom is “let us be thankful.”  Thus, “Have an unshakable thanksgiving.”

This unshakable thanksgiving has its focus on the spiritual and the eternal, not the physical and the temporal.  Remember, all that is physical and temporal is shakable.  Therefore, if your thanksgiving is grounded in the physical and temporal, your thanksgiving is shakable.  Creation, circumstances, health, the economy, relationship and emotions are, and will continue to be, shaken.  For those who are NOT in Christ through salvation, I suppose that a little hiatus from the pressures of everyday life for a couple of days to eat turkey and shop is a welcome diversion.

But for us who are “in Christ” through salvation, the old has gone, the new has come.  The Kingdom of God, into which we have entered through faith in Christ, cannot be shaken.   Therefore, have an unshakable thanksgiving!  And, thankfully, this is not only for a day on the calendar, but can be a spiritual reality everyday!

Join the campaign:  “Have an unshakable Thanksgiving!”


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