How do we understand what being thankful really means? To explore this, I went to some favorite verses and put them in my own words...
Be thankful in every situation because this is what God wants from you if you are in Christ. (1 Thessalonians 5:18) Don't be anxious about anything, but pray about everything. Ask God for what you need, showing Him that you have a thankful heart for everything He has done for you. (Philippians 4:6)
Come into His presence by showing Him genuine thanks and praise. (Psalm 100) Let Christ have absolute rule and reign in your life and heart, since you are one with Him and with one another. If He rules in your heart then His peace will be evident in your relationships with one another. The manifestation of this in your life should cause you to be truly thankful. (Colossians 3:15)
Prayer should be something you devote yourself to because you are constantly watching for what Jesus wants to do in your life and because you are thankful to Him. (Colossians 4:2) Now that you have received Jesus as your Lord, be sure that you continue to live in Him. Make sure your roots are growing deeply in Him, so that you will grow tall and strong in your faith as you were taught. When this happens, your thankfulness will naturally overflow. (Colossians 2:6-8)
Since we are assured of receiving a kingdom that can never be shaken, we can't help but be thankful. Our thankfulness, then, should cause us to worship God in a way that shows we hold Him in higher esteem than anything or anyone. We stand in awe of what He has done and acknowledge that while our ways are flawed, His ways are perfect. We are also in awe of what He will do because we know that He could choose to consume everything. (Hebrews 12:28-29) I will sing praises to His name and bring Him glory by being thankful. (Psalm 69:30)
As you gather together with family and friends this Thanksgiving, I pray that you will truly understand what it means to be thankful. And in the spirit of thankfulness, I wanted to share with you a recipe that I tried for the first time last year. Delicious!
Cranberry Swirl Coffee Cake Recipe
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup sour cream
1/3 cup pecans, chopped
1 (14 ounce) can whole berry cranberry sauce
3/4 cup confectioners' sugar
2 tablespoons milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each egg. Stir in vanilla extract. Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt; add to the creamed mixture alternately with sour cream, beating well after each addition.
Grease a 10" fluted tube pan. Sprinkle the pecans into pan. Spread half of the batter over nuts; top with half of the cranberry sauce. Repeat layers.
Bake at 350° for 50-55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack to cool completely. Combine glaze ingredients; drizzle over coffee cake. Yield: 12-16 servings.