November 2, 2019

Shout It Out!

Recently, I was sitting in the back row of church. I noticed in the pew directly across from me an elementary school girl loudly belting out the worship songs, so loudly that people in the front pew of the church turned around to see who it was.

This little girl, less than half her father’s height, was loud. She could be heard clearly over the many people singing on stage with microphones and speakers!

It’s November, and many in our culture now turn their attention to fine-tuning their Christmas wish lists. We, as Christ’s followers, should do exactly as that little large-voiced girl did: belt out our praise, gratitude, and thankfulness for all that God has done for us.

Why do we have to shout, you ask?

The answer is simply that culture already shouts at us, drowning out the real reason for Thanksgiving (my favorite holiday); many who thank God on that day for all He’s done, and all they have, will celebrate it by going out to get some more.

I’m not going to share the requisite Bible verses about being grateful, nor will I attempt to give you a guilt trip. No, I’m going to challenge you. I challenge you to turn your gratitude into concrete action, action that benefits someone other than you and your family. Start November 1; take some time each day, not only to thank God for all He’s done for you that day, but write it down, then share it with others on Thanksgiving Day.

More importantly, I challenge you to show your thankfulness to God by serving others. Find some way to serve others—and not just during this time of year; serve all year long! And I don’t just mean in your local church (that’s something every Christian should already be doing).

The service I’m talking about is, of course, evangelistic. Ellen White had this to say about serving others: “Everywhere there is a tendency to substitute the work of organizations for individual effort. . . . Multitudes leave to institutions and organizations the work of benevolence; they excuse themselves from contact with the world, and their hearts grow cold. . . . Christ commits to His followers an individual work—a work that cannot be done by proxy. . . . Individual responsibility, individual effort, personal sacrifice, is the requirement of the gospel.”

As Christians, our goal is to be more like Jesus. He showed His love for God by serving others, even at His own expense. He told His disciples: “Whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave—just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Matt. 20:26-28).

There’s nothing wrong with getting together with those you know and love and chowing down—if it’s not overdone. But that’s not all there is to this wonderful holiday. This Thanksgiving—today—shout at the top of your lungs how good God has been to you. Then let others know that you believe it, and that the belief—no, the conviction—that began in your heart and mind has migrated to your wallet, purse, hands, and feet.

Martin Luther, that great catalyst of the Reformation, put it best when he wrote more than 500 years ago: “There are three conversions: the conversion of the heart, mind, and purse.” I hope you have the joyful experience of knowing all three.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Know Jesus. Love Jesus. Live Jesus.

Omar Miranda, a counselor and writer, lives with his family in unplain Plainville, Georgia.

1)  Ellen G. White, The Ministry of Healing (Mountain View, Calif.: Pacific Press Pub. Assn., 1905), p. 147.

2), accessed Oct. 21, 2019.