Thanksgiving is behind us, but how well did you celebrate God? The best sports teams, businesses, and government agencies have after-action-reviews because they realize there’s always a way to better themselves. Join AMBrewster as he gives us all a chance to evaluate how we can worship God better next Thanksgiving.
The Year Long Celebration of God is a family resource from Truth.Love.Parent., a ministry dedicated to rooting families in God and maturing families for God so they can harvest blessings from God.
Learn the importance of Preparation here: “The Pieces of Celebration”
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Thanksgiving is behind us, but how well did you and your disciplees celebrate God?
The best sports teams, businesses, and government agencies have after-action-reviews because they realize there’s always a way to better themselves. No one does their best all of the time.
So today we’re going to take an honest look at whether or not we truly celebrated God better this Thanksgiving than we did last Thanksgiving with the hopes that we will be able to mature.
And next Thanksgiving we should revisit these concepts to strive to worship God better than we did this year.
You can find today’s free Thanksgiving Checklist on our blog as well as the Thanksgiving page at CelerbationOfGod.com.
Our Thanksgiving Checklist is broken into two categories:
1. Items that pertain to The Celebration of God. And . . .
2. Spiritual Disciplines
The first category is specific to The Year Long Celebration of God discipleship experience, and I would argue that a Christian is not sinning because they didn’t engage with the COG.
On the other hand, the Spiritual Disciplines are things that Christians should be doing. They’re commanded in Scripture. Therefore, they are things that all Christians should strive to do as they learn to worship God better.
So . . .
1. The Celebration of God
Hopefully by now you have already subscribed to The Celebration of God podcast. If you haven’t, that’s one way you can equip yourself to celebrate God better.
Did you listen to the Thanksgiving podcasts? If so, great, that’s another line item you nailed. And if you also listened to the previous Thanksgiving episodes, you’re performing well on this half of the after-action-review.
Did you display in your home, office, classroom, or church Scriptures intended to draw your mind to God’s mercy and Thanksgiving? If so, well done. Setting up memorials that remind us of God’s character and deeds is so incredibly helpful.
You get bonus points if you have your own Celebration Wall and intentionally interacted with it during Thanksgiving.
Did you take advantage of the various thanksgiving resources at CelebrationOfGod.com? That can include the coloring pages, the Bible Reading list, the anticipations, the images, and the videos.
Have you shared The Celebration of God with people? That’s a wonderful way of helping others worship God better.
Did you talk with people about your new approach to Thanksgiving this year? That’s a very natural and normal way to shine the light of God’s glory into our relationships. I’ve shared with you the changes I’ve made, you can share with others the changes you’ve made, and — Lord willing — we can all glorify God more because of it.
And did you invite the people in your life into the Preparation and Celebration stages of the holiday? Unless you observed Thanksgiving all by yourself, no doubt you were with others, but did you involve them in your intentional desire to worship God?
If you couldn’t check any of those items off, you’re not a terrible person, you’re not in danger of eternal damnation.
These are simply items that can help us be more intentional and premeditated. And whatever you didn’t get done this year, you can do next year.
Now, onto the weightier matters.
2. Spiritual Disciplines
Did you prepare your heart to worship God? This includes spending time in God’s Word to better know Him and understand His will for me. This includes praying and — specifically — thanking the Lord for His mercy and abundant blessings. But it also includes being thankful for all things, even those things that tempt you to be anxious.
Did you prepare your heart?
If not, I’d like you to contemplate why?
Were you too busy? Did you think it wasn’t that important? If so, I’d encourage you to remind yourself why Preparation is so incredibly important in our relationship with God. You can check out our introductory episodes to learn more.
If you can check off each of the three Preparation items, then I would encourage you to take the next step by asking yourself if you could have done each of those things more. I know that I did all of them, but I also know that I could have done them more. I could have done them better. That’s one way that I want to grow for next year.
Next on the list are three items specifically about how we worshipped God on Thanksgiving day.
Did you read your Bible as an act of worship? Did you pray on Thanksgiving as an act of worship? Did you talk about God with others as an act of worship.
Many of you likely did all three of these. Some of you, though, may have struggled with the third — especially if you spend the holiday with people who are antagonistic to God.
Not hiding your light under a bushel is a way that all of us can mature in our relationship with Christ.
And the final four items on our after-action-review relate to discipleship. This is one that will be a toss up. For some, it was second nature. For others, it’s a very new concept, and you’re still feeling wobbly.
Did you engage in a relationship with one or more professing Christians so as to help them better know, understand, love, and serve God? That’s the basic essence of discipleship. God commands that we disciple and be discipled . . . it’s not an option, but it definitely can be difficult.
Did you pray for your friends, classmates, congregation, students, family, and community? Did you pray with those same individuals?
Corporate prayer is an important thread that weaves its way throughout the Scriptures. I love how in Joel 1 the people were commanded to “Gather the elders and all the inhabitants of the land to the house of the Lord your God, and cry out to the Lord.”
There is so much value in corporate prayer.
And lastly, did you spend any time talking with the people in your life about what you read in the Bible? You could put a very specific focus on that and ask whether or not you spoke specifically about the passages you read in celebration of the day.
I recommend you go to CelebrationOfGod.com, download the Thanksgiving Checklist and fill it out. Seriously consider how you can mature in your relationship with God.
The items on that list can be very helpful.
And — if you’re one of those people who can honestly check off every item — I challenge you to consider how you can do each of those things better next year.
On episode 22 when we discussed how well you worshipped God during Creation Week I mentioned the value of having a notebook or digital folder where you can save these checklists. We talked about that because — just like a prayer journal or devotional diary — being able to go back and see how God is working in our lives and what He’s teaching us is incredibly valuable.
So, print out the list, mark it, and put it away for next year. Then, before next Thanksgiving, take it out and reevaluate your celebration.
Please share this episode on your favorite social media outlets and join us next time as discuss how you can Prepare for your first Christmas. That’s right . . . your first Christmas.
I’ll see you then.
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The Year Long Celebration of God is a dynamic, holistic resource that utilizes the Bible, our holiday calendars, and even the most average moments of the most normal days to equip Christians to worship God all year long
and disciple others to do the same.
AMBrewster is the creator and host of the Celebration of God. He originally designed the COG to be a discipleship tool for Christian parents to train their children to know and love God, but he quickly realized how valuable it is for all Christians. Whether it's a small group, church, classroom, one-on-one, or community relationship, this resource is guaranteed to draw people closer together as they draw closer to God.
Aaron is the President of Truth.Love.Parent. and host of its podcast.