As a part of my personal devotion times with the Lord, I love to read and meditate on passages from the Book of Psalms. Many of the Scriptures in Psalms are expressions of praise and thanksgiving, and I often find myself praying these verses back to God as a way to express my own gratitude to Him for who He is and all He has done because of His great love for us.
The Thanksgiving holiday is a special time to remember, reflect and thank God for the many blessings He has bestowed on us. The holiday also provides opportunities for us to spend time with family and friends we may only see once or twice a year. These are individuals God brought into our lives for a special purpose. The question is, “Am I fulfilling God’s purposes in my relationships with people who say they are glad we are in the same family?”
Chances are, some of the family and friends you will spend time with this holiday season don’t have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. During the Thanksgiving season, an easy way to open the door to a gospel conversation is to simply ask others to share some things for which they are thankful. After responding to this conversation topic, they are likely to ask you the same question. If this happens, you have an opportunity to turn the dialogue into a gospel conversation.
You may say something like, “While I’m thankful for my family, friends and the freedoms we enjoy in our country, I’m most thankful that I have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. I know He has forgiven my sin and given me the gift of eternal life.” If they respond with questions, the opportunity exists to share more deeply about what Christ has done for you.
An important next step to take is to ask “Has anything like this ever happened to you?” If their response is vague or “I’m not sure,” you can then ask “Would you like to know how you can have this same assurance?” If they are interested, tell them how you became a follower of Christ and ask if they would like to accept Jesus as their personal Savior. It is most important that you do not sound like you are a perfect person, display a condescending attitude or use theological expressions those individuals will not comprehend.
If you lack confidence in sharing your faith, visit the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina’s website at ncbaptist.org/disciplenc for trainings designed to equip and encourage you in personal evangelism and discipleship.
Express your gratitude to God, and ask others what things they are thankful for in their lives. You never know what the Lord may do when you ask this simple question.
“I will praise the name of God with a song, and will magnify Him with thanksgiving.” — Psalm 69:30 (NKJV)