Thanksgiving isn’t the only time we should be giving thanks to God.
And quite honestly, November is probably one of the hardest months to remember to set aside time to give thanks to the Lord. As soon as that 1st day of November comes, we can’t help but have all things holiday on the brain. There is just always so much to do and never enough time to do it in! Isn’t it funny that even though the holidays are supposed to be a time where we slow down and appreciate what’s truly important, that we end up doing just the opposite? Instead of becoming familiar with the feeling of pure relaxation sitting next to a fire and visiting with loved ones, we instead become all too familiar with the frantic feeling of trying to find the time and energy to cross everything off of our to-do lists. But during this hectic season, it’s so important that we take the time to be alone with the Lord. To slow down, take a much-needed breath, and show how grateful we are for every blessing He has bestowed upon our lives. After all, every good and perfect gift is from above and comes from our Father (James 1:17).
Over the next 20 days, leading up to and after Thanksgiving, give yourself 15-20 minutes a day to complete the Give Thanks Bible Reading Plan. It will guide you through Scriptures that will readjust your focus in this season and give you a greater appreciation and understanding of who your God is. My prayer is that by the end of this plan that you would be singing praise to God for everything that He has done for you, given to you, and for who He is. He is more than worthy of our praises, time, and thanksgiving. Let us give Him thanks.
How To Get The Most Out Of Your Bible Reading Plan
- Set aside at least 15 minutes a day to read the daily readings outlined in the Give Thanks Bible Reading Plan (scroll down to access the printable plan). Before you start reading, ask the Lord to speak to you, draw you closer to Him, and for Him to reveal Himself to you through His Word.
- Below the Give Thanks Bible Reading Plan printout, you’ll find summaries of all four sections of the reading plan: Give Thanks By Remembering, Give Thanks For What God Has Done, Give Thanks For Who God Is, and Give Thanks For The Church. Although you’re free to read all four summaries at once, I recommend reading one section overview at a time before you begin reading that section’s Scriptures.
- Make sure to download and follow along with the 20 day Give Thanks Scripture Writing Plan.
Download The 20 Day Scripture Writing Plan To Get:
- 20 Different Scriptures: after completing each day’s readings, the Scripture Writing Plan will present you with a unique verse that corresponds to the passage you just finished reading. Each one of these verses complements and reinforces what you will be reading and learning from the corresponding Give Thanks Bible Reading Plan.
- Outlined Journal Pages: designed to organize the verses and to give you enough space to write down each verse (the act of writing it down will help your mind to store the verse in your long-term memory vs your short-term memory).
- 4 Handpicked Scriptures: Scriptures that encompass and summarize each section of the Bible Reading Plan are included so that you can easily print them out, meditate on, and memorize throughout each section of the study.
- PLUS BRAND NEW SCRIPTURE WALLPAPERS of each of the four handpicked Scriptures made especially for your cell phone! Now, every time you look at your phone you will be reminded of what the Lord is teaching you and will be encouraged by the words of God.
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The Bible Reading Plan:
Give Thanks By Remembering (Days 1-5)
“I will remember the works of the Lord; surely I will remember Your wonders of old. I will also meditate on all Your work, and talk of Your deeds.” Psalm 77:11-12
Remembering what the Lord has done in not only our lives but also throughout the generations is crucial to our faith and understanding of who God is. When we are reminded of who God is and what He has done beautiful things happen to our heart, mind, and spirit: our faith and trust in God is strengthened, we come to know our Savior on a deeper level, we are stirred up to do good works, and our hearts overflow with thankfulness and awe of who God is. An easy way to help us remember how the Lord has moved in our own lives is to keep a prayer journal. As the years pass you will be able to look back on past entries and see how the Lord sustained and delivered you through countless seasons of life. And just like prayer journals, the Bible enables us to look back, throughout thousands of years, to see God’s sovereignty throughout the history of the world.
On day 1, we begin by reading an exhortation from the apostle Peter to remember the words of God. Then, in the book of Matthew, we will see just how easy it is for us to forget the things God has done. I absolutely love this story in Matthew 14:15-21; 16:5-12 simply because of how perplexed and worried the disciples become over forgetting to bring bread on one of their journeys. Jesus had just performed the miracle of feeding five thousand people with only five loaves of bread and two fish, but they still thought Jesus was concerned with the fact that they didn’t have any bread. Their quickness to forget the works of God and to become consumed with current circumstances is so human of them and reminiscent of ourselves. How quickly we also forget (or simply not call to mind) what God is capable of doing in our own daily lives. This is why it’s so important to be mindful and deliberate to remember God’s works by reading our Bibles every day.
More often than not, we tend to recall many of God’s works without really remembering them. Although we don’t mean to, or even realize it, we have a tendency to gloss over and not really meditate on the parts of Scripture that we know well or have been told since we were children. We all know that God spoke the world into existence and created man and everything found in nature, but when was the last time you really thought about or meditated on the fact that God created the world from nothing? If I had to take a guess, I would probably say it was a long time ago? Am I right? If I am, don’t worry because on days 2 +3 this is exactly what we will be remembering and giving God glory for. I pray that as you read these passages that you would absorb the words and the significance behind them. That after you finish reading you would be in awe of God’s power and might and that your heart would be full of thanksgiving for His creativity and wisdom. After being reminded of just how awesome and powerful our God is, your heart will be ready to fully receive the two adoring songs of praise we will be reading on day 4.
On day 5, we close this section of the Give Thanks Bible Reading Plan by remembering what Jesus did for us on the cross and how He has instructed us to remember that day. Before moving on to the next section, take a moment to give thanks to Jesus for bearing the penalty for your sins.
Give Thanks For What God Has Done (Days 6-10)
“God from the beginning chose you for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth, to which He called you by our gospel, for the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.” 1 Thessalonians 2:13-14
After remembering and thanking Jesus for His atonement for our sins, we will now give thanks to God for what He has done in our lives through Christ. Did you know that you were chosen, that God predestined you to become one of His daughters before the foundation of the world (Ephesians 1:4)? Before you were even a thought in your parents’ minds, God had a plan and purpose for your life. God saw you before you were even formed and said, “She is mine.” On day 6, you will read all about how He chose you, adopted you, and has guaranteed an inheritance for you through the Holy Spirit.
When you accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, God placed a seal on you in the form of His Holy Spirit as a guarantee of your salvation. On day 7, we read how Jesus promised the indwelling of the Father and the Son through the Spirit, how one can receive Him, and how the Spirit fills and equips each of us for a special role in the ministry of Christ.
We serve such a loving and intimate God who not only chose us but also chose to make His dwelling place within each of our bodies through His Spirit (1 Corinthians 3:16). Give thanks to Him that He has made Himself so readily available to you and that He is not a distant or unapproachable God!
Then, on day 8, we will read how God has brought us out of death and into life, we will be given a reminder of how we chose to live our lives before Christ and then reassured of the gift of God’s grace and that we are new creations in Christ. I want to say (or write) that again…YOU ARE A NEW CREATION IN CHRIST. When you accepted Christ as your Lord and Savior, you became like new to Him. God no longer remembers your past sins, “as far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us” (Psalm 103:12). I know that there are some of you that really struggle with letting your past go, but I want to encourage you to find freedom and rest in knowing that you are no longer defined by what you have done, but by who you now belong to. Take a moment to read about Saul’s conversion in Acts 9:1-22.
God doesn’t look at your past to define you, He sees your potential in Christ and all the wonderful ways He can use you to further His kingdom. He is ready to give you beauty for ashes (Isaiah 61:3). Give Him thanks for that!
Our God is so full of mercy and grace; instead of giving us what we do deserve (judgment and condemnation), He gives us what we don’t deserve (forgiveness and salvation). On day 9, we will praise Him for His mercies as we read Psalm 103. If after reading, you feel inspired and full of thanks, try writing out your own song of praise to the Lord for everything He has done for you. On day 10, we will be reminded of the plans that God has for each of us and then told exactly what we need to do in order to fulfill those wonderous plans and to experience everything the Lord has in store for us.
Before jumping into the next section, I want to ask you a question and I want you to really think about it: Do you realize that everything that took place in the Bible happened for you? Although your name may not be written in the pages of the Bible, it is your story, your history. Everything that took place, and that which was divinely chosen to be written, was done so that you could come to the saving knowledge of Christ (John 20:31). Isn’t that amazing? Give God thanks for giving us His word, preserving it throughout the generations, and opening your eyes to the glorious truth of the gospel!
Give Thanks For Who God Is (Days 11-15)
“Therefore the Lord longs to be gracious to you, and therefore He waits on high to have compassion on you. For the Lord is a God of justice; how blessed are all those who long for Him.” Isaiah 30:18
Many people have a hard time accepting that there is only one way to God and one way to heaven. They just can’t comprehend how God could be so unfair as to be so specific and only provide one path to salvation. A much more comforting thought to them is that there are many paths that lead to God. Now although they are correct that all paths lead to God, it’s not in the way that they think. Whether you accept Jesus as your Savior or you deny Him, one day we will all end up in front of the Almighty God: “at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Philippians 2:10-11). However, “when the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory. All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats. And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left. Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world…Then He will also say to those on the left hand, ‘Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels'” (Matthew 25:31-41).
All paths do lead to God because all of us will stand before Him one day, but that doesn’t mean that all paths lead to salvation. The only true way to God is through Jesus and He makes this so clear in His Word! And He makes it so easy for us to come to Him and accept Him: “if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the Scripture says, ‘Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.’ For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him. For ‘whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved'” (Romans 10: 9-13).
God doesn’t make believing in Him difficult or complicated because where we end up spending eternity is a big deal to Him (and it should be to us)! He wants all men to be saved. He made it simple and gave us one way so that we wouldn’t be confused or easily tricked into believing a lie and so that we could be confident in who He is and what His Word assures us of. Providing just one way doesn’t make God unfair, it makes Him loving, gracious, and merciful! Our God is so so good and I love Him so much for everything that He is! Over the next five days, we will be meditating on exactly who our God is: gracious, full of compassion, good to all, patient, full of love, intimately acquainted with us, trustworthy, just, and great! As you read, give Him thanks for everything that He is and how easy He has made it for us to believe in Him!
Give Thanks For The Church (Days 16-20)
“And we urge you, brethren, to recognize those who labor among you, and are over you in the Lord and admonish you, and to esteem them very highly in love for their work’s sake.” 1 Thessalonians 5:12-13
In the last section of the Give Thanks Bible Reading Plan, we are going to give thanks for the support system and family that God gives us through both the local church and the entire body of believers. God never intended for us to walk the path of life alone. Not only has He promised to never leave us, but He has also blessed us with pastors, teachers, authors, and countless other brothers and sisters to stand beside us and to help grow us in our walks with the Lord. On days 16 + 17, we will read why it is so important for there to be unity within the church. We will also learn that God has given each of us a unique place and role in the church so that we can encourage and equip one another to do the work of God.
God wants to use you for a specific reason and purpose within His church, and He wants to use me for a specific reason and purpose within His church. Regardless of how we may differ, we were both created to bless and edify one another. Give thanks to God that He has uniquely blessed you to bless others, and thank Him for doing the same to the believers who have blessed you and have helped you grow in your faith!
On days 18 + 19 we will specifically look at the important role that our pastors play in the body of believers. The men whom God has raised up to be the leaders in our churches do not have easy jobs. They have the responsibility of looking after and edifying God’s people, watching out for our souls by teaching sound doctrine and lifting us up in prayer, and everyone looks to them for counsel and help in times of need or distress. They have dedicated their lives to serving God and His people, they have dedicated their lives to serving you and me, and in helping us to grow closer to our God. Give thanks to God for the men the Lord has raised up to be pastors and say a little prayer for your pastor, he needs it!
Day 19 serves as a word of caution to make sure that your church and your pastors are teaching the entirety of God’s Word. Is your church a Bible believing one? Do they teach the entirety of God’s Word, not adding or taking anything away from the words of God? Or, are they confirming the word of God to today’s culture? Remember, God and His Word are eternal, they never change (Isaiah 40:8, Matthew 24:35, Hebrews 13:8). If your church is not teaching sound doctrine, find a church that is and pray for the eyes of those who still attend that church to be opened.
The Give Thanks Bible Reading Plan comes to a close on day 20 with first a reminder to stay in church (because if you’re not involved in a church how will you be able to receive all the blessings that God has in store for you, or how will you be able to bless others?) and with an exhortation on how we are to behave as followers of Christ and members of His body. I pray that as you finish this Bible reading plan that your heart would be so full of thanksgiving that it would be bursting at the seams to sing a song of praise to the Lord. Here is one of my favorites:
A Little Reminder/Encouragement
This reading plan is by no means meant to replace your own study of the Bible, take the place of your women’s Bible study, or even church. If you want a deep meaningful relationship with God, you will need to be in His Word for more than 5-10 minutes a day. These mini topical studies are meant to be added to your current study of God’s Word, not a replacement.
Also, don’t give up or feel bad if you fall behind a day or two of the reading schedule! You’ll quickly be able to catch up and get back on track by bundling two days together. You can even bundle every two days together, and make this a 10 day reading plan instead of a 20 day one!