Give Thanks With a Grateful Heart!
Eph. 5:15 ¶ So be careful how you live. Don’t live like fools, but like those who are wise. 16 Make the most of every opportunity in these evil days. 17 Don’t act thoughtlessly, but understand what the Lord wants you to do. 18 Don’t be drunk with wine, because that will ruin your life. Instead, be filled with the Holy Spirit, 19 singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs among yourselves, and making music to the Lord in your hearts. 20 And give thanks for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Thanksgiving day is soon approaching here in the USA. Like most in my nation, my thoughts are turning to seasonal images of family gatherings, great feasts, and an expression of gratitude for all we have. Yet there are many-- so very many across the world-- who have so much less. But more and less are relative concepts. The passage of God's Word in my mind just now, however redirects me from thoughts of quantity or quality of my life style to the quality of God's life being lived out in mine. I see that my expressions of thanks are to be given TO God.
Next, I see that these expressions are to be given THROUGH or IN THE NAME OF our Savior, Jesus Christ. These statements of gratitude are to be expressed recognizing that the greatest of all we have received was given because of Jesus Christ's sacrifice on our behalf. Our gratitude is to be expressed in Christ's name, not in our own.
Lastly, I see that these expressions are to be given FOR EVERYTHING. Are we to thank God for everything-- even the challenges and difficulties of life? Yes, everything! Because through the challenges and difficulties we face, we learn to expand our trust in God. We learn to stop trusting in our own abilities and resources and discover how much deeper and wider are the matchless resources of God-- far bigger than we previously imagined! So as you may be lead to express gratitude, whether or not you are in a national holiday time, I encourage you to focus year-around on giving thanks to God, through Jesus Christ for everything in your life today and for all that God has in store for you!
Rev. Daniel C. Elliott, Ed.D.