Jesus set us an example by consistently, repeatedly, giving thanks. At the feeding of the five-thousand, “Jesus took the loaves, and after giving thanks he distributed them to those who were seated—so also with the fish” (John 6:11). In the graveyard where Lazarus was buried, Jesus commanded, “ ‘Remove the stone’ ... So they removed the stone. Then Jesus raised his eyes and said, ‘Father, I thank you that you heard me’ ” (John 11:39, 41). At the last Passover celebration, “He took a cup, and after giving thanks, he gave it to them and said, ‘Drink from it, all of you. For this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins’ ” (Matthew 26:27–28).
Like Jesus, Paul demonstrated a thankful heart. “I give thanks to Christ Jesus our Lord who has strengthened me, because he considered me faithful, appointing me to the ministry” (1 Timothy 1:12). “I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you because the news of your faith is being reported in all the world” (Romans 1:8). “I never stop giving thanks for you as I remember you in my prayers” (Ephesians 1:16). “We always thank God for all of you, making mention of you constantly in our prayers” (1 Thessalonians 1:2).
Paul also commanded Christians to be thankful. “Rejoice always, pray constantly, give thanks in everything; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (1 Thessalonians 5:16–18). “Whatever you do, in word or in deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him” (Colossians 3:17).“Don’t get drunk with wine, which leads to reckless living, but be filled by the Spirit: speaking to one another in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, singing and making music with your heart to the Lord, giving thanks always for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, submitting to one another in the fear of Christ” (Ephesians 5:18–21).
Thanksgiving! It’s not just a date on a calendar. It’s a state of mind, a condition of the heart, a character trait. So let me challenge you, just as the Scriptures have challenged me, let’s be thankful.
I’m thankful for a gracious and loving God.
I’m thankful for a Savior who rescued my soul from everlasting darkness and eternal condemnation.
I’m thankful for the Spirit of God who relentlessly guides me and guards me.
I’m thankful for God’s Word, a “lamp to my feet and a light to my path.”
I’m thankful for the opportunity to pray, entering into holy conversation with God.
I’m thankful for Christ’s church, His body of Believers, my family and dearest friends!
How am I doing?
Personal Note: I’m going to take a few days off. My next blog, Lord willing, will be posted next Monday, November 29th. Enjoy your Thanksgiving!
All Scripture quotations, except as otherwise noted, are from
Holman Bible Publishers’ Christian Standard Bible.