Text: Genesis 8:20-22
Giving thanks is more than bowing our heads and praying a little prayer over our daily food. It is also more than just a once-a-year event celebrated with friends, relatives, turkey and giving gifts. It is an attitude of heart and life, that leaves us in humble gratitude before God and men.
Our actions are governed by our attitudes. In other words, what we are determines what we do. We must be right on the inside before we can behave correctly on the outside. For thanksgiving, then, to work its way into our daily living, it must begin in our hearts.
Jesus taught this same principle during His earthly ministry.
“A GOOD MAN OUT OF THE GOOD TREASURE OF HIS HEART BRINGETH FORTH THAT WHICH IS GOOD; AND AN EVIL MAN OUT OF THE EVIL TREASURE OF HIS HEART BRINGETH FORTH THAT WHICH IS EVIL: FOR OF THE ABUNDANCE OF THE HEART HIS MOUTH SPEAKETH.” (LUKE 6:45)
What’s on the inside is what is going to come out! To be thankful, then, involves self- discipline. We must heed the admonition of Solomon.
“KEEP THY HEART WITH ALL DILIGENCE; FOR OUT OF IT ARE THE ISSUES OF LIFE.” (PROV 4:23)
There is nothing easy about cultivating an appreciative attitude. It is something that we have to work on constantly in our inward man.
But, as we humble ourselves and cooperate with His Spirit, the “sweet aroma” of a grateful spirit will begin to issue out of our lives.
Thanksgiving should have first place in our actions.
If we are thankful in our hearts, we will be thankful in our daily living. “Thanksgiving is thanks-living!” That is, a thankful spirit is translated into our actions.
First, our daily lives should display our gratitude to God.
“EVERY GOOD GIFT AND EVERY PERFECT GIFT IS FROM ABOVE, AND COMETH DOWN FROM THE FATHER OF LIGHTS, WITH WHOM IS NO VARIABLENESS, NEITHER SHADOW OF TURNING.” (JAMES 1:17)
We should be determined then, by the grace of God, to always show our appreciation for His blessings.
Our daily lives should demonstrate our appreciation to those around us.
When we are sincerely thankful to God for His blessings we cannot help but be grateful for the kind deeds of others.
Let’s not forget to express a “thank you,” to others.
Thanksgiving should have first place in our approach to God.
When we think of approaching God, we usually think of prayer. But, the Bible instructs us to come before God, not only with “prayer and supplication,” but also “with thanksgiving” (Phil. 4:6).
Thanksgiving is simply giving something for something given. It is giving something back for something received. It is giving honor to the One who has honored us! It is blessing Him who has blessed us! It is a reciprocal offering!
Thanksgiving is one of the few things that is said to please God.
He is pleased with the preaching of the Gospel. 1Co. 1:21
He is pleased with Jesus Christ. Col. 1:19
He is pleased with faith. Heb. 11:5-6
But when we offer up “the sacrifice of praise…God is well pleased” Heb. 13:15-16
The Lord delights in, takes pleasure in our offerings of thanksgiving.
Have we been pleasing the Lord?
Is He well-pleased with us?
He is if we are thankful!
If our thanksgivings are to be acceptable to God, we must be clean within and without.
Posted by Fay-Ann Swearing
December 12, 2013
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