The Sacrifice of Thanksgiving
It’s so easy for me to focus my daily prayer life on what I want God to do for me . . . and only that! Often my only desire is for God to bail me out of some procrastination that has left me with few good choices, or to fix some adverse situation I’ve gotten myself into
But throughout Scripture, we’re reminded of our opportunity for thanksgiving. Jesus, before he served the bread and cup, first gave thanks. Paul, in his letter to the Church at Ephesus, tells us that we should “give thanks always and for everything.” The Psalmist in Psalm 69, tells us that “we glorify God with our thanksgiving.”
In his letter to the Colossians, Paul in Chapter 3 says “Whatever we do in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.” I like the way the Message puts it: “Cultivate thankfulness. Let the word of Christ have the run of the house. Give it plenty of room in your lives. Sing your hearts out to God. Let every detail of your lives — words, actions, whatever— be done in the name of Jesus, thanking God the Father every step of the way.”
Paul even reminds us in Romans 12 that in light of the many mercies of God, we, in gratitude or thanksgiving, are to offer ourselves as living sacrifices.
So how can we do that? How about writing a list of things and people for which you are thankful on a small note card and carrying it with you, pulling it out often during the day and offering thanksgiving to God? How about a short hand-written note to thank another for what he/she or their service means to you? How about, with a spirit of gratitude and the help of the Holy Spirit, living out a life that expresses your thankfulness to God?
Bob Johnston, Hope member