Summary: Thanksgiving is more than an attitude for a genuine Christian, it is a outpouring of love because of what Christ has done for us and Who He is. Where do you fall along the spectrum from being a thanksgiver to being ungrateful? Examine you heart!
Thanksgiving is coming this Thursday!
The word “thank” in its various forms is used over 130 times in the Bible. Thankfulness is a recurring theme!
Fellowship offerings of thanksgiving
Thankfulness for the righteous acts of others
Levites assigned the ministry of thanking and praising the Lord
Thanks for national deliverance
Thanking the Lord in worship
Thanks for God’s unfailing love
Thanks for God’s goodness
Thanks for God’s salvation
Thanks to God for wisdom
Thanks to the Lord for food
Thanks to the Lord for healing
Thanks to the Lord for fellow believers
Thanks to God for the deliverance from slavery to sin
Thankfulness for God’s grace to others
Thankfulness for the body and blood of Jesus
Thankfulness for answers to prayers
Thankfulness that God uses us to “spread the aroma of the knowledge of Jesus everywhere”
Thankfulness that God puts burdens on our hearts
Thankfulness for the ministries of others
Thankfulness for God’s indescribable gift (Jesus)
Thankfulness for the body of Christ - fellow believers
Thankfulness for everything
Thankfulness for those who come to know Jesus as Savior
Thankfulness that we are part of a kingdom that cannot be shaken
Jesus thanked the Father for food; for provision!
“[Jesus] told the crowd to sit down on the ground. Then He took the seven loaves and the fish, and when He had given thanks, He broke them and gave them to the disciples, and they in turn to the people. They all ate and were satisfied.”
Jesus thanked the Father for food:
Before He fed the five thousand
Before He broke bread with the two disciples on the road to Emmaus
The disciples recognized the way He gave thanks for the food
Jesus knew Who had provided the rain and soil and seed for the flour from which the bread was made.
Jesus knew who had planted and raised the trees from which the wood came to bake the bread.
Jesus had created the water in which the fish lived and even created the fish itself and He gave thanks.
“When [Jesus] was at the table with them, He took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them. Then their eyes were opened and they recognized Him, and He disappeared from their sight.”
Jesus was thankful that the Father heard His prayers!
We know that Jesus prayed a lot! Luke 5:16 says,
“Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.”
And, John 11:41b we see that Jesus was thankful for that!
“Jesus looked up and said, ‘Father, I thank You that You have heard Me.’”
Jesus had confidence in prayer.
Why would Jesus pray, He is God.
The persons of the Trinity are always in communion with each other.
Prayer is our communion and communication with God.
We should not only give thanks in prayer but we should give thanks FOR prayer.
Jesus even gave thanks in the face of impending torture and death!
“When the hour came, Jesus and His apostles reclined at the table. And He said to them, ‘I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer. For I tell you, I will not eat it again until it finds fulfillment in the kingdom of God.’
“After taking the cup, He gave thanks and said, ‘Take this and divide it among you. For I tell you I will not drink again from the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.’
“And He took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, ‘This is My body given for you; do this in remembrance of Me.’ In the same way, after the supper He took the cup, saying, ‘This cup is the new covenant in My blood, which is poured out for you.’”
Jesus knew that the time had come for Him, who was without sin, to take upon Himself the sin of the world and to bear it on the cross for us and He’s still giving thanks!
So, we see from God’s holy Word and the example of the Messiah that giving thanks is major focus in the life of a person who is a child of God.
Thanksgiving or giving thanks is a foundational bedrock of life for a Christian, or, at least, it should be …
As with most things in the life of serving Jesus as Lord there is a spectrum.
First we have a life of thanksgiving, a life filled with thanks to the Lord for all He has done, all He is doing, all He will do and Who He is!
“I will give thanks to You, Lord, with all my heart; I will tell of all Your wonderful deeds. I will be glad and rejoice in You; I will sing the praises of Your name, O Most High.”