This week is Thanksgiving and I would think that everyone who is reading this has SOME reason to be thankful. Just the fact that you are alive, can breathe, can see to read this page, and understand the words which are printed here are all reasons to be thankful. So what have you said “thank you” for today? Two of the simplest yet most gracious words in any language are "thank you”. Most children are taught these words as soon as they begin to talk. My grandchildren were taught how to say “thank you” in sign language long before they could utter intelligible sounds.
My desire today is to show you how Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior, is also our supreme Example in giving thanks. As the only begotten Son of God, and as a fully human man, Jesus was a grateful person and He led the way in showing us how to express thanks. There are three prime examples in the New Testament of Jesus giving thanks.
In John 6:9-13, before feeding the crowd of five thousand hungry people with five barley loaves and two small fish, Jesus gave thanks. He then broke the food and gave it to His disciples to distribute to the multitude. Everyone ate and went away filled -- with twelve baskets of food left over. When Jesus gave thanks for the food, he gave glory to God for what He was going to do in feeding the hungry crowd. Do you thank God for your food even when you are in the midst of a crowd?
In John 11:42, Jesus gave thanks for answered prayer. He stood, deeply moved, before the tomb of His friend, Lazarus, and told the people to take the stone away. He then lifted up his eyes to heaven and prayed, Father, I thank You that You have heard Me. Even before the remarkable miracle of Lazarus resurrection occurred, Jesus gave thanks. He did it so that those who were standing by might believe (John 11:43). Prayer is our privilege and God always answers. How many prayers has God answered for you? How have you prayed with and for others that they might believe? What answered prayers will you thank Him for right now?
In 1 Corinthians 11:23-24, the apostle Paul, in explaining the institution of the Lord’s Supper, said, The Lord Jesus on the same night in which He was betrayed took bread; and when He had given thanks, He broke it. If you read Luke 22:14-20, you will see that Jesus actually gave thanks two times: before breaking the bread and again before passing the cup. The bread and wine He shared with His disciples that night symbolized His crucified body and His shed blood. Jesus, our Savior, thanked God that He, the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world (John 1:29), could be the sacrifice for your sins and for mine. When was the last time you thanked your Savior for shedding his blood and dying on the cross for your sins? In what ways have you been a living sacrifice (Romans 12:1) for Him and for others?
I believe we all have many things for which to be thankful, not just on Thanksgiving Day, but every day. Will you begin today to make a habit of thanking God daily for His provision, for answered prayer, and for your salvation? What else can you think of to thank God for right now?
May you have a thankful day,