No.244.Thanksgiving because we have a ‘Giving God’.

Colours of the Rainbow > Thanksgiving > No.244.Thanksgiving because we have a ‘Giving God’.

When we began this year of thanksgiving, I had no idea how absolutely fundamental, and essential, thanksgiving was going to prove to be in our relationship with the Lord. We started with Psalm 100:4 ‘Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise; give thanks to Him and praise His name. For the Lord is good and His love endures forever; His faithfulness continues through all generations.’ A psalm used so often as an exhortation or encouragement at the start of a time of worship. We recognise it as a key to ‘entering His gates’, and to coming together into His presence when we meet. As we have journeyed through the last eight months, however, it has become more and more clear that ‘Thanksgiving’ needs to be integral to every part of our life in Christ. In Paul’s words we need to ‘Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.’ 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18.

During the night, I felt that the Lord revealed another profound reason why we can gladly follow this encouragement of Paul’s, and it was simply this – We as a people, should be hallmarked by gratitude because we have a ‘Giving God’, a God who delights to give, who in fact ceaselessly looks for opportunity to pour out blessing and favour on His people. The relationship between us and God, is based on the fact that He is a generous giver, and we are His beneficiaries.

Let us not take any of this for granted, so many of the other ‘gods’ in the world are demanding. Do this! Don’t do that! Follow these rules! Obey these edicts etc. So many religions are founded on rules to either appease their god or earn favour. Even the secular ‘gods’, like money and fame, can extort a high price from those who worship them. Our God – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit – are givers, all of them. And so we, God’s people, thrive as we receive forgiveness, love, blessings, help, strength, wisdom, and on and on, the list is endless.

We all know the gospel verse ‘For God so loved the world that He ‘gave’ His one and only Son, that whoever believes on Him shall not perish but have eternal life’, but phew!! what a mind blower that really is when you stop and think. God so loved that He gave. Jesus too didn’t have to give His life, but He wanted to, and He did, because of love for you and me. John 3:16. And it cost Him greatly. Just have another read of Isaiah 53.

John writes at the beginning of his Gospel, his book telling us this ‘good news’ about Jesus, that ‘to all who received Him, to those who believed in His name, He gave (there’s that word again) the right to become children of God.’ John1:12. We didn’t earn it, He gave it to us, and so ‘from the fullness of His grace we have all received one blessing after another.’ John 1:16. All freely given. Now that is good news!

The more we catch sight of the bigness of God’s heart towards us, the more we will become continual  receivers of all His grace, mercy, forgiveness, love, kindness, help, etc etc, day by day. Consider this, ‘He who did not spare His own Son, but gave Him up for us all – how will he not also along with Him, graciously give us all things?’ Romans 8:32.As we become aware of God’s great generosity towards us, we will also become continual ‘receivers’. We will then find ourselves becoming continuously thankful, in everything and for all things.

The Father has given us His Son. He has drawn us into His family, giving us our new identity as ‘a child of God’. He loves, sustains, protects and provides for us, to name just a few of the things He freely gives.

Jesus freely gave His life for us, Matthew 26:52-54, providing us with salvation forgiveness, acceptance , entrance into the family of God and, in addition, He gives us a new life and the grace to grow into His likeness.

The Holy Spirit takes all that the Father and Son have for us, bringing it gladly into our lives, giving us His help, counsel, friendship, leading, teaching and transforming power.

In fact ‘His divine power has given us everything that we need for life and godliness through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.’ 2 Peter 1:3 All is indeed ours as gifts from the three, and so this is why gratitude is the only response that we can have.

As we travel through the rest of this year, let us ask Him to increase our appreciation of all that He has given us, and of all that He gives us daily, and let us continue to grow in gratitude, day by day, with the Holy Spirit’s help.


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