November 23, 2022
When I’m thinking about giving thanks the first thing that comes to my mind, in a tangible way, is saying grace at meals. We have many examples in scripture of Jesus breaking bread and thanking God for the provision of food. In the Old Testament most all of the references to giving thanks are about God’s character. Thanks for His righteousness, kindness, grace, enduring love, greatness, mighty deeds and His Name. In the New Testament the majority of the references to ‘giving thanks’ center around food. Perhaps this is because they had the Lord present with them and He wanted their daily habits to reflect thanksgiving. Our thanks needs to encompass both the tangible (food) and the intangible (God’s character) as we seek to praise God continually in all things.
Jesus made it a habit to thank God before eating. He modeled this in the feeding of the 4,000 in Matthew 15:36, “ he took the seven loaves and the fish, and having given thanks he broke them and gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds.” In Mark 14:22-23, he gave thanks at the Last Supper they shared together before his crucifixion. He told us the bread and wine were symbolic of his broken body and shed blood to come, “And as they were eating, he took bread, and after blessing it broke it and gave it to them, and said, “Take; this is my body.” 23 And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, and they all drank of it.” Whether it was symbolic or not, Jesus had the habit of thanking God for His provision. Be it food to sustain our bodies or food for our souls, we must maintain a constant attitude of grace and thanksgiving. We may have prepared the supper but we did not cause the food to grow- only creator God, is able to do that. We may have accepted Jesus as our Savior and accepted His sacrificial gift of forgiveness, but only perfect Savior Jesus was able to provide for our righteousness. We need to take ourselves out of this equation and focus our thanks wholly on God. He alone is able to provide for our needs both spiritually and physically.
Giving Thanks is a humbling posture that requires us to have an attitude of gratitude about all things. I love 1 Thessalonians 5:18 “give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” Whether it is food, health, home, family, jobs, hobbies, relationships…. the list is endless, all is provided to us by God. Thank you Jesus.
A truth to claim with thanksgiving: I was bought with a price and belong to God. As believers were are valuable to God and He paid the ultimate price for our righteousness- the death of His Son, Jesus. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 “Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, 20 for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body. He has graciously given us His Holy Spirit to indwell us so that we have a personal guide that connects us to Him. Praise God that He loves me so much that He has given me everything I need to be connected to Him.
May the thought of being bought with the price of Jesus’ life be a source of extreme gratitude for you this Thanksgiving. As you break break together, give thanks for your provisions both physical and spiritual that are made possible through you faith in Jesus.