Every day should be a day of thanksgiving, for we have received life and salvation from our great Lord, Jesus Christ.
But today is Thankful Thursday, the day in our devotional week when we emphasize thankfulness. We have so many things to be thankful for.
- Write down some immediate things you are thankful for today as they come to mind: ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Our last couple weeks have been discussing Jesus. He came and cut through the darkness of sin. John the Baptist came and pointed everyone to Jesus. But, think of all the benefits the Christian receives due to the gracious relationship He has established with us. Spurgeon says,
- “Trusting in Jesus Christ my Savior, there is still a blessed quietness in the deep caverns of my soul, though upon the surface, a rough tempest may be raging, and there be little apparent calm.”
Contemplate how He provides peace, love, joy, calmness, security, acceptance, identity, freedom from the guilt of sin, confidence, holiness, fellowship, adoption, and a clean heart.
- The world hates Jesus. The flesh hates Jesus. Satan hates Jesus. He exposes their evil. He is despised and abhorred today by most of the world the same way He was 2,000 years ago. Yet, He calls us with a holy calling, and when we’ve been saved by grace and through faith, He then changes our whole being and our whole relationship with the Father.
- Thank God now for your position in Christ, for His love, for His victory in your life, and anything else He has done for you that you didn’t deserve, but that His love poured out onto you.
Part of thankfulness is having a proper heart. If we feel we deserve anything from God, then we’ve missed the message of the Bible that we deserve absolutely nothing but His wrath. We cannot even earn His favor. That is what the gift of grace is. John Piper states:
- “If gratitude is not rooted in the beauty of God before the gift, it is probably disguised idolatry. May God grant us a heart to delight in Him for Who He is so that all our gratitude for His gifts will be the echo of our joy in the excellency of the Giver!”
And, Billy Graham states:
- “Even when life may be difficult, we should thank God for all He does for us which we do not deserve.”
- Thank God now for Who He is.
- Spend time in worship to Him now, just meditating on His wonderful glory.
- Our Scripture reading these past few weeks have been in Psalms 22, 23, and 24. As I’ve mentioned in the past, the structures of the Hebrew and Greek are often hidden from us in English because our language is so different. But, per Jewish interpretation practices, in Psalm 23 we have one name of God explicitly listed: Jehovah-ra (the Lord, my Shepherd) and then 10 more alluded to (note, some see less names than this, but we’ll stick to 10):
- Jehovah-jireh (the Lord, my Provider) because you shall not want.
- Jehovah-Sahlom (the Lord, my Peace) because He makes you lie down in green pastures and leads you besides quiet waters.
- Jehovah-rophe (the Lord, my Healer) because He restores your soul.
- Jehovah-tsidkeneau (the Lord of Righteousness) because he leads you into the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.
- Jehovah-shama (the Lord is Present) because He is with you even in the valley of the shadow of death.
- Jehovah-ezer (the Lord, my Help) because His rod and staff are used for your protection and growth.
- Jehovah-nissi (the Lord, my Banner/Standard of Victory) as He prepares a table in the presence of your enemies.
- Jehovah-inkaddesh (the Lord, my Holiness and Sanctification) because He anoints your head with oil.
- Jehovah-manah (the Lord, my Portion) because your cup overflows.
- Jehovah-cheleq (the Lord, my Inheritance) as he brings you into His presence forever.
Take this time now to thank God for each of His names and how their meanings demonstrate His never-ending love and care for you. [Note that while Psalms says YHWH (Jehovah) is our Shepherd, the New Testament tells us that our Shepherd is Jesus (John 10:11, 14; Hebrews 13:20; and I. Peter 5:4), thus alluding to the Trinitarian nature of God. Isn’t that awesome!].