1 Chronicles 29:13 – Now therefore, our God, we thank You, and praise Your glorious name. (NASB)
Every year at this time, memories of family get-togethers at my sister's home flood my mind. For a period of fifteen years, we would travel north from Pasadena, to Fresno, California, USA, to spend the American Thanksgiving holiday together. Before we set out for the trip, dad would say a prayer asking for divine safety. Memories of the car loaded with our belongings and delicious provisions lovingly prepared by my mother become very vivid; we were looking forward to sharing our enjoyment with the entire family. Arriving at our destination, we became so enriched by seeing those faces that we loved so much. As we gathered around the table giving our heartfelt thanks for life's bountiful blessings, our souls were filled with divine peace.
Although much has changed since then, I still have much to be grateful for. The godly example of my parents was instrumental in helping me to grow up with an attitude of thankfulness and a recognition of God's blessings, both small and great, in the many countless ways that He has provided. Many of us, however, as we receive more and more blessings, have a tendency to take them for granted; we become so accustomed to our blessings that we can lose our sense of gratitude.
Giving thanks is not optional. My thoughts take me to the biblical story of the ten lepers who were healed by Jesus:
Luke 17:15-19 – One of them, when he saw that he was healed, came back to Jesus, shouting, "Praise God!" He fell to the ground at Jesus' feet, thanking him for what he had done. This man was a Samaritan. Jesus asked, "Didn't I heal ten men? Where are the other nine? Has no one returned to give glory to God except this foreigner?" And Jesus said to the man, "Stand up and go. Your faith has healed you." (NLT)
We learn from this incident that we should be thankful for Jesus' compassion. The Samaritan leper who went back to Jesus received a special blessing that glorious day.
So, what is our attitude regarding thankfulness for all the blessings that we receive from the Lord each day? How can we share those blessings with others? The lepers were considered outcasts in their communities, yet Jesus loved them. Let us reach out in our own neighbourhoods, churches, and communities, and be willing to help those in need. Having a thankful spirit will produce untold blessings, not only for ourselves, but for the people around us as well.
Prayer: Dear Lord, we come to You with hearts full of thanks for all the blessings that we receive from Your holy Word. Most of all, we thank You for Your Son Jesus Who, through His death on the cross, gave us victory over the grave. We praise You for the gift of eternal life, and for the Holy Spirit Who guides us throughout this earthly journey. We ask for blessings on our loved ones and those who are less fortunate. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.
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