We are taught at a young age to say “thank you.” When you are raising a child and the “thank you” is not said when the child receives something, there is a prompt given. “Say thank you,” we say. Young people know this too well. Mom and dad will give the eyes if you receive something and do not say the words. But thankfulness is not simple about words, but about the heart. And the One we owe the most thanks to is God Almighty!
The Psalmist speaks of thankfulness being your sacrifice to God. He says that giving thanks is what truly honors God. Consider this—we often get caught up on trying to do for God. We think we can do good things and that is our sacrifice. But we get entrapped in this idea that we are paying God back. We busy ourselves with doing and we forget to thank Him for all He continues to do. But what He wants is us—He wants our heart. Instead of doing good things, stop for a second. Take a moment. Pause. Thank Him for what He has done and is doing in your life. Give thanks. That honors Him more than empty tasks.
God has already done for us. He continues to do for us. We can never do enough to outdo God. When we thank Him, and recognize what He has done, we acknowledge that He is above all and in all. He is the great I AM. Honor Him today with your thanksgiving! Stop striving and stand in awe before your Maker!
“Make thankfulness your sacrifice to God, and keep the vows you made to the Most High. But giving thanks is a sacrifice that truly honors Me. If you keep to My path, I will reveal to you the salvation of God.” – Psalm 50:14, 23 [NLT]
We can never pray enough. Paul notes in in his letter to Timothy, that we need to be sure that we do not limit our prayers. We are “to pray for all people.” That is a great command. Pray for all people. This means we don’t just pray for your family and friends. We don’t just pray for our church family. We don’t only pray for those we want to lift up in prayer. We pray for all people.
Jesus tells us to pray for our enemies. This is something that can help us to be more like Christ. While praying for our enemies, we are interceding on their behalf. Doing this opens our heart for the Spirit to help us forgive and heal. The verse in the letter to Timothy doesn’t only ask that we pray for all people. The letter continues that we “give thanks for them.” We are to give thanks for all people. Is this something you feel like doing? Do you thank God for the person who drives you crazy?
Understand that we are asked to do these things because it helps us to grow more Christ like. Often we think the prayers we pour out to God are to change others. The truth is the prayers often are to change us. Today, pray for all people. Intercede on their behalf. Give thanks for them. Be ready for God to respond in a mighty way!
“I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them.” – 1 Timothy 2:1 [NLT]
Be a Blessing
Abraham was promised three things. God said He would make him a great nation. God said He would make his name great. God said He would bless him. We remember these promises. Again and again there is mention of this covenant, the Abrahamic Covenant. What a beautiful promise! What an awesome covenant!
So. So. So. Oh yes, there’s a second half of the verse. The verse continues, “So that you will be a blessing.” God will make Abraham a great nation, and bless him and make his name great SO that he will be a blessing. There’s receiving, but there’s also giving. There’s an expectation. There’s a response.
We each are blessed. Blessed to be a blessing. You have a choice in life. You can reach out and grab it all for yourself. Or you can ask yourself, how can I be a blessing? Today, consider what you can do to bless someone. It might be by using a gift or talent, by using something in your possession, by reaching into your pocketbook, or maybe it simply means to listen or smile or spend your time with someone. It is wonderful to be thankful for your blessings. But an attitude of gratitude should result in a desire to be a blessing.
“And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing.” – Genesis 12:2 [ESV]