WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL
OCTOBER 7, 2021
TOPIC: GIVE THANKS TO THE LORD
BY T. O. BANSO
“Oh, give thanks to the LORD, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever” (Psalm 107:1 New King James Version).
The book of Psalm talks a lot about giving thanks to the Lord. In Psalm 107 alone, five times the psalmist utters the statement “give thanks to the LORD” (verses 1, 8, 15, 21, 31). Four times, the writer of the psalm says, “Oh, that men would give thanks to the LORD for His goodness” (verses 8, 15, 21, 31 New King James Version).
We are already in the last quarter of the year. Thanksgiving is not something one should leave until the end of the year; it is something one should do every day and every time. Reflect on your life and give thanks to God more deliberately for all He has done for you this year. In doing this, I want to discuss just five out of the basic truths about thanksgiving.
5 Basic truths about thanksgiving
1. Thanksgiving is required of every child of God. 1 Thessalonians 5:18 says in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. It does, therefore, mean that not to give thanks to God is to be outside His will.
In Psalm 122:3-4, David says, “Jerusalem is built as a city that is compact together, where the tribes go up, the tribes of the LORD, to the Testimony of Israel, to give thanks to the name of the LORD” (New King James Version).
God requires thanksgiving from His children. He says, “If I were hungry, I would not tell you; For the world is Mine, and all its fullness. Will I eat the flesh of bulls, or drink the blood of goats?” (Psalm 50:12-13 New King James Version).
So what does God want? “Offer to God thanksgiving, and pay your vows to the Most High. Call upon Me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify Me” (Psalm 50:14-15 New King James Version).
Give thanks to God. “Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name. For the LORD is good; His mercy is everlasting, and His truth endures to all generations” (Psalm 100:4-5 New King James Version).
2. Thanksgiving must be offered acceptably. God doesn’t accept just any thanks. He told the Israelites, “When you bring a thanksgiving offering to the LORD, it must be sacrificed properly so it will be accepted on your behalf.” (Leviticus 22:29 New Living Translation). Offer thanks to the Lord properly. Be guided by the Word of God and the Holy Spirit.
For instance, in Luke 18:9-14, there’s nothing to show that God accepted the Pharisee’s thanksgiving. “The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, ‘God, I thank You that I am not like other men — extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I possess.’ And the tax collector, standing afar off, would not so much as raise his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me a sinner!’ I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.” (Luke18:11-14 New King James Version”.
The Pharisee’s thanks to God made no sense because he was a self-righteous proud man. He didn’t approach God with humility. You wouldn’t call what he did thanksgiving. He merely praised himself before God. He exalted Himself, not God.
3. Thanksgiving must start with right-thinking. If you engage in right-thinking, you will thank God. Those who cannot think right cannot thank God. This is because they will not see reasons to thank God. These are people who say that God has not done anything for them to warrant thanksgiving. Such people are ungrateful people. Everybody has a reason to thank God.
Psalm 77:11-12 says, “I will remember the works of the LORD; surely I will remember Your wonders of old. I will also meditate on all Your work, and talk of Your deeds” (New King James Version). Remember all that God has done for you, your family, loved ones, etc. and give thanks. Give thanks to the Lord.
4. Thanksgiving must be heartfelt. It must not be mechanical, perfunctory, or uttering words of thanks that are not based on a feeling of gratitude. You must really feel grateful, not just saying, “Thank you Jesus” that you don’t mean or means anything. Be specific about what you’re thanking Him for. God rejects some thanksgiving. Thanksgiving must flow from your heart.
David said, “I will give thanks unto Jehovah with my whole heart; I will show forth all thy marvellous works” (Psalm 9:1 American Standard Version). Give thanks with your whole heart. Don’t thank God half-heartedly, unwillingly, or reluctantly. Let it come from your heart.
5. Give thanks in all circumstances. Give thanks no matter what happens. Ephesians 5:20 says to give thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ
As we have read earlier, the apostle Paul said in 1 Thessalonians 5:18 that in everything you should give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. This doesn’t mean that if something negative happens, you should thank God for it. It means that you thank God in any circumstance you find yourself. Look at the situation well and find something positive to thank God for. It could have been worse!
The New Living Translation puts 1 Thessalonians 5:18 this way: “No matter what happens, always be thankful, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.” Give thanks in all situations. God is able to work all things together for good for those who love Him and are called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28).
Offer sincere, heartfelt, purposeful, and quality thanks to God. Thank God for His manifold blessing. Give thanks to the Father who has qualified you to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light (Colossians 1:12). Thank God for safe trips. Thank God for exemptions from the evil that has consumed others. “Through the LORD’s mercies, we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not” (Lamentation 3:22 New King James Version).
Thank God for the good health He gave you. If you were sick and you recovered or you’re recovering, thank God for that also – it could have been worse! Thank God for the increase you experienced this year. “Not unto us, O LORD, not unto us, but to Your name give glory, because of Your mercy, because of Your truth” (Psalm 115:1 New Living Translation).
Give thanks to God. “Oh, give thanks to the LORD, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever” (Psalm 107:1 New King James Version). It is good to give thanks to the Lord and to sing praises to His name (Psalm 92:1). Give thanks to the Lord.
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit that you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto You today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and resurrected the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank You, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like the palm tree and grow like the cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: Father, I give You thanks for all You have done for me this year. I thank You for divine protection, provision, healing and health, favour, promotion, increase, and enlargement for me and my family. I thank You, Father, for upholding me in the faith and delivering me from the evil one. Thank You for all the good things You have done for Your children all over the world, including the victories You have given us over all attacks of the enemies.
(For over 600 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President, Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
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