WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL
DECEMBER 31, 2023
TOPIC: THANKING GOD FOR HIS BLESSINGS IN 2023
BY T. O. BANSO
“Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good. His love endures forever. Give thanks to the God of gods. His love endures forever. Give thanks to the Lord of lords: His love endures forever” (Psalm 136:1-3 New International Version).
Before the children of Israel entered the Promised Land, Moses warned them not to ascribe to their power the wealth they would enjoy in the land. He said, “When you have eaten and are full, then you shall bless the Lord your God for the good land which He has given you” (Deuteronomy 8:10 New King James Version).
He continued in verses 11-17: “Beware that you do not forget the Lord your God by not keeping His commandments, His judgments, and His statutes which I command you today, lest — when you have eaten and are full, and have built beautiful houses and dwell in them; and when your herds and your flocks multiply, and your silver and your gold are multiplied, and all that you have is multiplied; when your heart is lifted up, and you forget the Lord your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage; who led you through that great and terrible wilderness, in which were fiery serpents and scorpions and thirsty land where there was no water; who brought water for you out of the flinty rock; who fed you in the wilderness with manna, which your fathers did not know, that He might humble you and that He might test you, to do you good in the end — then you say in your heart, ‘My power and the might of my hand have gained me this wealth’” (New King James Version). Note the phrase “My power and the might of my hand have gained me this wealth.”
Those who believe that they got their wealth through their power and might are most likely not going to thank God for it! They may not see any reason to thank Him because they got their wealth through their power and might. They don’t acknowledge that God gave them the power and might.
Some people ascribe their success to their intelligence or wisdom. But who gave them this intelligence or wisdom? James 1:17 says every good gift and every perfect gift is from above and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning. Those who acknowledge that every good and perfect gift they enjoyed in 2023 came from God will not be proud or boastful; they will rather be thankful to Him. Indeed, they laboured or invested time and energy to achieve the results they got, but they do not ascribe the results to their power and might
1 Corinthians 4:7 says, “For who makes you differ from another? And what do you have that you did not receive? Now if you did indeed receive it, why do you boast as if you had not received it?” (New King James Version). Note the phrase “And what do you have that you did not receive?” What did you have in 2023 that you didn’t receive from God? If God gave you all the good things you enjoyed, is there any reason to boast? No. What you should do, as this year ends in the next few hours, is to thank Him, even if you have done that before. Thanksgiving is never too much. Reflect on God’s goodness to you this year and thank Him for all the blessings He has bestowed on you.
Moses told the Israelites, “And you shall remember the Lord your God, for it is He who gives you power to get wealth, that He may establish His covenant which He swore to your fathers, as it is this day” (Deuteronomy 8:18 New King James Version). Remember God. Remember that He gave you the power to get wealth and enjoy all the blessings you had this year. Therefore, thank Him. Paul says in Ephesians 5:20 to always give thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Those who think will always have reasons to thank God. But those who don’t or are ignorant don’t thank Him. There is nobody who has no reason to thank God. Being alive is one reason to thank God. Many people started this year but, at different times during the year, passed. Such people cannot be talking about the New Year or complaining about one thing or the other.
Thank God for the victories He gave you this year. 1 Corinthians 15:57 says thanks be to God who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Thank Him for the projects you started or completed. Thank Him for success in examinations, uncommon favour, healing and health, safe trips, and so on. There are so many reasons to thank God, as this year ends. Even those who experienced some painful losses during the year cannot say that they have no reason to thank Him. The year was not entirely bad. 1 Thessalonians 5:18 says to give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
Thank God for His blessings. 1 Chronicles 16:34 says to give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; His love endures forever. Psalm 107:1 and Psalm 118:1 say a similar thing. God is good! End the year 2023 with thanksgiving. Thank God, for He is good; Thank Him for His goodness and all His blessings this year. “Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations” (Psalm 100:4-5 New International Version).
Psalm 136:1-3 says, “Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good. His love endures forever. Give thanks to the God of gods. His love endures forever. Give thanks to the Lord of lords: His love endures forever” (New International Version). Did you see how many times the phrase “Give thanks” occurs in this scripture? Give thanks. It is the right thing to do. The writer of Psalm 118 says, “You are my God, and I will give you thanks; you are my God, and I will exalt you. Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever” (verses 28-29 New International Version).
Give thanks to God. David says in Psalm 69:30 that he will praise God’s name in song and glorify or magnify Him with thanksgiving. You also should glorify God today with thanksgiving because He has done so much for you. Only the living can thank Him, and you are among the living. “The living, only the living can thank you, as I do today” (Isaiah 38:19a Christian Standard Bible).
David says in Psalm 28:7, “The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped. My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to him in song” (New International Version). You should leap for joy for seeing the last day of this year and give thanks to God in songs. Jonah says in Jonah 2:9, “But I, with a song of thanksgiving, will sacrifice to you. What I have vowed I will make good. Salvation comes from the Lord” (New International Version). Sing songs of thanksgiving to God, and if you have made a vow, pay it.
Gratitude is the right attitude. Give thanks to God. Thanksgiving brings multiplication. “Then out of them shall proceed thanksgiving and the voice of those who make merry; I will multiply them, and they shall not diminish; I will also glorify them, and they shall not be small” (Jeremiah 30:19 New King James Version). Note the phrase “I will multiply them.” Thank God for His blessings in 2023 and He will multiply your blessings in 2024.
As Psalm 50:23a says, whoever sacrifices thank offerings honours God. Give thanks to God; honour Him. If you honour Him, He will honour you, too (1 Samuel 2:30). See you in 2024. Happy New Year!
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 God raised Him on 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 a palm tree and grow like a 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 thank You for Your blessings in my life in 2023. I am grateful to You, Father. I give thanks to You, for Your love endures forever. Father, let your blessings be multiplied in my life in the New Year.
(For over 900 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President of Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
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