Posted by: glorifyhim1 | November 21, 2010

How Do I Say Thank You?

For what are you thankful? I asked that question to two preschoolers this morning and received a variety of answers – my family, flowers, my house, Jesus, and even a groundhog! There was no shortage of things for which they were thankful.

As I thought about their eager responses as they rattled off their lists, I wondered about my own list. For what am I thankful? Like those preschoolers, I have so much for which to be thankful that I scarcely know where to begin or how to end. But perhaps, the more important question should be to whom do I offer my thanks and how do I say thank you? 

To Whom Do I Offer Thanks?

 

We may be thankful to many people for the love and kindness they show to us, for the difference they make in our lives, but the true source of our blessings is God, our Heavenly Father. The psalmists recognized God as the source of their blessings. Many of the Psalms express praise and offer thanksgiving to God for His goodness, His mercy, His presence, and His many blessings.

  • “Blessed be the Lord, Who daily loads us with benefits, the God of our salvation!” (Psalm 68:19)

 

  • “Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits; Who forgives all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases, Who redeems your life from destruction, Who crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies, Who satisfies your mouth with good things, so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.” (Psalm 103:2-5)

 

And in addition to the daily blessings we receive from our Heavenly Father, believers can also rejoice in their spiritual blessings in Christ and their future hope. We can be thankful that this world is not our real home. Regardless of the troubles or problems we may know here, we really already have the victory because of what Christ has done for us.

  • “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ.” (Ephesians 1:3).

 

No matter our earthly situation, every believer is truly rich because of Christ. As Proverbs 10:22a states: “The blessing of the Lord makes one rich.”

How Do I Say Thank You?

 

But how do I say thank you to God? Paul reminded the Ephesians that they should always be willing to thank God for all things. “Giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ,” (Ephesians 5:20). Surely, I can pray and just tell Him. I can sing songs of praise and worship Him. But I think Paul reminds us of another way we can express our thankfulness.

Paul completes his comment about giving thanks in Ephesians 5:21, stating, “submitting to one another in the fear of God.” How does submission to one another express thankfulness?  I read that the Greek word that Paul uses for submission in this passage refers to one voluntarily submitting to a proper authority. It is not a coercive submission, but a willing offering that is made out of love and respect. This is something that Jesus Himself taught. Whenever the disciples argued about greatness, Jesus taught them: “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and those who are great exercise authority over them. Yet it shall not be so among you, but whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant. And whoever desires to be first among you, let him be your slave – just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.” (Matthew 20:25-28)

In other words, we may best say thank you to God not so much by what we say, but more by what we do. Do we follow Christ’s example and willingly place ourselves in positions to help and serve others? We receive fully all that Christ has done for us and express our thankfulness as we serve others.

I think most of us can agree with the proverb I mentioned earlier: “The blessing of the Lord makes one rich” (Proverbs 10:22a). I feel so richly blessed. I know I could rattle off a list of heartfelt thank-you’s just like those two preschoolers did. But I wonder if God hears me saying thank you as He watches the way I live my life. I’m afraid sometimes He may not hear me at all. At other times, He may hear only a whisper. But I pray that more and more, He will hear my life shout with praise as I live a life of thanks!

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