Thursday, November 28, 2013

Thanks are not enough

We have much to be thankful for.

But today, it is not enough to be thankful.

It is to whom those thanks are given that matters most.

The lame beggar understood this. He asked for money. Instead he received healing.
And leaping up he stood and began to walk, and entered the temple with them, walking and leaping and praising God.
–Acts 3:8
He didn’t just praise. He praised God.

Hannah understood this. She prayed so fervently and wept so bitterly as she pleaded for a son that Eli thought she was drunk. She knew not what the Lord would do. But she knew her God, and her faith was sure as she left the temple.
They rose early in the morning and worshiped before the Lord…
— 1 Samuel 1:19
Hannah didn’t just worship. She worshiped her Lord.

Job understood this. Enduring the loss of everything–family, property, friends–he mourned, and he remembered the sovereignty of the God he served.
Then Job arose and tore his robe and shaved his head and fell on the ground and worshiped. And he said, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.”
— Job 1:20-21
Job didn’t just worship. He worshiped God.

Mary understood this. Faced with an unplanned pregnancy, the curious stares of friends and neighbors, and an uncertain engagement, Mary trusted in the one who was knitting together her Savior inside her womb, the God of her fathers who had proved himself ever faithful.
And Mary said, “My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has looked on the humble estate of his servant. For behold, from now on all generations will call me blessed; for he who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is his name.”
— Luke 1:46-49
Mary didn’t just rejoice. She rejoiced in her Savior.

Gratitude alone is not enough. Our gratefulness should drive us to our heavenly Father, the giver of every good and perfect gift. Our gratefulness should drive us to the feet of Jesus, who loved us and gave himself up for us.

Paul says it this way:
Thanks be to God for his inexpressible gift!— 2 Corinthians 9:15
Today, do not simply be thankful. Let your thanksgiving be to God, and in your gratitude, worship the giver of all good things.

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