Such lovely words – “Thank you!” We say it at the grocery check-out, when we’re served at a restaurant, or when an usher hands us a bulletin as we arrive on Sunday morning for worship. We hardly give it a thought – it’s almost obligatory. Like saying “Fine” when someone asks “How are you?”There are a hundred times each day we can say “Thank you” to someone, and I hope you take every one of them. If for no other reason, it at least may hold back the tide of pervasive anxiety and annoyance that is so prevalent today. A bit of social civility in an otherwise caustic environment.
But I wish – for myself and for you – that we all might regularly and intentionally go beyond this, and say “Thank You” to God. Do we ever pause in our distracted lives to think of all we have to thank Him for? Our lives, our breath, the beauty of His creation – sun, moon, and stars, trees, mountains and valleys, plants and animals – all these things that “declare His glory” (Ps. 19.1)! Then add to this His unending spiritual blessings – His own Son Jesus Christ, who died for our sins on the cross, and rose again; eternal life, His precious Word, the indwelling Holy Spirit, the Body of Christ (fellow Christians). No wonder Paul wrote, “Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!” (2 Cor. 9.15)
I’m sure that if someone were to ask us if we are thankful to God for all His gifts, we would quickly say “Yes!” But how often do we tell him? Perhaps our theology gets in the way here; we think, “God knows everything, so surely He knows I am thankful.” Yes, He does. Dwell on that for a moment, and it may not be so comforting. He does know how thankful you are. How thankful are you? If you really are thankful, shouldn’t you tell Him?
In Romans 1, Paul describes the decline of man from recognizing God to rejecting God, and it’s sobering that the ‘first step’ in that downward spiral is this: For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened (Rom. 1.21). Did you see that? The ‘first step’ away from God is as subtle as simply failing to give thanks.
It’s November. Autumn is here. There’s a crispness in the morning air. All this reminds us that Thanksgiving is near. Like you, I look forward to being together with family, and eating turkey with all the fixings. But too often the One who has blessed us with all these good things is hardly thought of. Perhaps not this year.
On Sunday, November 18th, join the church family here at NBBC for our annual Thanksgiving Praise Service and Feast. It’s a morning for overflowing with our praise and thanks to God for His goodness and blessings. And beyond this, in the quietness of your own home, pause today, perhaps brew a cup of coffee, sit down with the Lord and tell Him, “Loving Father, thank you!”