Giving Thanks

Many families will gather around a table filled with food this Thanksgiving, and will pause to give thanks before they begin eating.  Did you know that apparently Jesus made a habit of giving thanks to the Father before a meal?  Several times the New Testament records instances Jesus giving thanks before a meal:  Matthew 14:19, 15:36, 26:26-27 and parallel passages in the other Gospels.  Also, it is recorded that the Apostle Paul offered thanks before a meal as well (Acts 27:35).

Why is this tradition of giving thanks to God for our food important for us to continue?  Let me suggest some reasons:

1) Giving thanks reminds us that every good thing comes from God (James 1:17).

2) It reminds us that we need more than physical food to live:  we are kept alive by God’s Word (Matthew 4:4).

3) We need to be reminded to follow Jesus in everything we say & do (1 Corinthians 11:1).

4) We cannot reach personal & spiritual maturity without developing the attribute of thankfulness (Colossians 2:6-7).

5) Actively giving thanks defeats the temptation to complain (Philippians 2:14).

So as you gather with others for a Thanksgiving meal, remember that you are joining in a soul-shaping tradition with other Christians and with Christ Himself…and be thankful!

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