Offer Up Thanksgiving
“Offer to God thanksgiving, and pay your vows to the Most High.”
There is no doubt about it. We owe God. How could we ever imagine
that we are deserving of all the goodness, abundance, and blessings that the Most High has
given to us. Even in our worst of times, we have more than we deserve. On top of all that,
God sent Jesus, His Divine Son, to be our Savior.
A heart that is not thankful is a heart that is sick. We don’t have to be thankful to God
because He is needy in some way. He is in need of nothing from us. He is unlike the idols,
the (so-called) gods made with hands, shaped by the hand of man, and continually
supported, decorated, and protected by human efforts. The true God is the creator of all, the
sustainer of all, and the giver of all good things. We should be thankful because He
deserves our praise.
We should be thankful because of the way thanksgiving shapes our character. The
effort to give God our thanks and praise causes us to open our eyes and to be more aware
of the abundance of blessings we have all around us. The awareness of being blessed
leads us to reach out to our loving God. Thanksgiving makes us want to share the message
of God’s love to others who don’t know Him. Thanksgiving helps us to overcome
discouragement, loneliness, and fear. Thanksgiving is the incentive we need to be like our
Heavenly Father in showing love to everyone we meet.
We should also recommit ourselves to God as we offer Him our thanksgiving. The Old
Testament is full of examples of people who made vows (or promises) to God. Jesus warned
us about being flippant with our vows, in response to the empty vows of the religious
spokesmen of His day. Some of them had little formulas for swearing by certain things while
giving themselves escape clauses to get out of their promises. (It’s just as silly as children
crossing their fingers behind their backs.) Therefore, Jesus said, “Swear not at all.” He said
not to swear by Heaven, the earth, or even your own head (Matthew 5:34-36). Jesus said,
“But let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No.’ For whatever is more than these is from the
evil one” (Matthew 5:37)
Our promises are not to be meaningless words, but the expression of our thankful
hearts doing the will of God in every aspect of our lives. When our hearts are full of
thanksgiving, the evil thoughts and the evil ways will not have room to thrive and grow.
When we express our thanksgiving with our lips, we let the whole world know that we love
God, just as He loved us and that nothing is more important to us than living our lives to His
glory and honor. Be thankful. Mean it with all your heart. Express it with your lips. Grow in
the love and grace of the Lord.