Thanksgiving: The Key to Drawing Closer to God

Approaching God with Gratitude and the Power of Thankfulness

DAILY DEVOTIONS

10/16/2023

Approaching God with Gratitude and the Power of Thankfulness

Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise; give thanks to Him and praise His name." Psalm 100:4

This verse tells us to approach God with thankfulness and praise. Imagine that God's presence is like a magnificent palace with beautiful gates and splendid courts. To enter this palace means to come close to God. So, when we approach God, we should have grateful hearts and a desire to praise Him. Why? Because God is amazing, and He's given us many blessings while loving us deeply. When we enter His presence, it's a way to connect with Him, showing our love and appreciation for all He does for us. Do remember, a thankful heart brings us peace and guards our hearts in Christ.

Let’s consider some questions and explore answers from the Bible;

Are we truly grateful for the blessings in our life?

The Bible encourages us to be truly grateful for the blessings in our lives. In 1 Thessalonians 5:18, it says, "Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus." This means that we should be grateful not just when things are good, but even when times are tough. Gratitude helps us see the goodness of God in all situations.

Do we thank God in both good and challenging times?

Yes, the Bible teaches us to thank God in both good and challenging times. In Philippians 4:6-7, it says, "Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God." This means we should pray and thank God in every situation, whether it's joyful or difficult. Thanking God in tough times can bring us peace.

Are we drawing closer to God through our gratitude?

Yes, expressing gratitude helps us draw closer to God. When we thank God, it's like opening our hearts to Him. In Colossians 3:17, it says, "And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him." This means that when we give thanks, we are doing things in Jesus' name, and it brings us closer to God. Gratitude is a way to connect with Him and show our love for Him.

What blessings can we expect from a thankful heart?

A thankful heart brings the blessing of inner peace, even in pursuing our earthly desires. In Philippians 4:6-7, the Bible tells us that when we pray with thankfulness, God's peace, beyond our understanding, guards our hearts and minds. This means that gratitude helps us find contentment and serenity, regardless of whether our earthly desires are fulfilled as we wish.

In the Bible we can see in Luke 17:11-19 a powerful example of gratitude, there is a story about ten people who had a skin disease, and they all asked Jesus to heal them. Jesus did heal them, making them completely well. But out of these ten people, only one person, who was not from the same place as the others (a Samaritan), came back to Jesus to say thank you. When this happened, Jesus was very happy with the Samaritan. He praised the Samaritan because he not only got better but also showed that he had faith in Jesus and was grateful for the healing. This story teaches us the importance of being thankful for the good things that happen in our lives and having faith in God's goodness.

Jesus frequently emphasized gratitude in His teachings. The Parable of the Prodigal Son in Luke 15:11-32 teaches about the Father's unconditional love and forgiveness, showcasing the profound gratitude of the repentant son.

As believers, we are like beacons of light and salt on this Earth. That means we are supposed to show the way and add good flavor to the world. When we express gratitude in all situations, it's like we are shining a light that comes from God and helping to keep goodness in the world.

In simple terms, it's like spreading positivity and being a good example for others, no matter what's happening. This is what we are meant to do as believers, and showing gratitude is a big part of that.

We, as parents and caregivers, should set an example for our children. This means we need to show them how important it is to be thankful, both to God for the good things in their lives and to the people around them who care for them. Gratitude is like a good quality, or a virtue, that makes them better people. It helps them grow up to be kind, appreciative, and thoughtful individuals. So, teaching them to be thankful is a valuable lesson that will shape their character and make them better human beings.

Heavenly Father, we thank you for your unending grace and love. Help us cultivate a heart of gratitude, drawing closer to you in thanksgiving. Teach us to be beacons of light and salt of the earth, sharing your love and blessings with others. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.

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