Giving Thanks

To the end that my glory may sing praise to You and not be silent.
O Lord my God, I will give thanks to You forever.

Psalm 30:12

 

“Oh, give thanks to the LORD, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever.”

 

                                                1 Chronicles 16:34

 

I realize that this devotional is about 6 days late and a couple of dollars short, but when I couldn’t settle on the final message for this week’s devotional was to be, this topic kind of came to mind.

 

This devotional started this past Sunday, as I listened to Pastor Ray preach out of Matthew 14, the miracle of the feeding of the 5,000. As Ray painted the scene in which Jesus compelled the disciples to supply food for the crowds that had followed Jesus, and their collective response, he speculated on the reaction of the disciples to such a challenging request. Here are the disciples who had been with Christ throughout His ministry, witness to the miracles Jesus performed and the lessons He taught, and yet they are still so uncreative in their thinking that they couldn’t grasp the potential miracle He was proposing.

 

The following morning I listened to a sermon on KDRY (AM 1100). The pastor was preaching out of John 20, in which the Mary Magdalene, and then later Peter and John, find the empty tomb and don’t quite understand what has happened to Jesus (except for John, the pastor said, who “saw and believed”). Here again was an opportunity for me, with my awesome New Testament-reading knowledge and insight, to wonder why they were so perplexed as to what had happened to Jesus’s body. And the thought happened again later when dear Thomas, who wasn’t with the others when Jesus visited them in the upper room, declared that he would not believe until he sees the nail prints on His hands, and feels the wounds on His hands and side.

And Jesus granted Thomas his wish, offering him the opportunity to do the very things Thomas declared he needed to do to believe. My mind pictures Jesus as the epitome of gentleness and patience, placing His turned-up hands in Thomas’s and showing Him the wounds, inviting Thomas to touch His hands and His side.

 

I am so thankful for the realness and humanness of the disciples. I am grateful for all that they did, saw, experienced, and felt, and for the fact that we have it documented so that we can relate to them. Even though they had the highest privilege of walking with our Savior, learning from Him and being trained by Him, they still did not get every lesson, every nuance, every statement that came from His lips. And because they didn’t, but they asked, you and I get the opportunity to understand and learn, lo these two thousand years later.

 

I’m doubly thankful for the patience and love Jesus had for them that came through in the way He taught and interacted with them. That love comes through the word as we read it, and it comes through the Word as we walk with Him.

 

I stand in appreciation for the sacrifice He made for me, so that I may forgo the punishment I so richly deserve.

 

I am thankful for the presence of the Holy Spirit, and for the breath He has breathed into my heart, giving it life and purpose.

 

I give thanks to the Lord Almighty, for His grace and mercy are abundant, His majesty and glory overwhelming, and His love overflowing. May we all experience it to the uttermost.

 

Prayer Requests

  • For Pastor Kevin and Robin as they enter a new chapter in their lives
  • For those who are persecuted for their Christian faith
  • For the leaders of our church
  • For the blessing of His discernment for us to know His will and to abide in it

 

Lastly, I am quite thankful for the opportunity to write these devotionals for the time that I have, for as long as He enables it. May they bring you as much joy as they do me to write them.

 

Quotes

 

“Someone else is praying for the things you take for granted. Be thankful.”

 

“When it is all finished, you’ll discover it was never random.”