Thanking God for God


There are many reasons to be thankful for and the scripture teaches us that “in everything, give thanks.” This message hit home quite profoundly, when our six year old beloved firstborn son, Reuben, brought home a thanksgiving exercise that he had done at his school. His first grade teacher had asked the students to write three reasons as to why they should be thankful for and he penned down the following three (see image).
1.my sibling (Ittai) because he will play with me and he will be a good brother when he grows up.
2. the World because the world is our home.
3. my Mom and Dad because they love me very very very much. my God because he saved us from dieing and from sin.

Reuben reminded me that we ought to be thankful for our brothers (and sisters). Jesus called his disciples his brothers after he was resurrected (Matthew 28:10), bringing about the adoption of sons by God – many sons into glory (Hebrews 2:10). Reuben also reminded me that we should be thankful for this world and tend to it, while it is our home until we inherit the place that Jesus has gone ahead to prepare for us in his Father’s (God’s) house (John 14:2-3). Furthermore, Reuben reminded me that we ought to honor our father and mother, as we are commanded to and be thankful to them, but most of all, we should thankful to Jesus (God) for his salvation, for whoever believes in Jesus is saved from die-ing and from sin (2 Timothy 1:9-10).

Points to ponder:
Are we thankful to God for our neighbors (loving them as brothers and sisters)?
Are we thankful to God for the world in which we are placed as his ambassadors until we inherit his joy in the place that is being prepared for us?
Are we thankful to God for our parents?
Above all, are we thankful to God for Jesus, who has saved us by his death, so that we need not die?
Have you thanked God for God?

2 Timothy 1:9-10 (KJV)
Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,
10 But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel:

Jesus Gave Thanks :: to Show us He is The Lord and The Master


It is thanksgiving season and there are many reasons for us to be thankful to God for, but have you ever wondered what Jesus was thankful for. Luke 24 records the account of Jesus appearing to the two men, who were walking on the road to Emmaus. When the two sad men encounter Jesus, not recognizing who he is, they tell him, how they trusted that Jesus to be their redeemer but it is three days since he was murdered and yet there was no sign of any salvation (Luke 24:21). Jesus then expounds to them, from all the scriptures, things concerning himself, and as evening fell, they urged him to stay with them (as their guest). Jesus agreed to stay but does not take the position of a guest (Luke 24:13-21). Instead the Bible records, that he took bread and blessed (gave thanks for) it, broke it and gave it to them (Luke 24:30). It was customary for the Master or Head of the household to be the one taking the food and serving it. As soon as the two saw the Master Jesus at the table, their eyes (spiritual) were opened and they recognized (knew) him as Lord (Luke 24:31), for the witness that they immediately take back to the eleven disciples in Jerusalem is “The LORD is risen.” (Luke 24:34)

Jesus gave thanks to God as The Master and not as the guest, and was recognized as The Lord. In the washing of the feet of his disciples, the disciples addressed Jesus as Master and Lord and Jesus recognizes this, but purposefully reverses what he is to be known (recognized) as. The disciples called him Master and Lord (and yes he is) but Jesus refers to himself first as Lord and then as Master (John 13:13-14). Jesus thanked God and was recognized as Lord.

Points to ponder:
Even today, Jesus expounds from all of the scriptures all the things concerning himself to you and me. As darkness surrounds us, do we urge him to stay in our lives, not just as the guest but as our Master and as he communes with us, do we recognize him as Lord? If you have not trusted in Jesus as your Lord and Master, tarry no further, but instead place your trust in him, today. Let today, be your day of real thanksgiving (2 Corinthians 6:2) and for those who have trusted in Jesus, we can give thanks this thanksgiving season, for Jesus is not only Master (of our lives), but the Lord (of our lives) as well.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Luke 24:13-36 (KJV)
13 And, behold, two of them went that same day to a village called Emmaus, which was from Jerusalem about threescore furlongs.
14 And they talked together of all these things which had happened.
15 And it came to pass, that, while they communed together and reasoned, Jesus himself drew near, and went with them.
16 But their eyes were holden that they should not know him.
17 And he said unto them, What manner of communications are these that ye have one to another, as ye walk, and are sad?
18 And the one of them, whose name was Cleopas, answering said unto him, Art thou only a stranger in Jerusalem, and hast not known the things which are come to pass there in these days?
19 And he said unto them, What things? And they said unto him, Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, which was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people:
20 And how the chief priests and our rulers delivered him to be condemned to death, and have crucified him.
21 But we trusted that it had been he which should have redeemed Israel: and beside all this, to day is the third day since these things were done.
22 Yea, and certain women also of our company made us astonished, which were early at the sepulchre;
23 And when they found not his body, they came, saying, that they had also seen a vision of angels, which said that he was alive.
24 And certain of them which were with us went to the sepulchre, and found it even so as the women had said: but him they saw not.
25 Then he said unto them, O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken:
26 Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory
27 And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.
28 And they drew nigh unto the village, whither they went: and he made as though he would have gone further.
29 But they constrained him, saying, Abide with us: for it is toward evening, and the day is far spent. And he went in to tarry with them.
30 And it came to pass, as he sat at meat with them, he took bread, and blessed it, and brake, and gave to them.
31 And their eyes were opened, and they knew him; and he vanished out of their sight.
32 And they said one to another, Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures?
33 And they rose up the same hour, and returned to Jerusalem, and found the eleven gathered together, and them that were with them,
34 Saying, The Lord is risen indeed, and hath appeared to Simon.
35 And they told what things were done in the way, and how he was known of them in breaking of bread.
36 And as they thus spake, Jesus himself stood in the midst of them, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you.

Jesus Gave Thanks :: to Show us He is Life


It is thanksgiving season and there are many reasons for us to be thankful to God for, but have you ever wondered what Jesus was thankful for. John 11 records the account of Jesus miraculously resurrecting his friend, Lazarus, back from the dead. But before Jesus performed this miracle, the Bible records, that Jesus was glad that he was not in the city where Lazarus was, when he was alive, so that people may believe in him (John 11:15) and he gave thanks (John 11:41-42). Upon seeing what Jesus did through the miracle of resurrection, many of those who had gathered around the tomb of Lazarus believed (John 11:45).

Points to ponder:
Jesus gave thanks to God for the miracle of resurrection, not only as an event (where Lazarus is raised) (John 11:44), but also in his person (so that people may see and believe that Jesus is indeed who he claimed to be – the resurrection and the life) (John 11:15,25,42,45). Today Jesus, our friend, may not seem to be where we want him to be. In the midst of our troubles that seem to take the life out of us, we may feel that we have no hope. Jesus is glad that he is not where we want him to be, so that we may believe, when we see (with our spiritual eyes), that he is indeed the resurrection and the life and those who believe in him, even though they are dead, yet they shall life. Have you seen life? Have you seen Jesus Christ – our resurrection and our life? Have you believed in him? We can give thanks this thanksgiving season, for Jesus who shows us that He is Life!

John 11: 15,25-26,41-45 (KJV)
15 And I am glad for your sakes that I was not there, to the intent ye may believe; nevertheless let us go unto him

25 Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:
26 And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?

41 Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead was laid. And Jesus lifted up his eyes, and said, Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me.
42 And I knew that thou hearest me always: but because of the people which stand by I said it, that they may believe that thou hast sent me.
43 And when he thus had spoken, he cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth.
44 And he that was dead came forth, bound hand and foot with graveclothes: and his face was bound about with a napkin. Jesus saith unto them, Loose him, and let him go.
45 Then many of the Jews which came to Mary, and had seen the things which Jesus did, believed on him.

Jesus Gave Thanks :: to be the Sacrifice for us


It is thanksgiving season and there are many reasons for us to be thankful to God for, but have you ever wondered what Jesus was thankful for. Luke 7 records the account of what we generally refer to as the Lord’s supper, wherein Jesus communes with his apostles on the evening of the passover. But before Jesus served his apostles the elements of the cup and the bread, the Bible records, that Jesus first told them, how he, with desire, desired to eat the passover with them (Luke 7:15) and he gave thanks (Luke 7:17, 19). Symbolically the bread he broke and the cup he passed over to his apostles, signifies the willful sacrifice of Jesus’ body and blood, which he desired with joy to share with us, for us (Hebrews 12:2).

Points to ponder:
Jesus gave thanks to God for being the perfect, unblemished and acceptable sacrifice (Isaiah 53:10; Hebrews 10:10). He willfully broke himself from his Godship, and humbled himself, to death, even death on a cross (Philippians 2:6-7), shedding his blood by which we all have pardon from our sins (Matthew 26:28). Jesus’ desire is to commune with you and me. Are we willing to take him in? We can give thanks this thanksgiving season, for Jesus who became the sacrifice for us. Jesus himself did!

Luke 7: 14-20 (KJV)
14 And when the hour was come, he sat down, and the twelve apostles with him.
15 And he said unto them, With desire I have desired to eat this passover with you before I suffer:
16 For I say unto you, I will not any more eat thereof, until it be fulfilled in the kingdom of God.
17 And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and said, Take this, and divide it among yourselves:
18 For I say unto you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine, until the kingdom of God shall come.
19 And he took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me.
20 Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you.

Jesus Gave Thanks :: to Satisfy us


It is thanksgiving season and there are many reasons for us to be thankful to God for, but have you ever wondered what Jesus was thankful for. Matthew 15 records the account of Jesus miraculously feeding 4000 men, besides women and children, with just seven loaves of bread and a few fishes. But before Jesus performs the miracle of multiplying the few to feed the many, he gave thanks and broke the bread and gave it to his disciples to give it to the people (Matthew 15:16). The Bible records that all ate and were filled (satisfied) (Matthew 15:37).

Points to ponder:
Jesus gave thanks to God for the miracle of satisfying the people who had followed him and not eaten for three days (Matthew 15:32). He is the bread of life and all who come to (follow) him shall be satisfied and filled and shall never hunger (John 6:35). Are you fasting and following Jesus? Am I fasting and following Jesus? We can give thanks this thanksgiving season, for Jesus who satisfies us to the fullest, unlike any other.

Matthew 15:32-39 (KJV)
32 Then Jesus called his disciples unto him, and said, I have compassion on the multitude, because they continue with me now three days, and have nothing to eat: and I will not send them away fasting, lest they faint in the way.
33 And his disciples say unto him, Whence should we have so much bread in the wilderness, as to fill so great a multitude?
34 And Jesus saith unto them, How many loaves have ye? And they said, Seven, and a few little fishes.
35 And he commanded the multitude to sit down on the ground.
36 And he took the seven loaves and the fishes, and gave thanks, and brake them, and gave to his disciples, and the disciples to the multitude.
37 And they did all eat, and were filled: and they took up of the broken meat that was left seven baskets full.
38 And they that did eat were four thousand men, beside women and children.
39 And he sent away the multitude, and took ship, and came into the coasts of Magdala.

John 6:35 (KJV)
35 And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.

Give Thanks – For enduring mercy


When a prisoner on death row was brought before the judge for trial, he was extremely afraid, regarding the verdict he was to receive. The judge perceiving his anxiety tried to alleviate his fear by saying, “Don’t worry young man, you will be tried fairly and will have justice today!”. To this the prisoner responded, “It is not justice that I need, it is mercy.”

Many of us like this prisoner, who have been in the bondage of sin, and on death row (Romans 6:23), don’t need justice, but Mercy. Thanks be to God, who remembered us in our low estate and redeemed us (Psalm 136:23-24) for His Mercy is everlasting; it endures forever. The vilest offender and the greatest sinner in the world, is not out of the scope of God’s mercy as long as they believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, on whom God’s wrath and justice was poured so that we all could receive God’s mercy. It is because of God’s mercy that we don’t get what we rightfully deserve and consumed (Lamentation 3:22).

O perfect redemption, the purchase of blood,
To every believer, the promise of God;
The vilest offender who truly believes,
That moment from Jesus a pardon receives.

It is not justice, but mercy we need and we need to Give Thanks to God for His mercy is not only new every morning (Lamentation 3:22-23), but that it endures forever (Psalm 136). O Give thanks to the LORD, for his mercy endures for ever, Give thanks to the God of gods, for his mercy endures forever, Give thanks to the Lord of lords, for his mercy endures for ever … (Psalm 136:1-3)

Psalm 136:1-26 (KJV)
O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever.
O give thanks unto the God of gods: for his mercy endureth for ever.
O give thanks to the Lord of lords: for his mercy endureth for ever.
To him who alone doeth great wonders: for his mercy endureth for ever.
To him that by wisdom made the heavens: for his mercy endureth for ever.
To him that stretched out the earth above the waters: for his mercy endureth for ever.
To him that made great lights: for his mercy endureth for ever:
The sun to rule by day: for his mercy endureth for ever:
The moon and stars to rule by night: for his mercy endureth for ever.
10 To him that smote Egypt in their firstborn: for his mercy endureth for ever:
11 And brought out Israel from among them: for his mercy endureth for ever:
12 With a strong hand, and with a stretched out arm: for his mercy endureth for ever.
13 To him which divided the Red sea into parts: for his mercy endureth for ever:
14 And made Israel to pass through the midst of it: for his mercy endureth for ever:
15 But overthrew Pharaoh and his host in the Red sea: for his mercy endureth for ever.
16 To him which led his people through the wilderness: for his mercy endureth for ever.
17 To him which smote great kings: for his mercy endureth for ever:
18 And slew famous kings: for his mercy endureth for ever:
19 Sihon king of the Amorites: for his mercy endureth for ever.
20 And Og the king of Bashan: for his mercy endureth for ever:
21 And gave their land for an heritage: for his mercy endureth for ever:
22 Even an heritage unto Israel his servant: for his mercy endureth for ever.
23 Who remembered us in our low estate: for his mercy endureth for ever:
24 And hath redeemed us from our enemies: for his mercy endureth for ever.
25 Who giveth food to all flesh: for his mercy endureth for ever.
26 O give thanks unto the God of heaven: for his mercy endureth for ever.

Give Thanks – Why and For What?


This thanksgiving season, some of us, take time to reminisce on the reasons as to why we ought to be thankful, while many are caught in the flurry of the season with sales-buster shopping, cooking turkeys and partying with friends, all of which, in and of themselves are okay as long as they don’t become the focus of the season. I was wondering today as to the reasons why I should be thankful and also pondering on what I should be thankful for.

The answer to the ‘Why’ question as to the reason that we should be thankful is pretty straightforward according to the Bible. The Bible tells us that in everything (all circumstances of life), we must give thanks for this is the will of God concerning us (1 Thessalonians 5:18). It also counsels us, that it is a good thing to sing thanks unto the Lord and sing praises to the name of the Most High God (Psalm 92:1).

But what must we be thankful for?
To answer this question, follow along the conversation, that I had with our beloved 5 year old son, Reuben, last afternoon.
Me: Reuben, what are you thankful for?
Reuben: My family and friends, my toys, my brother (to be born in March 2012), my video games.
Me: Who are you missing?
Reuben: Mama’s mama (Gaagi), Gamma (my mom), Mama’s dada (Gaaga), your dada (my dad)
Me:  Who are you missing that should come first?
Reuben: God
Me: God, who?
Reuben: God, Jesus Christ!
Me: Why should you be thankful to Jesus Christ?
Reuben: Because he made us and he did all those things for us.
Me: What things?
Reuben: He made us from dust; He died for us on the Cross; He rose again for us; and that is all I can think of!

Interestingly, what our son, told and taught me as to “What we should be thankful for?” is very scriptural and Biblical. The Bible tells us we must give thanks at the remembrance of God’s holiness (Psalm 30:4). In other words, a remembrance of God’s holiness and purity, brings to mind our own unholiness and impurity (sinfulness) and highlights that our souls were on its way to the grave, because the sting of sin is death (1 Corinthians 15:56), but God has kept us alive,  so that we should not go down to the pit (Psalm 30:3) and given us victory through the death and resurrection of his Son, Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 15:57)

So what must we be thankful for?
We must be thankful for Jesus Christ; for the love of God; a love so great that while we were still sinners, Christ died in our stead to keep us alive and from going down to the pit (hell). We must be thankful because He made us (in his own image) and He died for us and rose again to reign, and that is all we should think of!

Psalm 30:3-4 (KJV)
O LORD, thou hast brought up my soul from the grave: thou hast kept me alive, that I should not go down to the pit.
Sing unto the LORD, O ye saints of his, and give thanks at the remembrance of his holiness.

1 Corinthians 15:56-57 (KJV)
56 The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law.
57 But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

1 Thessalonians 5:18 (KJV)
18 In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

Psalm 92:1 (KJV)
IT IS A GOOD THING TO GIVE THANKS UNTO THE LORD, AND TO SING PRAISES UNTO THY NAME, O MOST HIGH: