A Grateful Heart

Dec 31, 2023 | Sunday Devotional

Psalm 136:1-3 “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 lord’s; for His mercy endureth for ever.

What could you give to God that would express your gratitude and convey honor to Him? Hebrews chapter 13:15 suggest the “sacrifice of praise”. All throughout Scripture we see people offer this sacrifice to God. Job worshipped God when he had nothing (Job 1:20-21). The book of Psalms chronicles David’s praise in both the good times and the bad. Mary expressed praise when she learned she was to be the mother of Christ. (Luke 1:46-55).

And one man from the group of ten lepers Jesus healed offered thanks and praise (Luke 17:15-16). From these testimonies, we see that our Thanksgiving should be continual – not contingent on our mood or current circumstances.

A.W.Tozer said, “Gratitude is an offering precious in the sight of God, and it is one that the poorest of us can make and be not poorer but richer for having made it”. Even in times when we do not have much as others in way of material blessings, we still have so much for which to be thankful. And when we purposefully give thanks to God, that sacrifice of our heart is pleasing to Him.

The giving of thanks is a habit which we can develop and cultivate. By focusing on the good things we have and realizing that every one of them came from God, we find that even in times of lack we can be thankful. “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights , with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning”. (James 1:17).

Thanksgiving requires that we set aside our pride and desire to take credit for what we have and that we acknowledge the goodness of God in providing for us.

When we think we deserve good things, we find it hard to be thankful, and we often miss the blessings God sends ” in disguise “.

There are times when God does not answer our prayers as we expect, but there is never a time when He does not do what is best for His children. His faithfulness, love, mercy, and compassion are unchanging. Rather than complain that we do not get exactly what we want, we should be grateful that He is constantly guarding enriching our lives. Every good thing that we have is from God.
Because He has perfect knowledge, perfect power and perfect love, we can count on Him to know what is best, to be able to do what is best, and to give us what we need. Our Thanksgiving and gratitude should be as consistent as the compassion of our loving Heavenly Father.

Rather than looking at our possessions as token of our effort, intellect, and superiority, we should look at them as tokens of God’s love and grace.

He Gives Us So Much More Than We Deserve, And Giving Thanks To Him Helps Us Remain On Guard So That We Do Not Forget Him. Give Thanks Unto The LORD Of Lords For This Is Good, For His Mercy Endureth Forever. Happy And Prosperous New year To You In Jesus Mighty Name Amen.

Pastor Paul Okonkwo
Independent Baptist Bible Church (IBBC),
New Haven,

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