It is my habit each morning to read passages from my ESV Bible. I usually start with a chapter from an Old Testament book, then I read a psalm before reading from the New Testament. Today, I found a common theme of thanksgiving in all three of my readings.
Here are three relevant extracts:
‘When all the people of Israel saw how the fire came down and the glory of the LORD on the temple, they bowed down with their faces to the ground on the pavement and worshipped and gave thanks to the LORD, saying: “For he is good, and his steadfast love endures forever (2 Chronicles 7:3).”’
‘The LORD is my strength and my shield; in him my heart trusts, and I am helped; my heart exults, and with my song I give thanks to him (Psalm 28:7).’
‘For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving (1 Timothy 4:4);’
A characteristic of believers is their thankfulness to the Lord for all that He has done for them and for all that He promises He will do for them. In gratitude they never want to stop praising and giving thanks to Him.
We find this with saints throughout the Bible. Daniel is a notable example from the Old Testament:
‘Now when Daniel knew that the writing had been signed, he went home. And in his upper room, with his windows open toward Jerusalem, he knelt down on his knees three times that day, and prayed and gave thanks before his God, as was his custom since early days (Daniel 6:10).’
Asaph, a leader in King David’s choir, is another example from the OT. In Psalm 50:14 he wrote, ‘Offer to God thanksgiving, and pay your vows to the Most High.’
Psalm 100 has the description, ‘ A PSALM FOR GIVING THANKS’:
‘Make a joyful shout to the LORD, all you lands!
Serve the LORD with gladness;
Come before His presence with singing.
Know that the LORD, He is God;
It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves;
We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.
Enter into His gates with thanksgiving,
And into His courts with praise.
Be thankful to Him, and bless His name.
For the LORD is good;
His mercy is everlasting,
And His truth endures to all generations.’
In the New Testament we find the Lord Himself giving thanks to His Father:
‘And He took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is My body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me (Luke 22:19)”’
Paul wrote in Colossians 4:2, ‘Continue earnestly in prayer, being vigilant in it with thanksgiving;’
We find him in Colossians 1:3 telling the church that: ‘We give thanks to the God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you.’
Thanksgiving is in the Christian DNA; it is part and parcel with walking in the Spirit (Acts 9:31; Romans 8:1, 4; Galatians 5:25).
The Christian’s immediate and forever response to Jesus for his salvation is to praise and thank Him (Colossians 3:17; Hebrews 13:15).