Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Acknowledging God’s Good Gifts

On Father’s Day it’s a new tie.  On Valentine’s Day it’s a box of chocolate.  And, on Christmas it’s a Lifesavers Hard Candy Sweet Storybook.  These are the gifts you receive, but they might not be the perfect gift.

Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow. (James 1:17, NASB)

Without using the exact word, this verse gives us the essence of being thankful.  The Greek words that are translated “thankful,” “thankfulness,” and “thanksgiving” are derived from a compound word consisting of “well” and “grace.”  When we say that we are thankful for a gift, we are acknowledging the appropriateness of that gift.

God’s grace gifts to us are always the exactly right gift, at the right time, given for the right reason.

When we receive a tie or a box of candy we say “thank you” because we appreciate the act of giving.  When we say “thank you” to God we are also saying, “This is the perfect gift and your timing is perfect.”

Beyond just expressing our thanks for God’s gifts, we need to acknowledge that they are good gifts.  Here are a few verses from the New Testament that teach us to be grateful to God.  For the purpose of illustration, I’ve added a phrase whenever we are told to be thankful.  There is no intention to diminish being thankful.  Rather, I hope to show you the power of continually acknowledging that God’s gifts are always perfect.

Ephesians 5:20
Always giving thanks (acknowledging the goodness of God’s gifts) for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father.

Colossians 3:17
Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks (acknowledging the goodness of God’s gifts) through Him to God the Father.

1Thessalonians 5:16-18
Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks (acknowledge the goodness of God’s gifts); for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.

Colossians 2:6-7
Therefore as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, having been firmly rooted and now being built up in Him and established in your faith, just as you were instructed, and overflowing with gratitude (acknowledgement of the goodness of God’s gifts).

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