“Thanks” and “Giving.”


Psalms 100:4-5: Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. 5 For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.

Ephesians 5:20 says we are to be “giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

We begin by examining the word “Thanksgiving” itself. It is composed of two ordinary words, “thanks” and “giving.”

We give thanks, in general, to those who have delivered to us a blessing. Some act of grace, some gift or charity, these are the things that sparked the word “Thanksgiving.”

This is particularly so because of the second half of the word, “giving.” Whatever it is that we received it was not something we exchange value to get.

Of course, in America the word also connotes a particular holiday in which we give thanks and share the bounty of the land.

Thanksgiving is also the proper response of the human being to a gift from God. In that context I would like you to examine your prayer life today. Most people in prayer forget to give thanks; they rush right on into their list of petitions. Giving thanks has been reduced to a formality. So often, it’s one sentence, followed by a very long list of things you would like to have fixed, or healed, or something just a little better off than it is.

If this is your prayer habit, consider how little you would be inclined to answer such a petition. This may cause your prayers to be neglected.

But as he has given us the Lord’s prayer to guide us and how we should pray he has guided us to his castle of the gifts hearing communion. It takes very little time for you to examine yourself in communion once the benefits of that have been stated, as you begin to realize the blessings that God has given you. Indeed, it is a good thing to do this because you will see the grandeur of his creation; you’ll see the blessings of his love.

Most of all you will discover the blessings given to you for his sacrifice. You should indeed be thankful that you have both body and soul so that you can do this.

But first and foremost, consider his sacrifice on the cross. His body bled and died there for you and you should have some feeling of Thanksgiving.

So, take care this morning to remind yourself of what the Christian should be doing during communion. It is not a time to be thinking of your after church lunch meal, but rather to contemplate a great extent of his gift and his mercy. We are all but sinners saved by grace and it is fitting that every week we should acknowledge that fact. Confess those sins; repent of those sins and then join in identifying yourself with the body and blood of Christ, through his communion.

PRAYER: We thank you, Father, for that life which you have made known to us through Jesus your Son, by whom you made all things, and take care of the whole world. You sent him to become man for our salvation. You allowed him to suffer and to die. You raised him up, glorified him, and have set him at your right hand, and in Him you have promised us the resurrection of the dead. May you bless the bread and cup, as I partake in this covenant renewal.

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