As I reflect upon my childhood years, I admit my two younger brothers and I were spoiled children. We regularly received what we rarely deserved. I am amazed to think of all sorts of stuff we accumulated over the years given to us by our family and friends. We received everything from baseball cards to toys, candy and sports equipment. Each time we were graciously given yet another gift, my parents would ask us the same question: “What do you say?” The implied response, of course, was “thanks!” It was simple advice offered to us repeatedly. “Always remember to say thank you.”
The Apostle Paul offers similar advice in our reading. He commands readers to live in the spirit of joy, immerse themselves in prayer, and “give thanks in all circumstances.” Why are believers called to thanksgiving? Simply put, “this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” God desires to see his children live thankfully. Incentives for thanksgiving are not based on gifts such as baseball cards or candy. The supreme incentive for a life of continual thanks is Jesus Christ, who died so that “we may live together with him.” So what do you say?
– Mike Hardeman
Dear Lord, thank you for all your gracious gifts – especially the gift of Jesus Christ our Lord.