Ephesians 5:20, “Giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ”
To have all earthly gifts, pleasures, and benefits without also knowing the heavenly Giver and our Creator is a tragedy of eternal proportions! The Word of God clearly teaches that if we do not respond to God’s gracious gifts by acknowledging the heavenly Benefactor, our ungratefulness will only ensure our final doom and misery (Romans 2:4-10). However, to fully appreciate and appropriate these lesser gifts from God, we must possess the greater Gift – Jesus Christ. My beloved, to know Him (Jesus Christ) is at the heart and core of all true blessedness. All thankful praise must arise from hearts that can exclaim, “Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!” (2 Corinthians 9:15).
Many years ago in Germany the story has been told of a young man who lay on an operating table. A skilled surgeon stood next to him and a group of his students were nearby. The surgeon said to the patient, “If you wish to say anything before we administer the anesthetic, now is your opportunity, for I must warn you that they will be the last words you will ever utter in this world.” The young man understood because his tongue was to be removed because of cancer. What words should he choose for such an occasion? After a long pause he said, “Thank God for Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior!” We should ask ourselves the same question and would we be able to say the same as this young man?
While writing this devotional my thoughts went to Psalm 107:21 that says, “Oh, that men would give thanks to the LORD for His goodness, and for His wonderful works!” I’ll close with the following illustration. A little girl told her pastor one day when he came to visit her that “she liked to play with the stars.” You see, she was confined to bed because of a severe spinal deformity, and her bed was positioned so that she had a good view of the sky. She wanted it that way so she could see the stars. “I wake up a lot at night and can’t get back to sleep,” she told the pastor, “and that’s when I play with the stars.”
Her pastor, curious about what she meant by that, asked, “How do you play with the stars?” The child answered, “I pick out one and say, ‘That’s Mommy.’ I see another and say, ‘That’s Daddy.’ And I just keep on naming the stars after people and things I’m thankful for – my brothers and sisters, my doctor, my friends, my dog.” And on and on she went, until at last she exclaimed, “But there just aren’t enough stars to go around.
My beloved, do you ever feel that way when you think about the many blessings God has showered on you? Of course, you could never name all your physical, spiritual, temporal, and eternal blessings. However, from time to time, it’s good to remember with thankfulness of heart His many gifts to us. And as you do, like that little girl, you’ll feel like exclaiming, “There just aren’t enough stars to go around!”
To appreciate God’s many gifts, first we must thank Him for His greatest gift of all – His Son Jesus Christ.