July 20, 2008

In All Things Give Thanks

Colossians 3:15-17

Do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
Colossians 3:17


Many of us practice the habit of saying “thank you” to God most often during mealtime devotions. Someone once said that the easiest way to get some people to pray is to put a plate of food in front of them. Of course, it's appropriate to thank God for the gifts of food and drink (see John 6:11). But as today's Bible reading reminds us, gratitude is something that should permeate our entire lives. In line with this, 1 Timothy 4:4-5 says, “Everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, because it is consecrated by the word of God and prayer.” G. K. Chesterton once commented on the practice of “saying grace” before a meal. He saw that thanking God our Provider before eating our food was good. Then he went on to describe a host of other activities?such as reading and playing?that he would also not participate in until after he had offered a prayer of thanks to God. Perhaps we should “say grace” a lot more often. God has scattered little revelations of his goodness and grace all over his creation. The more aware of these gifts we become, the more grateful we will be. George MacDonald put it this way: “When in all gifts we find him, then in him we shall find all things.”

Thank you, Lord, for filling your world with so much goodness and beauty. Thank you for sending Jesus, your Son, the greatest gift of all. We pray in his name. Amen.

About the author — Peter Hoytema

Peter Hoytema has been a pastor for nearly 30 years and has served congregations in Ontario and New Jersey. He is currently the pastor of a congregation in Strathroy, Ontario. He is a graduate of Calvin Theological Seminary and San Francisco Theological Seminary. He and his wife, Grace, are the parents of four adult children.

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