Essential Elements of Thanksgiving

3:39 pm giving, God, grace, thanksgiving

A key concept related to thanksgiving is reciprocity.  Here are some important elements involved in thanksgiving.
The Benefactor.  The One who is the ultimate source of every good gift and every perfect gift is God!  “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning” (James 1:17).  “Father of lights” refers to God as the creator of the greater and lesser lights in the heavens.  God is the creator of all things.  He has the power to bless and the will to bless.
The Gifts.  God gives us our daily bread (Matt. 6:11).  He gives His Son to die for the sins of mankind (the unspeakable gift-II Cor. 9:15).  He gives everlasting life (John 3:16; Matt. 19:29).  He gives love, mercy, and grace (Eph. 2:4-9).  He gives us truth (Eph. 1:9). He gives all spiritual blessings in Christ (Eph. 1:3).  He gives us everything needful to sustain us in this life and in the world to come.
The Blessed.  God acts for the highest good of His special creation–man.  He sends the sunshine and the rain on the just and the unjust (Matt. 5:45).  In a sense, God blesses each person on the earth.  However, in a special sense and in a special way, God blesses His own children.  The people of God are His speical creation (Eph. 2:10).  God bestows the greatest spiritual blessings upon those who are “in Christ” (Eph. 1:3).
The Thankful.  The “thankful” are a special class of people who recognize God’s goodness toward them and reciprocate with gratitude.  The truly blessed give back something to God.  The nature of the gifts they give are different from God’s gifts to them.  But, they give:  (1) their love; (2) their devotion or worship including praise and adoration; (3) their lives in covenant relationship with Him; (4) their service (the labor of their hands including benevolent acts to others; and (5) their loyalty (faithfulness over time).  The thankful have humble hearts that have been touched by God’s grace.  They reciprocate out of sense of being debtors to God for all He has done for them.  Through gratitude they complete the circle of fellowship with God.  The truly thankful are Christians who reciprocate gratitude for God’s grace!

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