November 25, 2021
The little fellow forgot one of the pieces when he opened his birthday present. Overjoyed with his new remote car, he ran off excitedly to play with it, not realizing he had left behind the most important piece of the present: expressing his thanks for the gift. The present offered the boy moments of fun but also the opportunity for his heart to grasp the kindness and thoughtfulness of the parents who gave it to him.
We can become so accustomed to the daily gifts the Lord gives that we fail to remember Him above the gift. Giving thanks puts everything in proper order, deepens the meaning of the gift, and strengthens the relationship the gift is meant to enhance.
When Paul was remembering how special the believers in Rome were to him, he said, "First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you" Romans 1:8. Even in appreciating others, Paul thanked God first. Thanking Him first deepens our union with Him, heightens the joy of the gift, and brings us a refreshment from the Lord that is a gift in itself.
The leper Jesus healed "threw himself at Jesus' feet and thanked Him" Luke 17:16. It's no wonder Jesus celebrated his thankfulness and told him "Rise and go. Your faith has made you well" Luke 17:19. The leper left truly healed because of his thankful heart towards the Lord.
Pastor Greg Brownell
United Brethren Church