Filled with the Spirit: Giving Thanks

Ephesians 5:20
August 11, 2019
Abraham Hong

 

One thing that Christians often do is pray before each and every meal and give thanks to God. And it is truly a special moment. We thank God for our food. We thank God for our families and friends. We thank God for our faith in his Son, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

The reason why moments like these are special is because our thankfulness to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ is evidence that we are filled with the Spirit. I hope you see how wonderful this is. Giving thanks isn’t just about praying before meals or being grateful during the holidays. It isn’t ultimately about etiquette and good manners. It isn’t just about singing songs on Sundays with a smile.

When we give thanks to God, we remember our past as sinners as we are thankful for the salvation that we have in Christ. When we give thanks to God, we are truly happy in this old and fading world as we thankfully wait for Jesus’ return. When we give thanks to God, we remain humble as we thankfully depend on our Lord for all of his help. When we give thanks to God, we have a relationship with him as we are thankful for his love.

This is what our giving of thanks is all about. This is life filled with the Spirit. There was guilt. There is grace. And there will always be gratitude.

Dear child, do you give thanks to God like this? I hope so. I understand that this is not easy. Especially when you go through trials and sufferings or evils and wrongdoings in your life. Perhaps some of you just cannot give thanks to God because you find fault in him for things that happened in your life. I understand how hard it is to give thanks to God when you feel disappointed or disillusioned by him.

I dare not think that I can get you to change your mind about God in an instant. I dare not think that I can get you to give thanks to God on command. But I dare ask you to just think about one thing right now. I ask you to think about how Jesus gave thanks… with regard to you.

There were many moments when Jesus was thankful, but one thing that Jesus did was give thanks before eating food with others. And they were truly special moments. Jesus gave thanks when he miraculously fed the thousands with bread and fish. Jesus gave thanks when he lovingly shared the bread and the cup with his disciples at a meal that we observe today as the Lord’s Supper.

The reason why moments like these were special is because Jesus’ thankfulness is evidence of his love toward us. I hope you see how wonderful this is.

When Jesus gave thanks, it means that he loved sinners and was thankful to be with them and save them. When Jesus our Good Shepherd gave thanks, it means that he was truly happy to be with his lost sheep. When Jesus gave thanks, it means that he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death and counted us more significant than himself. When Jesus gave thanks, it means that he has a relationship with you. For we who are the church are the bride of Christ. And the King lovingly rejoices in his wife.

This is what Jesus’ giving of thanks is all about.

Therefore, dear child, may you give thanks to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Give thanks always. And for everything. Especially when you go through trials and sufferings or evils and wrongdoings in your life. When we give thanks in such times, we grow in remembering the big picture and we grow to trust that God is good and works all things for our benefit and for his glory. This is not the easy life. But this is the life that is filled with the Spirit. May you be encouraged this morning to give thanks to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

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