“The Big Thank You”

Thursday is Thanksgiving. Two things strike me as we prepare for the annual one-day gluttony fest masquerading as a day dedicated to gratitude. The first is how those who don’t believe in God express their gratitude. The second is the things for which Christ- followers express their thanks. First, the non-believers.

I don’t know about you, but I have heard non-believers say: “I don’t believe in God, but I am grateful for what I have.” That begs the question, to whom are they grateful? Doesn’t it stand to reason that if you are “giving” thanks that someone needs to be the recipient of that gratitude? Conversely, Christ-followers often ignore Paul’s advice in Ephesians 5:20 to always give thanks to God the Father for everything 364 days out of the year and then attempt to make up for it all at once on the fourth Thursday in November with a seemingly endless list. This is a fraction of my list:

Food (all)






Church family

Corn on the cob

Autumn colors

This church building

Perfectly grilled brat

Perfectly grilled anything

My sight

My hearing (what’s left of it)

There is much, much more. But you get the idea. There is nothing wrong, at all, with giving thanks for the many, many blessings from God that we enjoy. But in doing so, we often forget the “big thank you:” And just like the list above, we should give the “big thank you” every day. Most of us don’t and we event forget it on Thanksgiving Day:

8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.9 Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him? Romans 5:8-9 (NIV)

I encourage you to take a moment and reread and mediate on the Apostle Paul’s words to 1st Century believers in Rome. The love God demonstrated is truly beyond human comprehension. The Creator of all things left heaven for us, even though we did nothing to deserve it and couldn’t possibly do so. That, in fact, is why He had to do it. Who loves that way? God and Him alone. If we truly understand and believe those words, how can a day go by without us thanking God specifically for a salvation we couldn’t deserve and couldn’t earn, given at the expense of His only Son.

By all means, have a Happy Thanksgiving! Enjoy friends, family, food and, yes, even football. But as you do, I pray that you will take time to express the “Big Thank You” to the one who provides all those things. And let it be the start of a daily habit.

Pastor Jerry Bader

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