Thanksgiving. What is the first thing that comes to mind when you read or hear that word? Is it a day, a family meal, or perhaps a specific menu of foods? Is it an attitude that comes and goes based on how you feel? Or is it a way of life which flows from you regardless of your circumstances? These devotions I will be sharing this month were originally written throughout November 2019 and then edited/updated during the summer of 2020 for a 31 day devotional journal, “The Heart of Thanksgiving: Living a Life of Thankfulness”. I will be re-sharing them here this month to encourage each of us to pursue a greater spirit of thankfulness in all we do.
Here is day fifteen with an important reminder that living with a heart of thanksgiving should cause us to be thankful for the good gifts we receive from God.
Thankful For Good Gifts
“Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers. Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.”
James 1:16-17 (NIV)
As I write this morning, I am thankful for the good gifts of God. As I walked to lunch yesterday, I passed several little flower gardens that had been planted in the concrete and asphalt jungle of the downtown city. To see a flowering kale doing its thing as it was tucked into a small patch of soil surrounded by sidewalk was a beautiful thing. While it took someone’s effort to put it there, for me it was a “good and perfect gift” from God. When quoting the above passage, it seems the leading verse that tells us not to be deceived often gets left off. I am thankful that I can see the gifts of God regardless of the apparent source or who He used to deliver the gift.
As I am spending a few days specifically talking with people about the prayer ministry and the devotional books I have written, I am very deliberate in giving God the credit for the gifts He has given me to share. I am thankful that God’s gifts are not trickery nor some sleight of hand, but He is constant in His intention and ability to do what is good and right. I am thankful that the good gifts God has given others have been used to instruct and equip me for a more faithful walk with Christ. I am thankful for the truth of God’s Word that guides me in right paths so I need not live as one who is deceived. I am thankful for pleasant surprises that only God could orchestrate.
I pray that you and I would live in such a way that we are not deceived. I pray that we would not only notice the good and perfect gifts which come from God, but that we would freely give Him the credit and glory for them. I pray that we would also be thankful for the people God may choose to use to deliver His good and perfect gifts. I pray that our paying attention to even the seemingly little things that come from God would lead us to be even more thankful each day.
What are some good gifts that you have? How often do you express thanks to God for those gifts? Why? Are there gifts you have received that are difficult to recognize as coming from God? Why? How does a spirit of thankfulness help you to more readily see God’s hand in all that is good?
As you pray, ask God to help you be more aware of His good gifts in everyday life. Pray that you would see God’s goodness in greater ways as you learn to be more thankful.
May God be praised abundantly, both now and forevermore, for His very good and perfect gifts with the greatest of them being the gift of salvation through Jesus Christ.