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Series: Luis Palau | The Basics of Giving Thanks

In the spirit of Thanksgiving, we’re talking about giving thanks on “Reaching Your World with Luis Palau.”  Why should we be thankful, and how can we show gratitude? Luis reminds us of the many reasons we have to be grateful.  

Giving Thanks Friday, November 26, 2021

The other day I was reading the Gospel of Luke… Jesus was on his way to Galilee and came across ten men with leprosy. They asked Jesus to have pity on them and Jesus healed them. Now, here’s the verse that stood out to me. Luke 17:15 says, “One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice. He threw himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him.”

Jesus healed ten men. Of the ten, only one returned to thank him. How convicting! Jesus has healed us too. Through His sacrifice on the cross, He has made a way for us to have a relationship with Him. We can be forgiven of our sins, spend eternity with Him in heaven and live life with Him right now. And yet, how many of us have earnestly thanked Him? Are our daily lives clearly showing people our love and gratitude for our Savior?

If we’re to reach our world, people have to see that we are different. Our lives should reflect thankful hearts. As followers of Jesus, we need to show and tell the world how grateful we are for the difference Jesus Christ has made in our lives.

This is Andrew Palau.

How to be Thankful Thursday, November 25, 2021

As followers of Christ, Thanksgiving should be one of our favorite holidays. Sure, it isn’t a religious holiday in the sense that it celebrates the life of Christ. Instead, it reminds us of the blessings we have in Christ. Even when life is difficult, we always have the gift of salvation to be thankful for, and that is worth a Thanksgiving celebration.

How do we show our thankfulness to God, though? Psalm 100 says we are to “enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise. Give thanks to him; bless his name.” Doesn’t this sound like it could be a thanksgiving dinner? Traveling, joining with other believers, praising God’s name, giving thanks aloud and with great joy. Children and grandchildren should see and feel our praises to God for His goodness.

But as followers of Christ, we are called to be thankful beyond Thanksgiving. It’s part of our daily life. As Philippians says, we are commanded to “not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let [our] requests be made known to God.” So even in times of struggle and quiet, we can show our gratefulness by prayer and petition to Christ, not worrying but remembering how Christ has blessed us in the past. So, whether at Thanksgiving or as a daily occurrence, we are called to be thankful to the one who gives us life, strength, and all good things.

This is Luis Palau.

Who should be Thankful? Wednesday, November 24, 2021

The question “Who should be thankful?” seems like an easy one to answer. Everyone should be thankful, obviously. Everyone has something to be thankful for. But in reality, it’s easier said than done. Sometimes life is difficult and things go wrong. Someone loses a job, a loved one, or a dream. Maybe a family member is sick, bills are overwhelming, or the days feel lonely and hopeless. In those moments of struggle, our tendency can be to look at others and say, “Of course THEY can be thankful! Look at how perfect their lives are!”
The truth is that no one’s life is perfect. This is a fallen world. We all have struggles. But as followers of Jesus, we always have reason to be thankful. Colossians says, “Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.” Because of Christ, we are blessed, regardless of what life throws our way. This is why Paul could write from prison about how thankful he was - he was thankful for the kindness of God given through Jesus.

Thankfulness can be a difficult practice in difficult times, but when we remember that we are given life and strength from Christ, we can thank him for those gifts. Others will see and desire the same life of strength and gratitude that we show.

This is Luis Palau.

What is Thankfulness? Tuesday, November 23, 2021

As a kid, did your mom or dad ever make you write “thank you” notes? Maybe after your birthday party or after Christmas, they would sit you down at the kitchen table with a stack of notecards and stamps. You would have to write until your hand hurt, sentences like “thank you for the socks.” I know some of those thank-you notes were probably done because your parents were making you do it. It can be hard to be thankful for socks when you are a kid. But still, you wrote the notecard.

Sometimes people associate thankfulness with obligation. Sometimes we feel forced to be thankful, because sometimes things in life don’t go well. In those situations, it can be hard to be thankful. Yet, the Bible calls those who love God to be grateful. In Psalms, it says, “I will offer to you the sacrifice of thanksgiving and call on the name of the Lord.” Thankfulness is called a sacrifice. Sacrifices are often difficult. It means we give up something, or we have to lose something – time, or habits, or other difficult things. Yet this sacrifice is what God asks of us. Our gratefulness is not based on our circumstances – it is based on our love for God. The love of God is truly something to be grateful for, regardless of our circumstances. We don’t deserve God’s love, yet He lavished it on us. Let’s share this thankfulness with the world.

This is Luis Palau.

When should we be Thankful? Monday, November 22, 2021

American Thanksgiving Day is celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November each year. We have presidents Abraham Lincoln and Franklin D. Roosevelt to thank for that. Lincoln scheduled it, and Roosevelt made it a law. So every year, many Americans get that Thursday off, and we spend the day with those we love. There are many ways to celebrate Thanksgiving. Some families have a special recipe that is always made, like grandma’s pumpkin pie. Other families have a special tradition, where everyone shares what they are grateful for. Some families volunteer, helping those in need on Thanksgiving every year. These are all great things to do!

Regardless of how we celebrate, taking a day for giving thanks is important. Yet as Christians, we don’t just wait until the fourth Thursday of November. Following Christ means that we are “giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Eph. 5:20). Did you hear that? Always and for everything! We never stop giving thanks for everything in our lives. Thanksgiving isn’t just a holiday; it is a way of life for those of us who know God as our Father through Jesus Christ. When our lives are marked by thankfulness, others will want to know where our joyful gratitude comes from. Then we can introduce them to Jesus, and they can join us in our thankfulness.

This is Luis Palau.

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