ABC’s of Thanksgiving – Letter G

Ephesians 5:20 and 1 Thessalonians 5:18 tell me to always give thanks to God in all circumstances in Christ Jesus/Messiah Yeshua. Always being thankful no matter what my situation? Really? You’ve got to be kidding! But that’s God’s command to Christian and Messianic believers. So, just what does this mean???

I watched as the big black bird landed on the bird feeder. Sparrows went flying as the grackle took their place on the cup holding the sought-after seeds.

Not only did the little birds fly off but so did the seeds. I guess Mr. Greedy Grackle was particular in his diet. What he didn’t want flew to the ground.

Hmmm. That’s just like some people. I follow God’s instruction to do good works (Ephesians 2:10) – to be generous and willing to share (1 Timothy 6:18). And what does it get me?

My generousity is met with greed and grief. People take advantage of me. They take my willingness to share as something owed them. The sacrifices I have to make in order to do God’s will is unappreciated.

It’s not that I am resentful in wanting to please God (Colossians 1:10), but how can I be grateful in such shabby treatment?

Looking again at the bird feeder, I notice the sparrows on the ground. They are eating the seeds flung out of the cup by the grackle. To my chagrin, I am reminded of two things:

1) I do good works to reveal and glorify God (1 Peter 2:15), not me;

2)I follow in Jesus’ footsteps. He is the Good Shepherd (John 10:11) who laid down His life for me. The ultimate sacrifice! What are my sacrifices compared to that?

Even when I am taken advantage of and not appreciated, I can be thankful. I honor God by following His name, Giver of Good Gifts (Matthew 7:11).

My thankful spirit shows the work of God Who Breaks the Teeth of the Wicked (Psalm 3:7). Their response to my good deeds have no consequences – no bite – on me. I don’t do it for people. I do it for God. I live in His name, Good to All (Psalm 145:9).