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Thanks to Who?

by Skip Heitzig |
Have you noticed how Hollywood pays lip service to faith? In show after show on TV around this time of year, we see people sitting down to a Thanksgiving dinner. The father will tell the guests, "Now we'll all tell what we're thankful for." And the guests are suitably impressed as everyone around the table recites their blessings to each other. They omit just one thing: Saying to whom they are thankful.

On "The Simpsons," son Bart is perhaps more honest than most. In one episode, Bart is "praying," and he says, "We paid for all this stuff ourselves. Thanks for nothing." We might laugh or shake our heads, but that's the attitude of a lot of people today, in popular entertainment and in real life. God is given credit for something only if it's seen as "miraculous." The more "ordinary" gifts are looked upon as being due to our own merit, talent, or hard work.

Yet, the Bible has a very different outlook on this: "Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights" (James 1:17). Notice that he says every good gift. Not only the physical necessities, but your intellect, your strength, and the skills that enable you to obtain what you need.

Moses warned the Israelites against forgetting God. In Deuteronomy 8:11-18, he listed a few of the many things God did for them in releasing them from Egyptian bondage. And he said, "Beware that you do not forget the Lord your God… then you say in your heart, ‘My power and the might of my hand have gained me this wealth'" (v. 11, 17). On the contrary, he reminded them, "And you shall remember the Lord your God, for it is He who gives you power to get wealth" (v. 18).

The Apostle Paul echoes this truth in 1 Corinthians 4:7: "And what do you have that you did not receive? Now if you did indeed receive it, why do you boast as if you had not received it?"

So, the proper response is thanksgiving to God for all the blessings in your life. Not an empty announcement to nobody-in-particular saying, "I'm glad I have all this stuff." An open, joyous offering of thanks to the One who provides all your needs and "satisfies our mouth with good things" (Psalm 103:5). You may have "bought all this stuff yourself" but ultimately, every good gift comes from God.

"Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good!" (Psalm 136:1).

In His strong love,

Skip Heitzig

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The Daily God Book: Through the Bible in 365 Days

The Daily God Book: Through the Bible in 365 DaysThe Daily God Book: Through the Bible in 365 Days is an innovative devotional by Skip Heitzig. In it, you'll find unique insights on key stories and chapters throughout the Bible, along with points to consider as you read.

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