THANKS come first!

Following Jesus' example, we can learn to give thanks before receiving a gift or a blessing. Thanking God first is proof of our trust that God is always with us. Take this month to give more thanks than ever!

By Caryl W. Krueger.

Categories: Gratitude, Gratitude (Thanksgiving)

You might be surprised if your youngster said "thanks" before receiving a gift, or before having a piece of cake, or on the way to the movie. It's more common to say "thank you" after the goodness is received. But if you know the New Testament stories about Jesus, then you know that he gave thanks to God before performing what might be termed "miracles" and healings. He was so trusting in God's power, that he showed his gratitude first, and often.

During the season of Thanksgiving and you don't have to wait for the turkey dinner to thank God for His goodness, especially as it relates to your family. For the four Mondays in November, I am offering a quote from The Bible to be read and discussed at breakfast or dinner when all the family is present. Ask youngsters what the quote means and how it can be useful in their activities that week. These quotes are from the most commonly used King James version of The Bible, but you can get further meaning by looking them up in other translations that you have. I've also suggested a few questions you might use to generate discussion.

To read on Monday, November 7:

".....we thy people and the sheep of thy pasture will give thee thanks forever: we will show forth thy praise to all generations." (Psalm 79:13) Questions: What does it mean to be a sheep in God's pasture? How many generations are there in our family?

To read on Monday, November 14:

".....thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ...." (II Corinthians 2:14) Question: What can we triumph over this week? What has Christ to do with it?

To read on Monday, November 21:

"Give thanks unto the Lord, call upon his name, make known his deeds among the people." (I Chronicles 16: 8) Questions: What does it mean to "call upon his name?" How can we share God's goodness/deeds with others?

To read on Monday, November 28:

"Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift." (II Corinthians 9:15) Question: What does "unspeakable" mean? What are God's gifts to us?

And one extra to read on Thanksgiving Day:

"Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another is psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus giving thanks to God and the Father by him." (Colossians 3: 16,17)

How easy – and refreshing – it is to sing those songs and give thanks!