Thank God for Who He Is, Not Just What He Does
By Rick Warren
“Giving thanks is a sacrifice that truly honors me” (Psalm 50:23 NLT).
Anytime you thank someone, you honor that person. For example, if I say to my wife, “Honey, I’m so grateful for that great Thanksgiving dinner you made,” I just honored my wife. When I say to her mom, “I want to thank you for having Kay so I could marry her,” I am honoring her mom. When I say to someone, “Thank you for opening the door for me” or “Thank you for coming to the service,” I am honoring that person. An expression of gratitude is a way of honoring another person.
The Bible says this is also true about God: “Giving thanks is a sacrifice that truly honors me” (Psalm 50:23 NLT).When you sacrifice by giving thanks, you are sacrificing your time. It takes time to think of things to be grateful for.
My wife likes me to say, “Thank you” for the things she does for me. But if that’s all I ever did, she’d begin to wonder, “Does he really love me, or does he just love me for the things I do for him?” At some point, I have to start moving to a higher level of thanksgiving, which is not just thanking my wife for what she does but thanking her for who she is. That’s a deeper, more mature kind of thanksgiving.
If the only time your kids thanked you was when you gave them their allowance, you’d begin to wonder, “Do they love me, or do they just love the money?”
If all you do is thank God for letting you get into this class or for giving you this food or for all the things he does for you, it’s worth asking yourself, “Do I really love God, or do I just love the things that God does for me?”
We must learn to thank God not just for what he does but who he is: “God, thank you that your wisdom is greater than mine. Thank you that you know what will make me happy more than I do. Thank you that you’re consistent when I’m inconsistent. Thank you for your love and your mercy, and that you’re always fair. Thank you that even when I don’t understand something, you have my best interest at heart.”
The kind of gratitude that goes beyond “Thank you, God, for our food” to “Thank you, God, for who you are” honors God, and it gives you deeper spiritual roots.
Talk It Over
Doctors have shown in many reports that gratitude is the healthiest human emotion. Why do you think this is so?
How does radical gratitude help you grow closer to Jesus?
Every day this week, start the day by thinking of 10 things to thank God for. At the end of week, examine how this has affected your attitude and impacted each day.
For more Daily Hope with Rick Warren, please visit pastorrick.com!
Many people step into the Christmas season run down and worn out. And by the time January rolls around, they’re so exhausted that they’ve completely missed the real reason for the season.
But there’s really no better time to recalibrate your heart toward Jesus than during the holidays. And Pastor Rick Warren’s book, The Purpose of Christmas, can help you fill your Christmas with more of God’s love and peace by making Christ the center of your life.
This resource shows you . . .
• What Christmas means for your salvation
• How to surrender to God’s will
• Practical steps to overcome discouragement
• Why we celebrate Christmas at all
• How Christmas can be a time to make peace with others
The Purpose of Christmas is our way to thank you for your gift below to help more people learn, love, and live the Word – so request your copy when you give!
From all of us at Daily Hope, may you experience God’s peace and joy this holiday season!
This devotional © 2017 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
You can listen to Rick Warren on OnePlace.com.