27th November 2016

Giving Thanks 

“….give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
1 Thessalonians 5:18 (NIV UK) 

While travelling through Dana Point, California, I stopped into a pizza shop hoping for a bite to eat. As I placed my order and made my way to an empty booth, I started looking around the room. The walls were covered with old surfboards and vintage beach photographs. But one decoration caught my eye: a small “Thank You” card mounted in an elegant frame. As I looked closer, I realised why so much care had gone into this tiny decoration. It was a “Thank You” card from former president George H. W. Bush.

The message was simple, acknowledging how much he enjoyed his visit to Dana Point and particularly pointing out how good the pizza was at this restaurant. But as I read it, I could see how this very small gesture was received by the owners of this shop. They’d taken it and placed it in a frame for everyone to appreciate.

That simple phrase “Thank You” is one of the most powerful sentiments in the human language. And it’s one that transcends every culture and language. It’s a way of recognising what another person has done for you, acknowledging that in some way, big or small—they’ve made your life better. But more than that, it’s an invitation to relationship. Nine times out of ten, the response you get from saying “Thank You” is “You’re Welcome.”

For most of us, the holiday season means the stress of travelling long distances, cooking for a large number of relatives and friends and trying to make the budget stretch. But there’s one thing that we can all do that has a lasting impact on our relationships. It’s very simple.

More than just giving thanks, we can live a life of gratitude, and make the most out of every opportunity that we’re given. As Paul wrote to the Thessalonians, “Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ” (1 Thessalonians 5:18).

Great Father, please accept our thanks and our praise. Help us to extend that, as you have commanded us through your Son, to all we come into contact with. Through Jesus Christ we pray.

Study by Joseph Tkach


joeandtammyAbout the Author:
Joseph Tkach is the President of Grace Communion International (the Denominational name of The Worldwide Church of God UK), and resides in California, USA.

You are welcome to attend one of our local Church congregations located throughout the UK and Ireland. For details of your nearest local congregation, check on our website, www.gracecom.org.uk under the ‘Churches’ tab, or ring +44 (0)1858 437099.

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