August 19: Thanksgiving – Expected, Free, and Abundant

We’re on our last day of looking at Thanksgiving in the “Hour of Prayer.”

As we wrap up – I want you to catch 3 key words that are somewhat contradictory when it comes to our attitude on prayer:

  1. Expected
  2. Free
  3. Abundant

Expected:

[12] And as he entered into a certain village, there met him ten men that were lepers, which stood afar off:
[13] And they lifted up their voices, and said, Jesus, Master, have mercy on us.
[14] And when he saw them, he said unto them, Go shew yourselves unto the priests. And it came to pass, that, as they went, they were cleansed.
[15] And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, and with a loud voice glorified God,
[16] And fell down on his face at his feet, giving him thanks: and he was a Samaritan.
[17] And Jesus answering said, Were there not ten cleansed? but where are the nine?
[18] There are not found that returned to give glory to God, save this stranger.
[19] And he said unto him, Arise, go thy way: thy faith hath made thee whole.

Luke 17:12-19

Notice Jesus in Luke 17:17 – “Where are the nine?” Jesus was expecting them to “return to give glory to God” – yet they were missing. Jesus expects us to give glory to God thru our thanksgiving!

Free:

How can something ‘expected’ be ‘free?’

[29] And when ye will offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving unto the LORD, offer it at your own will.

Leviticus 22:29

God does not force us to give thanks. He wants us to offer thanks. This is a bit of an oxymoron but this fits nicely with the picture of loyalty we saw yesterday – God is loyal to disloyal people because of His love. God also wants us to love Him not because of a command but as a free response of our heart. Yet if the heart response is missing, Jesus comments on it publicly!

Abundant:

[7] Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving.

Colossians 2:7

Paul tells us that we should be thankful, and in this verse, that we should be abounding in thanksgiving. Yet it is again a voluntary action that makes our Father smile!

So take some time today and give thanks abundantly and freely!

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