Speaking of Life

Giving Thanks

We'd love to hear what you're giving thanks for this holiday season. Write us at: givethanks@gci.org

(2.6 minutes)
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Biography:
Joseph Tkach

Joseph Tkach has been president of Grace Communion International since 1995. He holds a Doctor of Ministry degree from Azusa Pacific University. For more information about him, click here.

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Thanksgiving is right around the corner. It’s a time when we gather together with family and friends to give thanks for the blessings we’ve experienced over the last year. But so often the true meaning of giving thanks can get lost in the food, football and movies. So this week, I wanted to take a look at what giving thanks actually looks like from a spiritual perspective.

As Christians we’re the adopted children of God through Christ. And our Father in Heaven is continually showering us with his love, grace and mercy. When we open our hearts and accept these perfect gifts, through our relationship with Christ, we enter into a beautiful relational cycle with our Lord – one of giving and receiving – that sanctifies and refines us as Christians.

Now let’s take a look at how that played out in the scriptures. “On his way to Jerusalem, Jesus traveled along the border between Samaria and Galilee. As he was going into a village, ten men who had leprosy met him. They stood at a distance and called out in a loud voice, “Jesus, Master, have pity on us!” When he saw them, he said, “Go, show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went, they were cleansed” (Luke 17:11-14).

But that’s not where the story ends. One of the ten lepers, after being declared clean, ran after Jesus, catching up with our Savior and thanking him. Jesus welcomed the response because this Samaritan alone had completed the circle of relationship by returning to give thanks. This one alone truly received all that Christ had offered to the men. You see, Jesus didn’t just offer the men a physical healing – he wanted to give them a continuing relationship with himself as the mediator of God’s blessings.

What I enjoy about this story is the spotlight that Luke shines on the importance of thanksgiving in a living relationship with God through Christ. The power of thanks can truly never be underestimated. This holiday season, I hope we’ll remember to focus on the mercy and love our Lord has given to us, and our neighbors and know that God welcomes our turning back to him in thanksgiving.

I’m Joseph Tkach, Speaking of LIFE.

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