Just a short drive from my former home is the campus of Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. Years ago, the school had a life-saving squad that assisted passengers on the Lake Michigan boats. On September 8, 1860, a passenger boat, the Lady Elgin, floundered near Evanston, and a ministerial student, Edward Spencer, personally rescued seventeen persons.
The exertion of that day permanently damaged his health and he was unable to train for the ministry. When he died some years later, it was noted that not one of the seventeen persons he had saved ever came to thank him.
Some people are appreciative by nature, but some are not; and it is these latter people who especially need God’s power to express thanksgiving. We should remember that every good gift comes from God and that He is (as the theologians put it) “the Source, Support, and End of all things.” The very breath in our mouths is the free gift of God.
Thankfulness is the opposite of selfishness. The selfish person says, “I deserve what comes to me! Other people ought to make me happy!” But the mature Christian realizes that life is a gift from God, and that the blessings of life come only from His bountiful hand.
Scripture for today: “Let the peace of Christ rule your hearts…. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts” (Colossians 3:15-16, NIV).
Also read: Colossians 1:3, 12; 2:7; 4:2; James 1:17.
Action assignment: Let the Scripture for today rule your life. Don’t wait for Thanksgiving Day. Cultivate a truly thankful spirit! Ask God to help you.
WARREN W. WIERSBE