What do I need and want? Life begins in a breathing, moving, blood-warmed, hungry body whose health is urgent. Our bodies produce other human beings. I want all for my offspring that I want for myself. We need a shelter, a bed, a food-filled table, rain for productive land and protection from warring enemies. A good life requires physical and material provision but there is more.
Within the body is an eternal soul that cries for the Creator. Each has a conscience that agrees with God that there is good and evil, right and wrong. The spiritual man needs food, shelter and protection of a different kind. God has a plan for providing all our needs. Adam’s sin brought toil, sweat, sorrow and death upon all and we struggle to survive; but another Man was born to replace the reign of death with the reign of grace and life (Romans 5:21). Its “government [is] upon his shoulder” (Isaiah 9:6).
Jesus is our greatest blessing and takes us from the temporal realm to eternal life by saving us from sin’s penalty. Wise men appreciate good and want connection to its Source. They know that God must be worshipped and “inhabits” (Psalm 22:3) our praises. The wise acknowledge Him and confess with gladness the mercies and blessings which He gives to all men.
“But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you” (Matthew 6:33). God’s blessings from His “good treasure” (Deuteronomy 28:12) are for those who obey and put Him first in life. Jesus, our eternal Priest, ministers continually (Hebrews 7:24) and to those who really know Him every day is a day of thanksgiving. “By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, … giving thanks to his name” (Hebrews 13:15).
Unthankfulness pushes God away. It is a refusal of His goodness. “When they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful” (Romans 1:21) and their hearts grew dark. When the Light is refused, the relationship is impossible. God’s plan from eternity past and in the future is to give man eternal life. He sent His Son “to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the Most Holy” (Daniel 9:24). Our many blessings are in His plan but this thankworthy plan requires something from us.
As kids we “turned” thanks. Return. We can never repay God for life and blessings but we can return thanks. He wants only us and our thankful hearts. It’s the RRR plan. Receive. Repent. Return. Receive the Gospel of Christ by faith. Repent of sin. Return thanks and praise to Him. “And I will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty” (2 Corinthians 6:18). The more we worship and praise in thanksgiving, the closer we draw to God and the stronger our faith becomes. Blessings just keep coming and we keep going to live with Him forever.