Happy Thanksgiving.  We’re having a houseful today.  We’re making 2 smallish turkeys (12 lbs each) instead of one big one.  Life’s easier that way.  Last night we did the dinner-time, “I’m thankful for…” conversation, and it was fun to hear my kids be so eager to be thankful.  It helped that we made it a race, “Who can be thankful first?”  “Me! Me! Me!”

Here’s a little Bible Study on being thankful.


  • Words for being thankful occur around 138 times in the Bible.
  • In the Old Testament (Hebrew) the main word is yadah which comes from the root for “hand.”  It means to lift the hand toward a person in praise and blessing.  Think about it.  When the Chicago Bears (or insert your team here or you kid’s team) score a touchdown, what happens to your hands?  It’s instinctive.  They go UP in excitement, gratitude and praise.  To be thankful is to overflow with pleasurable excitement at another person’s performance.
  • In the New Testament (Greek) the main word is eucharisteo, pronounced ev-car-ee-STOW.  It comes from the root word charis which means grace.  To be thankful means to acknowledge the good graces of another.  It means to recognize that someone gave you something which you didn’t earn and don’t deserve.  Thankfulness, like humility, is another expression of grace-orientation.


  • Jesus is thankful.  He is our example of living in an ocean of grace.
  • Mt 11:25* At that time Jesus answered and said, “I thank You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and prudent and have revealed them to babes.
  • Mt 26:27* Then He took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you.
  • Joh 11:41* Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead man was lying. And Jesus lifted up His eyes and said, “Father, I thank You that You have heard Me.
  • This makes me think that if Jesus,  whose whole career was downwardly mobile, was thankful, can’t I work up a little thankfulness too?


  • It’s very cool to me that angels are thankful.  I’ll say why after the verses:
  • Re 4:9* Whenever the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to Him who sits on the throne, who lives forever and ever,
  • Re 7:11* All the angels stood around the throne and the elders and the four living creatures, and fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God,
  • Re 7:12* saying: “Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom, Thanksgiving and honor and power and might, Be to our God forever and ever. Amen.”
  • Re 11:16* And the twenty-four elders who sat before God on their thrones fell on their faces and worshiped God,
  • Re 11:17* saying: “We give You thanks, O Lord God Almighty, The One who is and who was and who is to come, Because You have taken Your great power and reigned.
  • The angels’ thankfulness is cool because they’re with God face to face.  They understand by sight what we must take by faith: that all good gifts flow freely and undeservedly from God’s bountiful, benificent, beautiful hand.  



  • 2 Co 9:15 Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!  
  • Need I say more?

GOT THANKS?  (this list comes from Nave’s Topical Bible)



  • For Christ’s power and reign Re 11:17
  • For the reception and effectual working of the word of God in others 1Th 2:13 
  • For deliverance from indwelling sin, through Christ Ro 7:23-25 
  • For victory over death and the grave 1Co 15:57 
  • For wisdom and might Da 2:23  
  • For the triumph of the gospel 2Co 2:14
  • For the conversion of others Ro 6:17 
  • For faith exhibited by others Ro 1:8; 2Th 1:3 
  • For love exhibited by others 2Th 1:3  
  • For the grace bestowed on others 1Co 1:4; Php 1:3-5; Col 1:3-6
  • For the zeal exhibited by others 2Co 8:16 
  • For the nearness of God’s presence Ps 75:1 
  • For appointment to spiritual service 1Ti 1:12 
  • For willingness to offer our property for God’s service 1Ch 29:6-14 
  • For the supply of our bodily needs Ro 14:6,7; 1Ti 4:3,4
  • For all people 1Ti 2:1 
  • For all things 2Co 9:11; Eph 5:20
  • giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, (Ephesians 5:20, NKJV).


  • If we really knew him or just saw him, I think the thanksgiving would just bubble up from us.  We couldn’t help it… 
  • I will praise the name of God with a song, And will magnify Him with thanksgiving. (Psalms 69:30, NKJV).
  • I will offer to You the sacrifice of thanksgiving, And will call upon the name of the LORD. (Psalms 116:17, NKJV).
  • Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, And into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name. (Psalms 100:4, NKJV).


  • DANIEL:  Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went home. And in his upper room, with his windows open toward Jerusalem, he knelt down on his knees three times that day, and prayed and gave thanks before his God, as was his custom since early days. (Daniel 6:10, NKJV).
  • DAVID:  And so it was, when those bearing the ark of the LORD had gone six paces, that he sacrificed oxen and fatted sheep. Then David danced before the LORD with all his might; and David was wearing a linen ephod. So David and all the house of Israel brought up the ark of the LORD with shouting and with the sound of the trumpet. (2 Samuel 6:13-15, NKJV).  “Now therefore, our God, We thank You And praise Your glorious name. (1 Chronicles 29:13, NKJV).
  • ANNA:  (upon seeing the baby Jesus in the temple)  And coming in that instant she gave thanks to the Lord, and spoke of Him to all those who looked for redemption in Jerusalem. (Luke 2:38, NKJV).
  • JOSEPH:  Joseph called the name of the firstborn Manasseh: “For God has made me forget all my toil and all my father’s house.” And the name of the second he called Ephraim: “For God has caused me to be fruitful in the land of my affliction.” (Genesis 41:51, 52, NKJV).
  • KING JEHOSHAPHAT’S ARMY:  Then they returned, every man of Judah and Jerusalem, with Jehoshaphat in front of them, to go back to Jerusalem with joy, for the LORD had made them rejoice over their enemies. So they came to Jerusalem, with stringed instruments and harps and trumpets, to the house of the LORD. (2 Chronicles 20:27, 28, NKJV).
  • THE ONE LEPER:  As he entered a village there, ten lepers stood at a distance, crying out, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!” He looked at them and said, “Go show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went, their leprosy disappeared. One of them, when he saw that he was healed, came back to Jesus, shouting, “Praise God, I’m healed!” He fell face down on the ground at Jesus’ feet, thanking him for what he had done. This man was a Samaritan. Jesus asked, “Didn’t I heal ten men? Where are the other nine? Does only this foreigner return to give glory to God?” And Jesus said to the man, “Stand up and go. Your faith has made you well.” (Luke 17:12-19, NLT).


  • in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. (1 Thessalonians 5:18, NKJV).



Thank you, reader, for your encouragement and love.  You are a blessing to me.


6 thoughts on “Thanksgiving

  1. WOW! I am reading this Thanksgiving message at 6:45 a.m. What a glorious way to start the day set aside for giving thanks. Thanks you for inspiring words and encouragement to always be looking upward to our gracious Heavenly Father, from whom all blessings flow! We are so loved and cared for!

    Blessed Thanksgiving all!

  2. Several years ago my (young adult) son said to me, “I’m thankful you and Dad are married to each other, like each other, and like me. I don’t take that for granted.”

    I basked in his gratitude, but thought, “If there’s anything a kid should be able to take for granted . . . .”

    Which led to “Thank you, God, for all the things I can take for granted because of Your faithfulness.”

    Thanks for the devotional, Bill!

  3. Happy TDay to you and your family too – a couple days late, but just as well wished! It would be good if we all remembered to be thankful on the other 364 days of the year. Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts. You are one who blesses us, too, and we’re thankful for YOU!

    Our turkey was a bit smaller this year at 34 pounds. Last year’s was 41, remember? It’s hard to forget a turkey that huge. We had 43 people and loved every single minute of the bedlam. My precious husband, sisters, daughters, sons, and brothers helped so much in making this entire event happen without killing me! Praise God!

    The best part was reading some Psalms verses (95 and 100) to the group before dinner and having our eldest family member at 93 say the blessing prayer via the speaker telehphone as all 43 of us listened, joined in prayer, and had a few tears fall as we thanked our Almighty God for His abundant blessings upon us all. Very precious indeed!

    Oh, it seems my gravy was a huge hit this year!! Miracles do happen!

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