As Christians, we should dedicate our lives to serving God. Why wouldn’t we? After all, He sent His only begotten Son to die on the cross at Calvary to pay for the sins of all of mankind. So if you’re wondering how to give thanks to God for His tremendous gift, I’ve got some great suggestions for you.
We shouldn’t just take our free gift of salvation and run. Roman’s 12:1 KJV tells us “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.” Our reasonable service is to show our love and dedication to God and others.
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How to give thanks to God
Matthew 22:37-40 tells us
Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.” Matthew 22:37:40 KJV
Put God first
Giving thanks to God means putting Him first in everything! But there is more to putting God first than attending church on Sunday morning. God wants all of us. He loves us and He wants to be included in every single aspect of our lives. Just because God knows our every thought doesn’t mean that He doesn’t want to be included in every decision we make.
Putting God first also means we should consider His choice in the books we read, the music that we listen to and the television shows and movies that we watch. The old saying, WWJD or what would Jesus do, is a question we should ask about everything that we do. In today’s modern times it’s so easy to think that Jesus would approve of something like the book and movie, The Lion, Witch and the Wardrobe, just because there’s a similarity to Jesus at the end.
But would Jesus really approve? Satan loves Hollywood and loves to muddy our minds. Try the spirits. What does the Bible say? The Bible tells in Malachi 3:6 KJV “For I am the Lord, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.” That means that the 21st century is no different than the 1st century. Just because something is popular today, it doesn’t mean that God approves. You cannot love Jesus and the world.
Yes, it’s difficult to go against pop culture or try and find God’s message in something new and cool, but if it’s not all Godly, turn away from it. It’s either all of God or it’s not. But God knows we’re sinners. That’s where repentance comes in. We make mistakes but it’s mostly about the desires of our hearts. One of the best ways of how to give thanks to God is to put Him first.
Love Others Unconditionally
Matthew 22:38 KJV reminds us “And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.“ What does this mean? Basically, it means that we are to treat others like we want to be treated. Jesus told us, in his Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 7:12 KJV “Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.“ Be kind to all. That doesn’t mean to just love the people you like, but everybody. Yes, even those people who you don’t like. Jesus died for everybody, so love them. And love them unconditionally.
Praise and Worship the Lord
When you’re considering ways of how to give thanks to God, praise is an important aspect. Praise means to show adoration or glorify. The Lord is worthy of all our praise for everything He has done. He is the creator of the universe and all of mankind. So, offer words of praise to Him for that. You can praise Him in prayer, song, and worship. An example of praise in the Bible can be seen when the angels glorified God in the highest when Jesus was born. Remind Him of His glory and greatness and all that He has done for us.
God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.” John 4:24
Praise can be given to the Lord. But you can also praise your spouse or your dog when they do something that makes you happy. Worship, on the other hand, is only about God. It is humbling yourself before God. Take yourself out of the picture. Adore God for who He is, not just what He has done. Give your entire self over to Him and surrender. Do we really worship the Lord the way that he asks, in spirit and in truth? This is something we must pray and ask God for guidance in.
Prayer is a Way to Show Gratitude to God
What is prayer? Prayer is simply talking to God, the father, through Jesus Christ, the son.
For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.” 1 Timothy 2:5
Since Jesus is our mediator, we go to God through Him, who acts as our advocate. Why? God cannot look upon sin, and we are sinners. Jesus shed His precious blood on that cross as payment for every person’s sin, who has accepted the free gift of salvation. Jesus’s blood covers our sin which is why we go through Jesus to get to God. Jesus is spotless, we are not.
So we talk to God in prayer. We praise Him, thank Him and petition Him on behalf of our needs and the needs of others. We fellowship with Him. Even though God knows our needs and what’s on our hearts even before we, ourselves, know our needs, we still need to pray. God convicts our hearts in prayer. He refines us in prayer because it forces us to search our hearts to see where we are lacking. Additionally, prayer shows dependency on God. When we pray, we seek approval and answers from the only place we can get them.
Repentance Shows Gratitude to God
Now we know that God heareth not sinners: but if any man be a worshipper of God, and doeth his will, him he heareth.” John 9:31
When you have unrepentant sin in your life, it creates a barrier between you and God. If you want to show gratitude to God, and do His will, then confess your sins and turn away from those sins. That tells Him that you love and trust Him enough to follow Him in all that you do and say. Our greatest goal is to live in the will of God. The only way to do that is to keep His commandments, in which all of his rules are wrapped up in the earlier scriptures I posted here, which are Matthew 22:37-40.
Baptism and Church Membership
Jesus demonstrated His obedience to God, the Father when He was immersed in baptism according to Matthew 3:13-17. If it was important for Jesus to show His obedience to God in baptism, then it’s important for us too.
Jesus started His church along the shores of Galilee when He called Peter, Andrew, James and John in Matthew chapter 4
And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” Matt. 4:19
Faithful church membership in a New Testament church keeps us in God’s will. Hebrews 10:25 reminds us of “Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.” If God says it, that settles it. Jesus died for His church, so it’s important that we include church membership in our list of how to give thanks to God.
How does God open our hearts and minds to His will? He does it by providing us a guidebook with all of His instructions for righteousness, otherwise known as the Holy Bible. The Bible was inspired by God into 40 authors over a span of 1500 years, and it is completely harmonious. Because it was written by God, we know we have the perfect guidebook that we need to live righteously.
All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.” 2 Timothy 3:16-17
Since we have God’s Holy Word, we learn what it says by reading, studying, praying and listening to preaching. Our attention in church, while a God-called preacher delivers the message that’s been laid on his heart by God, is another way for us to understand God’s Word. Obviously, the more we immerse ourselves in these activities, the better we can understand His truths and grow closer to the Lord.
How to Give Thanks to God
Recognizing that every blessing is from God is a great start to showing gratitude. It’s easy to thank God for all the good things that happen in our lives. But make sure and thank Him for our challenges and struggles too. As a quadruple amputee, I am a firm believer that our trials are designed to refine us and bring us closer to the Lord. My greatest spiritual growth periods have come during the darkest times of my life. Because it’s during those times that you really have to let yourself go and humble yourself before the Lord and lean on Him. So be sure and thank Him for your trials as well as the times of abundance.
These 15 daily habits for spiritual growth will give you some more tips on how to get closer to God spiritually. My best suggestion is to spend time with God on a daily basis. Pray, study, attend church and seek the Lord’s will for your life. Consult God over everything. Don’t let Satan or popular activities sway you from doing what is right. If you’re following God, you’ll be able to discern right from wrong. Listen to His direction.
What other ways can you show gratitude to God? I would love to hear your suggestions.