“Ho, Everyone who thirsts, Come to the waters, And you who have no money, Come, buy, and eat.
Yes come, buy wine, and milk, without money and without price.” lsaiah 55:1 (NKJV)
As we prepare to celebrate Thanksgiving 2017, it is an appropriate time to consider not only what we are thankful for but also, how we show our thankfulness? ln other words, how will we express our gratitude? American writer, Gertrude Stein, offers this view of gratitude: “Silent gratitude isn’t very much to anyone.” I agree! Therefore, I challenge you to move beyond quiet thankfulness to Christ-activated gratitude.
Gratitude is a noun that expresses the quality of being thankful and showing readiness to return kindness. This Thanksgiving, we will reflect on many kindnesses shown to our families and to us individually. As Christ-followers, we are morally obligated to return those acts of kindnesses to others. These opportunities may come to us through individual requests or through needs we personally have identified. “As we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith” (Gal. 6:10).
Gratitude has also been described as a kindness awakened by a favor received. God has given us great favor. ln Isaiah 55, God is inviting sinners to come and receive the abundant gift of eternal life that is only possible through acceptance of Him. The sinner is encouraged to seek the Lord while He may be found-to call upon Him while He is near (verse 6). This invitation is a reflection of God’s love and kindness toward sinner man.
Even today, God invites us to “come, buy, and eat without money and without price.” What God offers is not physical provision for the body (water, wine, and milk) but eternal nourishment for the soul. God’s favor of salvation should awaken kindness within us (2 Peter 1.5, 7) that will result in compassion for others.
Hunger and homelessness are destroying our communities; hopelessness and despair are stealing the dreams of our nation. This holiday, search for opportunities to “give the gift that keeps on giving”—human kindness. This year instead of giving clothing, gift cards, or electronics, give the gift of gratitude in action.
SELAH: What is standing in the way of you showing “gratitude in action”? Read and meditate on Luke 17: 11-19 to help you express gratitude in action.