How You Know You're Thankful for Christ!
By: Elizabeth L. Creecy
Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and shun evil.
— Proverbs 3:7 NIV
Yesterday America celebrated Thanksgiving. Typically, during the festive and traditional dinner, American families go around the table sharing what they are grateful for in their lives. The most common responses are family, parents, friends, clean water, mobility, and other basic needs that are easily taken for granted. Thanksgiving is a great time to reflect mindfully on all you have in your life. However, there is one BIG, BIG thing some people seem to forget and ignore. It’s as if these individuals don’t even think about their gratitude for it! I will admit, I, too, once fell in this bucket! What am I talking about?
In John 4:9, Jesus is asking the Samaritan woman to get Him some water from Jacob’s well. Now, Jews and Samaritans didn’t mingle. The Jews, at this time, were prejudice towards the Samaritans. Therefore, she was stunned that He would ask her for water!
10 Jesus answered her, “If you knew [about] God’s gift [of eternal life], and who it is who says, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would have asked Him [instead], and He would have given you living water (eternal life).”
In other words, if the Samaritan woman knew she was talking to God manifested in the flesh, she would have asked Him for a blessing, and Jesus would have given her living water – eternal life. The woman, however, took everything He said literally. She ultimately failed to recognize the Lord in front of her face and the spiritual components intertwined in all aspects of life. God created both the visible and the invisible (Colossians 1:16).
The water Jesus provides – the living water – quenches your thirst forever. Science has proven that everyone thinks, wonders, and contemplates the concept of God. Regardless, if you want to admit it or not, everyone is wired to have a relationship with God. The enemy has done a fantastic job confusing people about who God is!
As disciples of Christ, we know only Jesus can give the gift that satisfies the soul’s desires.
Sometimes my clients tell me how restless their souls are. They tell me they know something bigger and better is out there for them. They declare they will keep searching for that thing to do. Yet, what I believe they are looking and yearning for is a relationship with Christ. All they need to do is accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior. The thing they need to do is participate in a relationship with Christ.
These clients are almost always secular beings. Like the Samaritan woman, they only see life in the natural, eliminating the most significant reality that this world is spiritual. They are hoping to fill voids within themselves that only Jesus can satisfy.
They do not realize that whatever they do will only keep them hungry and thirsty when what they want is something that will quench them in all areas of life. They are hungry, wanting to be satisfied at a deep, deep level. They are restless in life, wanting more out of life. They want comfort, security, joy, peace, and unconditional love that lasts. Only Jesus can do this, but we, as His disciples, MUST let everyone know about the hope found in Him. Remember, God uses people to bless and help people.
John 4:13: Jesus answered her, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again. 14 But whoever drinks the water that I give him will never be thirsty again. But the water that I give him will become in him a spring of water [satisfying his thirst for God] welling up [continually flowing, bubbling within him] to eternal life.”
Let’s pump the breaks and focus on the first clause, Jesus says in John 4:10: “If you knew about God’s gift…” Do you know about God’s gifts? Has the living water quenched your thirst in life?
If your answer is yes, then it’s time to publicly celebrate your appreciation, gratitude, and thankfulness for your Heavenly Father, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit! Yes, it might be scary to you, but only because the enemy has sold you a lie that mankind will not like you, reject you, or hurt you, also known as the fear of man. Good thing Jesus reminds us that, “No man shall take me out of His hand for I have eternal life (John 10:29).”
The Godhead needs to be the number one thing you are thankful for in your life. If you are genuinely grateful, appreciative, and thankful for God, then you would be sharing Him with everyone! You would be INCREDIBLY hungry to share what God is doing in your life.
Think about it. When you come across a time-saving gadget, don’t you tell your family and friends? When you find a material object that simplifies or brings joy to your life, don’t you tell people about it?
Well, if you are going to tell people about material things, which you know will not sustain the fire on judgment day (1 Corinthians 3:13), then why would you not tell people about what Jesus’ has and is doing in your life (Psalm 1:1-6)?
I don’t know about you, but the Father has done more for me than anything else. I want to tell the world about what He has done for me! He’s so awesome! When you share your God stories, you help encourage and bring people to Christ.
Yes, perhaps it’s too late this year to go around the table and express your gratitude for the Godhead this Thanksgiving. But, it’s never too late to start speaking up about what Jesus has and is doing in your life.
The Gospel tells us we are to make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:19). Jesus tells us to go into ALL the world (that means your friends groups, strangers, family, etc.) and preach the Gospel to ALL creation (Mark 16:15). Please notice the word “ALL.” Simply because you feel uncomfortable, or don’t want to, or are unsure how someone might respond doesn’t permit you to not talk about it. Disobedience is a sin! Praise God because once we repent, He forgives us so quickly (1 John 1:9) since we all fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23).
What can you start doing? Here are some questions for you to think about, and I encourage you to ask the Holy Spirit to help you!
- Who can you start talking to about Jesus and will be open to the message?
- How can you introduce Jesus to strangers?
- What God stories can you share with hopeless people?
- How would you explain God’s love for you?
- What brought you to Christ? How could that message benefit someone else?
Sometimes we have to learn how to stand on our disciple-legs since it can take time to normalize the discomfort of being bold for Jesus. I encourage you to start with those people in your life who will be more accepting and open to the message than those who confess they don’t believe in God.
What has God done for you that you can share?
If you aren’t sure, I encourage you to take a few minutes to write down all that God has done in your life. Take a few minutes to reflect and record all that God has done for you. Once you have a solid list, start identifying which people in your life you could share these things with. Additionally, sometimes it can be helpful to have a strategy to talk to strangers about what God has done in your life. Maybe God will place someone in your life who needs guidance understanding the gift of God and the living water.
As disciples of Christ, we are to help disciple one another. We cannot expect a preacher, minister, or teacher to do all the heavy lifting, even though many of us do. We are all to do our part. Isn’t that why we are called the body of Christ? When one thing in your body isn’t working correctly, doesn’t it begin to affect the rest of your body? We must start working together!
Express your gratitude for God this year. Let everyone know how much He has done for you!
Make the decision today to commit to sharing the Gospel with everyone and anyone!
Father, Forgive me if I have failed to showcase my thanksgiving for all you have, are, and will do in my life. I love you so much, Father, and I want to be more like Christ in everything I do. Help me to stay fixed on You and not on the things of this world. Help me express my gratitude for You with everything You do. Please help me share these moments with everyone I come in contact with. Holy Spirit, allow me to remember my God moments to share with those who may need encouragement, hope, or inspiration. Thank you, Father, for sacrificing Your only Son for me. I love you.
In Jesus’ name, Amen!