2 Simple Ways to Give
Thanksgiving is a word packed with emotion, memories, and anticipation. Giving thanks involves both thankfulness and blessing, but what do they mean? Find out how you can be thankful and bless the Lord today!
Let's begin with what the Bible has to say on this topic, here are two examples:
1. What does it mean to be Thankful?
The meaning of the word thankful gives us a clue! One word often translated for thankful or to give thanks is the word yadah.
The definition of this word in Hebrew is to throw or cast.
This word is most commonly translated as confess, give thanks, and praise.
By combining the definition and translation together we come up with the word picture of one who is thankful.
These are prayers we can do throughout the day; we can cast up a prayer when we wake up, take care of children, do our job, drive to our appointment, or even while cooking dinner.
When we look at the Psalms 100:4, the words thanksgiving, praise, and thankful have been covered in the word yadah. But what about the word bless?
2. What does it mean to Bless the Lord?
Like thankful, the definition gives us a clue. One word often translated bless is the word barak.
The definition of this word is to bless or kneel.
This word is most commonly translated as to bless.
By combining the definition and translation together we come up with the word picture of one who is blessing the Lord.
For me, it is easier to give thanks. It is something I can throw up to the Lord as I go through my day.
Offering a blessing to the Lord is much harder for me. Kneeling makes me stop what I am doing, change positions, and think through what I am saying the Lord.
Blessings the Lord has been used by believers over the centuries, and some ancient blessings follow a unique pattern: taking note of something, remembering God’s character, and blessing Him for that thing in connection to His character.
Here are three examples.
Blessing when seeing a rainbow.
Blessing when seeing the first blooming tree in springtime.
Blessing over bread as you begin a meal.
Notice the pattern of blessing the name of God and specifically blessing aspects of His character. The following passage provides an example of how to bless God.
Blessing a name of God
All: Blessed are you Lord our God, King of the Universe
Identify as many aspects of His character associated with the focus of your thankfulness
Rainbow: He remembers, He is faithful, He keeps His Word
Blooming tree: He created, He sustains
Bread: He created, He provides for daily food
Ask how that blesses me, but notice the focus of the blessing is only on God
Rainbow: God will keep His covenants
Blooming tree: God is Creator, What He created is good and to be enjoyed
Bread: God will give me my daily bread
These blessings give us ideas on how we can expand this aspect of our prayer life. As the psalms remind us, it is good to be thankful and bless the Lord.
As we enter into this time of Thanksgiving, I would encourage you to practice thankfulness in two ways: throughout your day, to cast up prayers of thanksgiving, and to also take the time to kneel and bless the Lord.
From all of us at Grapevine we would like hope you have a very Happy Thanksgiving!