A heart of thanksgiving is a heart postured toward the Son. The heights and depths of gratitude burst open as we behold the Lamb of God. The depth of our revelation of Jesus’ sacrifice will determine the depth of our thanksgiving. When our eyes are fastened on His eyes of love that passionately burn for us, how could we not be grateful? When the magnitude of His love expressed on the cross has sunk deep in our hearts, how could thanksgiving not be embedded into our very nature?
“My looking is my living, and my living is my looking.” - Eric Gilmour
The flow of thanksgiving is broken only if our gaze toward the Son is broken. I believe we can live all of our days with a heart of thanksgiving, a heart that’s postured towards the Son, a heart awakened to the reality and warmth of His blood.
Here are a few encouragements that will recalibrate our hearts into this posture of thanksgiving:
Always Keep Jesus as Your First Love
In Revelation 2:2-5, we see the church of Ephesus did all the right things, but they abandoned their first love. G. Campbell Morgan once said, “No amount of activity in the King’s service, can make up for the neglect of the King.” Busyness often comes to usurp beholding with “doing.” This is where the first love flame can shift into the first love smoke, remaining only with the fragrance of what once was. It's time to rekindle the flames of our first love and return to the glory of Eden, where we dwell in communion and fellowship with the Lord.
Stay at the Feet of Jesus
“Don’t let your day happen to you. You happen to your day.” - Jade de Kelaita
Jesus is only our first love when we put Him first. We have to murder the idol of time. In Luke 10:38-42, we see that Martha allowed her distractions and chores to dictate where she placed her affections. Mary set her affections on beloved Jesus. As we bask in adoration of the Lord, everything else will fall into place. We can’t live in the context of a linear list with Jesus as the first thing to check off and then move on to the next thing on the list. Jesus is at the center, and everything else must flow from our union with Him. The Lord is worth more than our leftovers, He’s worthy of our very best. He is worthy of being sought. It’s our glory to seek Him, and His glory to reveal Himself.
Don’t Allow Your Eyes to Be the Initiator of Your Thanksgiving
In John 6, we see Jesus multiplied five loaves and two fish that fed over five thousand people. In verse 11, it says Jesus, “gave thanks.” He didn’t allow what He saw in the natural to dictate His thanksgiving. He gave thanks before the abundance. If we live in gratitude only when we see the breakthrough, we will never partake of the breakthrough. Thanksgiving is not a feeling, and it isn’t conditional. As we behold the Lamb, thanksgiving, and praise will begin to flow from the depths of our being.