Exhortation – Give thanks to God

I picked up five blessings in the New Testament:

Food  ●  Faith  ●  Forgiveness
  ●  Future Life


Without food we slowly die, so food is important in our lives. So, brothers and sisters, we need to pray for some of our brethren and sisters who are in need of food so that it will be available to their families. We should also find ways to help them when we can, often by providing some of the money needed for food. Let us each remember to thank God for the food that we receive and then eat it with grateful hearts.

The Lord Jesus showed this when he gave thanks for the food (a very minimal amount!) that he had for the feeding of the five thousand people (John 6:11).

The Apostle Paul likewise gave thanks for food on the ship in the frightening storm (Acts 27:35). So should we, in good times and in bad, when we do have food available.


The same principle applies to our spiritual food, the Word of God, which is the basis of our faith. The food is available for most of us every day, and we should thank God for it.

“I am the bread of life” said Jesus, “the living bread”. If anyone eats of this bread he will live for ever. I will raise him up at the last day. The one who feeds on me will live, because of me.” (John 6: 51, 54, 57, NIV). Without the spiritual food, that is feeding our faith upon the life of the Lord Jesus, we shall die.

We need to take some of this food in regularly. Some do not, although it is available. So take in something of that living bread, the life of the Lord Jesus, by reading, thinking, praying, and doing. In this way we can survive, grow and be spiritually strengthened.


Jesus said, “Your sins are forgiven you” to the man that was paralysed and who believed that his condition was his own fault (Luke 5:18-25).

Are you paralysed by sin, unable to serve the Lord? Many of us have been. Some of us more than once – even much more. Is the Lord willing to forgive us? Could the Lord say to you and me now: “Your sins, which are many, are forgiven, for you have loved me a lot”? (Luke 7:47). Let us be thankful that this is what the Lord is saying to us.

But suppose we sin again? We will – but not necessarily in the same way. Forgiveness is still promised, if we sincerely ask our Heavenly Father for it, through the Lord Jesus.

Let us remember this when we take the sip of wine in memory of the Lord who died for us. He is our merciful and faithful high priest at the right hand of our Father, to make reconciliation for our sins (Heb 2:17). Let us thank God, and the Lord Jesus, for that assurance, convinced that we can be forgiven, and continue in our faith and fellowship while we have the opportunity. And let us remember to forgive each other when mistakes have been made in our lives (Luke 6:27-42).


Do we really remember to thank God for each other, and for our worldwide fellowship. Paul did in his letter to the believers. We have got three examples in the first letter to the Thessalonians. The first example is in 1:2; the second in 2:13; and the third one in 3:9.

Brethren and sisters, we must learn to pray for each other, and for our ecclesia. The Apostle Paul frequently asked the believers to pray for him, especially when he was isolated and challenged in the service of the Lord (Rom 15:30-33; Eph6:18-20).

It is a joy to hear of our brethren and sisters all over the world. Today we can be in much more frequent contact through letters, telephones and electronic mail. Let us link up with each other, believing that we are some of those whose names are there in the Lamb’s Book of Life, some of those known to the King and already enrolled in his Kingdom. Let us thank God for each other – despite occasional misunderstandings and controversies.

“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly beloved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him (from Col 3:12-17 NIV).

Future Life:

Jesus believed in his own resurrection. His Father provided the vision at the transfiguration – surely to encourage him, and to instruct his disciples. The disciples slept, then awoke to see Jesus in “his glory”, with Moses and Elijah who appeared in glory. The Lord Jesus was thus assured that he would triumph, that he would rise from the dead to eternally enter the promised glory of his Kingdom together with many other faithful people raised from the dead and given new life (Luke 9:28-35).

The thief said, “Lord, remember me when you come in your Kingdom” and the Lord Jesus replied to him saying, “Truly, I tell you today, you will be with me in paradise.” (Luke 23:43).

We thank our heavenly Father, through the Lord Jesus, that we have been given the same promise of future life, to be fully realised when Jesus returns. John 6:40 NIV, “Everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day.”, said Jesus.

Yes, brethren and sisters, we do give thanks to God for His blessing in Christ Jesus our Lord, especially for our food, faith, forgiveness, fellowship and future life.

Bro Thompson Matarise (South Africa)

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