Tag Archives: Praise.

30 Days of Thankful: Day 16

Sometimes the words we use can start to sound a little ordinary—words like bless, or grace, or thanks. Consider how often you casually say “thanks” to someone.   Or pray for God to “bless” so and so? Or say “grace” over your meal.   We may not even be conscious of the true meaning of these words—thus, their power can be lost on us.

We’re on Day 16 of 30 Days of Thankful—just over the half way mark. I’d like to pause here and look at the word thankful through the lenses of Scripture. I believe it might just breathe new life and power into this simple word—and could even transform your day.

It helps to understand that there are a couple of different words translated as “thank” in the New Testament. Let’s take a look at one of of those words, eulogeo.  Eulogeo comes from two words which mean “good” and “to speak.” So eulogeo means to speak well of, or to praise, or to thank. It can also be translated “to bless.”

Eulogeo is the word used when Jesus served His disciples what would be their last supper together: “And as they were eating, Jesus took bread; and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying, “Take, eat; this is my body…” (Mat. 26:26 MOUNCE).

Eulogeo is the same word Jesus used before He fed the 5000: “Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves (Matthew 14:19 NIV).

We see that eulogeo is translated as bless Hebrews 6:14: “I will certainly bless you, and I will multiply your descendants beyond number” (Hebrews 6:14).  This verse refers to God’s original blessing to Abraham in the Old Testament. What’s more,  this blessing is the foundation of our entire covenant with God:

“I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you” (Genesis 12:2-3).

Do you see the strong connection here between eulogeo and the biblical words thanks and blessing? Powerful, when you stop to consider this truth:  If you believe in Jesus, those very same blessings promised to Abraham are also your inheritance.

So next time you say “thanks”eulogeo—pause to realize the power of your words. And when you pray for blessings for others or receive God’s blessings for yourself, be aware—these gifts of thanks and blessing are powerful, and not to be taken lightly!







30 Days of Thankful: Day 14

Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18).

When we’re struggling, it’s hard to be thankful. Sometimes it helps to refocus on God’s big picture. My friend Kris shows how—even in the middle of pain—a shift in perspective can inspire a thankful heart.

GUEST BLOG: Kris McBride

About three weeks ago I received an urgent text requesting prayer for my friend’s 24 year old son who fell 30 feet from a tree. Although he was alive the doctors feared his back was broken. The tests confirmed their fear. He was paralyzed from the waist down. In one brief second his life changed forever.

As my friend delivered the devastating news I was surprised by what she shared. Instead of focusing on all that her son had loss she was thanking God that he did not have any head trauma, had no other broken bones, and the fact that he was alive! She sounded hopeful and optimistic in spite of the difficult circumstances. Instead of focusing on what was wrong she made an intentional effort to shift her perspective to thanking God for the blessings in the situation. This resulted in feelings of gratitude and hope instead of anger and bitterness.

I have found this to be true in my own life. Giving thanks is a proven way to change the attitude of your heart.  When my mom was dying of cancer I was almost overcome by grief. In desperation I called out to God for help. He gave me this thought, “You’ve had a wonderful mom for 26 years, some people never experience that even for a day.” Almost immediately I began thanking God for my mom. It still wasn’t easy to see her pass from this life, but mingled with grief was a peace and joy that came from a heart focused on gratitude.

Giving thanks works well with small issues too. I’m not a fan of housework. I know people who find great joy in keeping their house in order but that is not my natural bent. However, I’ve found that instead of grumbling about the things I don’t like to do I can take the opportunity to use them as triggers to thank God for all the blessings He has given me. It’s amazing how giving thanks shifts my perspective and lifts my spirit.

At times I realize it is quite difficult to give thanks. However, Paul gives us a plan to follow:

  1. Rejoice always
  2. Pray continually

Incorporating these two items into your daily routine helps cultivate a heart of gratitude which gives us the ability to thank God no matter what we are experiencing.

Praying God helps you to see the many things you can thank Him for in your life, no matter your circumstances.


30 Days of Thankful: Day 12

Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful (Colossians 4:2).

I’d like to become more thankful for the small things in life. Easy to say–harder to do. That’s why I’ve focused on everyday blessings during our 30 Days of Thankful.

It’s easy to blow right past the blessings God sends each day.  We move so fast. Who has time to drink in the magic of the blue October sky?  And when was the last time you took an extra minute to look into the eyes of your husband, or children, or friends?

Get creative.  Find ways to focus on being thankful. Here are a few practice tips:

On your drive to school or work (or wherever it is that you go each day), find the most scenic route. Refresh your soul with a glimpse of beauty. I choose to travel up a tree lined hill in our neighborhood and through back roads, whenever possible, instead of the getting on the main highway.  It only adds about three minutes to my trip–tops.

Enjoy little breaks throughout the day.  We’re supposed to get ten minutes of sunshine (without sunscreen) every day to keep up our vitamin D supply.  Why not pick a pretty spot?  Take a book.  Or go for a walk.  Maybe you’ll end up spending more than 10 minutes outdoors.

Have a definite “quitting time” each day.  I was always a big fan of early bedtimes when the kids were small. Make a date to watch Netflix or something fun with your spouse or a friend.  Stop the work and savor some down time.  Remember, rest is God’s idea.

Stop multi-tasking for just one day.  A friend of mine once saw a counselor for a year.  One of her best pieces of advice to my busy friend? Focus on each person or task with your whole attention.   Research shows that the value  of multi-tasking is an illusion–it’s far less efficient than we think.

Keep a thank-you book.  List a few blessings at the end of each day.  Better yet, be watching for special moments and thank God throughout the day when they happen.  How many little blessings do you miss because you are sleep walking, or worse, racing through life?


30 Days of Thankful: Day 11

How not to say thank you. An unusual topic for Day 11 of 30 Days of Thankful.  Is it possible to offend God with the way we thank Him? Apparently so—if our “thank you” comes from a self-righteous heart. Jesus told this story to a group of religious leaders who were confident in their own “goodness” and scorned everyone else:

“Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get. ’“But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’ “I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted” (Luke 18:10-13).

The two men couldn’t have been more different. The Pharisee was well-bred, well-educated, and well-off. He had an impressive religious pedigree. He had arrived. The tax-collector, on the other hand, was a loser.  To the Jews, he was an object of scorn–a  pagan Gentile.   A sinner, and easy to despise. He had no social standing, no prestige, and probably not many friends. Then as now—nobody much likes a tax collector.

At first glance, it looks like the Pharisee is thanking God for his many blessings. But a closer look lets us in on the real truth.  His “prayer of thanks” was just a way to boast that he wasn’t like the “evildoers.”  He probably spoke loudly enough for the tax collector to hear him.   Then, his “thanks” to God was just an announcement of his own righteousness–a reminder to everyone in his hearing that he fasted and tithed.

The Greek translation of this passage sheds even more light on the true nature of this man’s prayer: “The Pharisee stood and prayed like this to himself” (Luke 18:11 MOUNCE).  To himself. Did you catch that? The Pharisee’s prayer went no further than himself.

But the tax collector was stricken at his own sinfulness. He stood at a distance—not even daring to look to heaven as he uttered, “God have mercy on me, a sinner” (v. 13).

Jesus spells it out plainly:  The tax collector, not the Pharisee, went home justified—righteous before God. His prayers were heard.

A few reminders as we develop a thankful heart:

  1. True thankfulness is always accompanied by humility.
  2. None of our acts of righteousness will ever make us righteous in God’s sight—we all need grace and mercy, just like the tax collector.
  3. The ground at the foot of the cross is level.





30 Days of Thankful: Day 10

He fell to the ground at Jesus’ feet, thanking him for what he had done (Luke 17:16).

Today I learned some simple lessons from a leper about being thankful.  It’s Day 10 of our 30 Days of Thankful.  I’ve been pondering the story about Jesus healing ten lepers. Only one comes back to thank him. But there is so much more to the story. Let’s take a few minutes to reflect on this passage:

As Jesus continued on toward Jerusalem, he reached the border between Galilee and Samaria. As he entered a village there, ten lepers stood at a distance crying out, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!” He looked at them and said, “Go show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went, they were cleansed of their leprosy. One of them, when he saw that he was healed, came back to Jesus, shouting, “Praise God!” He fell to the ground at Jesus’ feet, thanking him for what he had done. This man was a Samaritan.

Jesus asked, “Didn’t I heal ten men? Where are the other nine? Has no one returned to give glory to God except this foreigner?” And Jesus said to the man, “Stand up and go. Your faith has healed you” (Luke 17:11-19 NLT).

All ten men are on their way  to see the priest.  The priest must perform the religious ritual for lepers to be pronounced cleansed.  As they went, they were healed–even before they got to the priest.

But only one of them is thankful.  Look at his response:

  1. He runs back to Jesus.
  2. He praises God as he goes.
  3. He falls to the ground at Jesus’s feet–thanking him profusely.
  4. He displays humility.

Jesus is incredulous that none of the others come back.  Only one out of ten.  Ten percent.  Only the one gives glory to God.  Honors Him for healing him.  “Stand up….and go,” Jesus tells the Samaritan leper.  “Your faith has healed you.”  The word for “healed” in the Greek is translated solo.  It also means “saved.”

Was the man also saved?  Had he acknowledged Jesus as his Lord?  He was the outsider–not only a leper but a despised Samaritan. He was nothing more than a pagan, according to the Jews.  Yet he was the only one out of ten.  The ten percent.  The one who gave God glory.

I want to be in that ten percent today.  To notice when Jesus acts.  To stop my plans.  To go back to Jesus and thank Him–give Him glory. I want to be that one.