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Giving Thanks as a Means of Grace

The Thanksgiving holiday is upon us. Let's think about the practice of giving thanks as a means of grace.

First, what do I mean by "grace?" As you may have seen or heard me say elsewhere, grace is the activity of the Holy Spirit working in our lives, through our thoughts, desires, attitudes and actions. Grace for the Christian enables us to move in the direction of Christlikeness, of spiritual maturity. Many of us think of grace mainly in terms of God's gift or divine favor, which is true. But there is more to grace. It is God working in us. 

Second, what do I mean by "means?" Think of ends and means. The end of something is its goal. The means include steps taken toward the goal, what one does and experiences that contributes to movement in the direction of realizing the goal.

In this light, giving thanks is certainly a means of grace. 1 Thessalonians 5:16,18 gets at the point: "Rejoice always...give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus...

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