And the king granted them to me according to the good hand of God upon me.  Nehemiah 2:9

First and foremost being thankful is a good thing.  Unless you are only being thankful to yourself (I am so thankful for my own wisdom, good looks etc…….) then your are acknowledging through your gratitude, that someone else had something to do with a positive outcome.  That shows a certain level of humility.

The setting of the bible verse above is that the Jewish people have been exiled due to their sins against God.  There is only a small remnant of people left in the city of Jerusalem and the city is in disrepair, especially the walls.  Nehemiah feels that God has put it upon his heart to go to Jerusalem and rebuild the walls but he can’t just up and leave without asking the king’s permission.  In the story he is fearful of asking the king.  Here is what I find interesting and important.  Through the Grace of God (and not the faith of king Ataxerxes who was not a faithful believer) the king grants Nehemiah’s request.  Now you might think Nehemiah might profusely prostrate himself before the king with words of great thanks.  Yet he doesn’t.  Throughout the book, Nehemiah saves his praise and thanksgiving for the One he knows has been guiding him.

Now again I am not saying not to thank people.  Though what we need to understand is that people are the conduits, the pathways, by which God brings about His Plan of Grace and Mercy in our lives.  It is when we stop with giving thanks to a person or situation.  I thank my……..spouse, boss, friend, parent etc.  I am thankful to my job for my job, to my health for my health.  If we are not careful we elevate that which we are thankful to or for to a place where that thing or person is the primary source of our life.  I can’t live without this person.  Life would end if I lost my job. 

The bible tells us that the law was fulfilled through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ yet that doesn’t make the law of no value.  God wants know other gods but Him.  In truth because there are rightly no other gods but Him.  When we say (and believe in our hearts) that our life would be over if I lost my job, I didn’t graduate from school or this person left me, we are elevating that thing to the level of our savior.  None of those things ever hung on a cross for us.

So it is we must understand that there is only one place from which our blessings from.  That is the heart of our One True Father in Heaven, through His Son Jesus Christ.  Be thankful.  Thank the person sure, but also thank God for them, your job, your health.  Understand that it all starts and ends with Him.  Its not so much that He needs to hear it (for of course he knows it) but that we need to say it.

Amen

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