Giving Thanks

March 26, 2024 | Mitchell Mace

“Saying thank you” to God and “saying grace” to God. 

I believe many people get twisted in their confusion over the words. I have to admit, I found it enlightening to learn of the various definitions. I always heard it said to “Say grace” at the meal. 

According to Oxford, their first meaning of “grace” is listed as, “simple elegance or refinement of movement.”

Webster’s lists the first meaning as, “unmerited divine assistance given man for his regeneration or sanctification.”

Saying grace at the dinner table is a practice which many of us Christians follow at the dinner table. Some do so over breakfast and lunch also. And how many will openly give God thanks for the meal in the middle of a restaurant, even if it were to be a fast-food restaurant?

Biblically, according to Oxford, grace is used many times to mean, “(in Christian belief) the free and unmerited favor of God, as manifested in the salvation of sinners and the bestowal of blessings.” It is used both ways … as thanks, and as favor many times. Due to my learnings, I believe I will start calling “grace” as the favor we get from God, and “thanks” as the thanks we give to God.

Oxford defines thanks as, “an expression of gratitude.”

Short and simple. I like that. No confusion there. 

God wants us to be thankful. He expects us to give thanks to Him, and also to others around us. He teaches us this by His word throughout the Bible. 

Leviticus 22:29 (NKJV) reads, “And when you offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving to the Lord, offer it of your own free will.”

2 Samuel 22:50 (NKJV) says, “Therefore I will give thanks to you, oh Lord, among the Gentiles, and sing praises to Your name.”

1 Chronicles 16:34 (NKJV) reads, “Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever.”

Isaiah 30:29 (NKJV) states, “You shall have a song as in the night when a holy festival is kept, and gladness of heart as when one goes with a flute, to come into the mountain of the Lord, to the Mighty One of Israel.”

With these verses, He is commanding us to give thanks to Him for the food He has provided. He commands us to do so freely because of our true thankfulness, and our love & respect for Him. He does not want us to fear Him, but instead to love and appreciate Him. And because of our true feelings for Him, to always give Him thanks. 

Instead of just at the meal table, how about other occasions? How about for the air we breathe, or for the roof over our heads? How about for our family and friends, or even for the job where we work? (I know that one is difficult with some jobs.) I am sure you can come up with many others to be thankful for. 

Remember the words in Luke 12. Verses 24–28 (NKJV) state, “Consider the ravens, they neither sow nor reap, which have neither storehouse nor barn; and God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds? And which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature? If you then are not able to do the least, why are you anxious for the rest? Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say to you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. If then God so clothes the grass, which today is in the field and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, how much more will He clothe you, O you of little faith?”

I believe the words spoken by Jesus as stated in Luke give us plenty of reasons to be thankful to God for all He provides. From waking up in the morning, to the meals we eat. From the roof over our heads, to the floors under our feet. And every day until the next as we begin each day, thanks for the continuation of our lives. Give thanks.