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Give Thanks For Everything

1 Timothy 4:4-5
For everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, because it is consecrated by the word of God and prayer. (NIV)

Food is good; it is created by God. But in the Ephesian church, some believers objected to eating certain kinds of produce: some from a Jewish background had never eaten some things, and some others from a pagan background did not want to eat food which had been offered to idols. You can imagine the tensions, especially as false teachers wanted to define God’s people by what they did or did not eat. Those tensions were divisive and Paul knew it was important for Timothy to teach that faith in Christ did not depend upon what they ate, but upon their relationship with the Lord Jesus according to the gospel.

Everything that God has made is good and edible food should not be rejected if it is received with gratitude. Everything is made holy to the Lord when the believer accepts what the Scripture says about the kind, good and generous character of the Lord, and His promise to provide all that we need. Instead of being self-important because we deny ourselves godly enjoyments, we are to recognise that the Lord alone is important because He has given us all things for our blessing.

One of the devil’s tactics is to cast a shadow over the good things which God has made. As in the Garden of Eden, he tempts us to think that God is withholding the best. Religion says that we please God by what we do or do not do; but the Bible puts our relationship with Christ at the heart of our faith. It is not so much about what we do, as about what Christ has done. It was that liberty that the Early Church needed to learn, and perhaps we need that instruction too. Let us give thanks for everything that comes, because God’s gracious hand is behind it (Colossians 3:17).

Loving Lord. Thank You for giving to me all that I need and much more, so that I can rejoice in Your goodness and share with others. Forgive me when I have followed a false piety or turned a helpful discipline into a religious rule: I know that it is easier to keep the little rules I choose to follow than to love You with all my heart, soul, mind and strength. Please help me to freshly appreciate the wonder of all You have made, and done and given; and learn to receive with a thankful heart. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
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© Dr Paul Adams