Giving Thanks to God

Giving Thanks to God

by Sarah Young

Paperback

$10.99
View All Available Formats & Editions
Use Standard Shipping. For guaranteed delivery by December 24, use Express or Expedited Shipping.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780310083658
Publisher: Nelson, Thomas, Inc.
Publication date: 01/03/2017
Series: Jesus Calling Bible Studies Series
Pages: 160
Sales rank: 526,692
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.60(d)

About the Author

Sarah Young, the author of the bestselling 365-day devotionals Jesus Always and Jesus Calling®, has sold more than 25 million books worldwide. Jesus Calling® has appeared on all major bestseller lists. Sarah's writings include Jesus Calling®, Jesus Today™, Jesus Lives™, Dear Jesus, Jesus Calling® for Little Ones, Jesus Calling® Bible Storybook, Jesus Calling®: 365 Devotions for Kids, and Peace in His Presence, each encouraging readers in their journeys toward intimacy with Christ. Sarah and her husband were missionaries in Japan and Australia for many years. They currently live in the United States.

Read an Excerpt

Giving Thanks to God

Jesus Calling Bible Study Series


By Sarah Young, Karen Lee-Thorp

Thomas Nelson

Copyright © 2017 Sarah Young
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-0-310-08367-2



CHAPTER 1

SESSION 1


Giving Thanks for God's Abundance


Consider It

Thankfulness is a skill we can develop with practice. It's just a matter of pausing and noticing the abundance with which God has filled our lives. We can choose to view life through the lens of deprivation (noticing everything we don't have and worrying that there is never enough for us) or through the lens of abundance (noticing everything we do have and trusting that a good God will provide for us). Which will we choose? In this session, we'll see what a difference it can make when we choose to view life through the lens of God's abundance.

1.What is one thing for which you're thankful to God?

______________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________



2.How challenging would it be for you to come up with ten things for which you're thankful? Why do you think it's easy or hard for you?

______________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________



Experience It

"Bring Me the sacrifice of thanksgiving. Take nothing for granted, not even the rising of the sun. Before Satan tempted Eve in the Garden of Eden, thankfulness was as natural as breathing. Satan's temptation involved pointing Eve to the one thing that was forbidden her. The garden was filled with luscious, desirable fruits, but Eve focused on the one fruit she couldn't have rather than being thankful for the many good things freely available. This negative focus darkened her mind, and she succumbed to temptation.

"When you focus on what you don't have or on situations that displease you, your mind also becomes darkened. You take for granted life, salvation, sunshine, flowers, and countless other gifts from Me. You look for what is wrong and refuse to enjoy life until that is 'fixed.' When you approach Me with thanksgiving, the Light of My Presence pours into you, transforming you through and through. Walk in the Light with Me by practicing the discipline of thanksgiving."

— From Jesus Calling, April 6

3.What was Eve's mistake when it came to being thankful?

______________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________


4.What's wrong with focusing on what you don't have?

______________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________


"Let Me teach you thankfulness. Begin by acknowledging that everything — all your possessions and all that you are — belongs to Me. The dawning of each new day is a gift from Me, not to be taken for granted. The earth is vibrantly alive with My blessings, giving vivid testimony to My Presence. If you slow down your pace of life, you can find Me anywhere.

"Some of My most precious children have been laid aside in sickbeds or shut away in prisons. Others have voluntarily learned the discipline of spending time alone with Me. The secret of being thankful is learning to see everything from My perspective. My world is your classroom. My Word is a lamp to your feet and a light for your path "

— From Jesus Calling, April 29

5.How does it foster thankfulness when you acknowledge that all you have and all you are belong to God?

______________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________


6.Name one of the things you currently rely on to nurture your body or your soul. What do you think is God's perspective on this?

______________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________


Study It

Read aloud the following passage from Genesis 2:8-9, 15-17, and 3:1-8.

The woman in the story is Eve, the man is Adam, and the serpent is Satan.

2:8 Now the Lord God had planted a garden in the east, in Eden; and there he put the man he had formed. 9 The Lord God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground-trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food. In the middle of the garden were the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil....

15 The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. 16 And the Lord God commanded the man, "You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; 17 but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die." ...

3:1 Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, "Did God really say, 'You must not eat from any tree in the garden'?"

2 The woman said to the serpent, "We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, 3 but God did say, 'You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.'"

4 "You will not certainly die," the serpent said to the woman. 5 "For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil."

6 When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. 7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.

8 Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden.


7.What did Satan promise would happen if Eve ate the forbidden fruit? What actually happened when she and Adam ate it? Explain.

______________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________


8.How would thankfulness have changed Eve's thought process when she "saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye" (Genesis 3:6)?

______________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________


9.What are the things in your life — the things you want but don't have, or that you don't want but do have — that threaten to deprive you of thankfulness? What would a "thankful thought process" look like in your current situation?

______________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________


10.Take two minutes of silence to reread the passage, looking for a sentence, phrase, or even one word that stands out as something Jesus may want you to focus on in your life. If you're meeting with a group, the leader will keep track of time. At the end of two minutes, you may share your word or phrase with the group if you wish.

______________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________


11.Read the passage aloud again. Take another two minutes of silence, prayerfully considering what response God might want you to make to what you have read in His Word. If you're meeting with a group, the leader will again keep track of time. At the end of two minutes, you may share what came to you in the silence if you wish.

______________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________


12.What was it like for you to sit in silence with the passage? Did soaking it in like this help you understand it better than before?

______________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________


3.1If you're meeting with a group, how can the members pray for you? If you're using this study on your own, what would you like to say to God right now?

______________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________



Live It

At the end of each session you'll find suggested Scripture readings for spending time alone with God during five days of the coming week. This week, the theme of each reading will focus on how you can be thankful for God's abundance in your life. Read each passage slowly, pausing to think about what is being said. Rather than approaching this as an assignment to complete, think of it as an opportunity to meet with the One who loves you most. Use any of the questions that are helpful.


Day 1

Read Ephesians 5:15-20. In this passage, Paul discusses the need to live wisely in the midst of evil days. What examples of wise living does he list?

______________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________


Why is giving thanks for everything an example of wise living?

______________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________


How is giving thanks the opposite of living foolishly?

______________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________


What's the importance of "always" giving thanks to God the Father "for everything" (verse 20)?

______________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________


Each day this week, use a journal or separate sheet of paper to write down three things for which you are thankful. Doing this will help you focus more on what you do have rather than what you do not have, and it will make an impression on your heart. Ask God to help you grow wiser in the way you live by developing this consistent habit of thankfulness.


Day 2

Read Luke 9:16 and 22:17-19. Jesus had a habit of giving thanks over a meal before He distributed the food to others. Why do you think He did this?

______________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________

Do you have a habit of giving thanks to God before you eat? Is this something you do whenever you eat ... or only sometimes? Why?

______________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________


How would it affect you if you gave thanks even over snacks, or when you brought groceries into your kitchen? Does that seem too extreme? Why or why not?

______________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________


What are some other ways you could thank God, "whether in word or deed" (Colossians 3:17), more often as you go through your day?

______________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________


Take a moment to thank God for the food you have eaten today and for the resources He has given to you. Remember in prayer those who are in need in your world.


Day 3

Read 2 Corinthians 9:6-11. In this passage, Paul discusses how your own generosity with what you have received from God can spark thankfulness in other people. Do you tend to think that you have received abundantly from Him and can afford to be generous with others? Or do you more often think that you have barely received enough and can't afford to be generous? Explain your thoughts.

______________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________


What leads you to see your situation in either of these ways?

______________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________


How does an attitude of abundance or scarcity affect your giving?

______________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________


Would you be likely to give more if you had a habit of greater thankfulness? Why or why not?

______________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________


Talk with God about your sense of abundance or scarcity and ask Him to help you see His provision from His perspective.


Day 4

Read 1 Timothy 4:1-5. In this passage, Paul warns against the idea (among other things) that Christians should abstain from certain foods because they are religiously impure. What does Paul have to say about such teachings (see verse 2)?

______________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________


In refuting this belief, what positive things does Paul say about the abundance God has made available?

______________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________


Why does Paul emphasize thanksgiving twice (verses 3-4)?

______________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________


What do you think Paul means when he says food is "consecrated by the word of God and prayer" (verse 5)? Why should that make us thankful?

______________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________


Today, reflect on the idea that "everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving" (verse 4). Thank God for the abundance of good things that He has created and put into your life.


Day 5

Read Daniel 6:6-10. During Daniel's time, a law was passed in Persia that no one could worship any god except the king for thirty days. However, even though Daniel was a high-ranking official in the king's court, he chose to ignore the law. Why do you think giving thanks to God multiple times a day was so important to him?

______________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________


What are some possible reasons that Daniel opened his windows "toward Jerusalem" when he did this (verse 10)? Why didn't he try to conceal his actions if he knew they were against the law?

______________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________


Why do you think Daniel couldn't just put off thanking God for thirty days?

______________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________


How important is it for you to express thankfulness to God each day? Would you put it off for thirty days if the law required it? Why or why not?

______________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________


Be intentional about setting aside at least three times during this day to thank God.

CHAPTER 2

SESSION 2


Giving Thanks for God's Provision


Consider It

The great enemy of thankfulness is grumbling, or feeling sorry for ourselves. Sometimes this takes the form of overt anger, while at other times it appears more like sadness. Grumbling is not godly sorrow but self-pity that resents what God has allowed to happen in our lives. In this session, we're going to take aim at self-pity and ask God to uproot it from our hearts.

1.What does feeling sorry for yourself look like in your life?

______________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________


2.In what situations are you most likely to succumb to grumbling and self-pity?

______________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________


Experience It

"Be on guard against the pit of self-pity. When you are weary or unwell, this demonic trap is the greatest danger you face. Don't even go near the edge of the pit. Its edges crumble easily, and before you know it, you are on the way down. It is ever so much harder to get out of the pit than to keep a safe distance from it. That is why I tell you to be on guard.


"There are several ways to protect yourself from self-pity. When you are occupied with praising and thanking Me, it is impossible to feel sorry for yourself. Also, the closer you live to Me, the more distance there is between you and the pit. Live in the Light of My Presence by fixing your eyes on Me. Then you will be able to run with endurance the race that is set before you, without stumbling or falling."

— From Jesus Calling, February 23


3.What makes self-pity such a dangerous trap for believers in Christ?

______________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________



4.How does thankfulness to God protect you from self-pity?

______________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________


"Let thankfulness temper all your thoughts. A thankful mind-set keeps you in touch with Me. I hate it when My children grumble, casually despising My sovereignty. Thankfulness is a safeguard against this deadly sin. Furthermore, a grateful attitude becomes a grid through which you perceive life. Gratitude enables you to see the Light of My Presence shining on all your circumstances. Cultivate a thankful heart, for this glorifies Me and fills you with Joy."

— From Jesus Calling, March 25


5.What are some ways you can allow thankfulness to temper your thoughts? How can such a mind-set keep you in touch with God throughout the day?


______________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________


6.In what ways can a grateful attitude become a grid through which you perceive life? Give an example of how this might work in practice.

______________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________________


Study It

Read aloud the following passage from Exodus 16:1-20, 31. The Israelites had formerly been slaves in Egypt, doing hard labor and making bricks to build a city. When the people cried out to God, He sent plagues against Egypt until Pharaoh allowed them to leave. The Lord then appointed Moses, along with his brother, Aaron, to lead the people out of Egypt. As the story picks up in this passage, the Israelites are crossing a desert region on the way to the fertile land that God promised to give them.

1 The whole Israelite community set out from Elim and came to the Desert of Sin, which is between Elim and Sinai, on the fifteenth day of the second month after they had come out of Egypt. 2 In the desert the whole community grumbled against Moses and Aaron. The Israelites said to them, "If only we had died by the Lord's hand in Egypt! There we sat around pots of meat and ate all the food we wanted, but you have brought us out into this desert to starve this entire assembly to death."

4 Then the Lord said to Moses, "I will rain down bread from heaven for you. The people are to go out each day and gather enough for that day. In this way I will test them and see whether they will follow my instructions. 5 On the sixth day they are to prepare what they bring in, and that is to be twice as much as they gather on the other days"

6 So Moses and Aaron said to all the Israelites, "In the evening you will know that it was the Lord who brought you out of Egypt, 7 and in the morning you will see the glory of the Lord, because he has heard your grumbling against him. Who are we, that you should grumble against us?" 8 Moses also said, "You will know that it was the Lord when he gives you meat to eat in the evening and all the bread you want in the morning, because he has heard your grumbling against him. Who are we? You are not grumbling against us, but against the Lord"

9 Then Moses told Aaron, "Say to the entire Israelite community, 'Come before the Lord, for he has heard your grumbling.'"

10 While Aaron was speaking to the whole Israelite community, they looked toward the desert, and there was the glory of the Lord appearing in the cloud.

11 The Lord said to Moses, 12 "I have heard the grumbling of the Israelites. Tell them, 'At twilight you will eat meat, and in the morning you will be filled with bread. Then you will know that I am the Lord your God.'"

13 That evening quail came and covered the camp, and in the morning there was a layer of dew around the camp. 14 When the dew was gone, thin flakes like frost on the ground appeared on the desert floor. When the Israelites saw it, they said to each other, "What is it?" For they did not know what it was.

Moses said to them, "It is the bread the Lord has given you to eat. This is what the Lord has commanded: 'Everyone is to gather as much as they need. Take an omer for each person you have in your tent.'"

17 The Israelites did as they were told; some gathered much, some little. 18 And when they measured it by the omer, the one who gathered much did not have too much, and the one who gathered little did not have too little. Everyone had gathered just as much as they needed.

19 Then Moses said to them, "No one is to keep any of it until morning."

20 However, some of them paid no attention to Moses; they kept part of it until morning, but it was full of maggots and began to smell. So Moses was angry with them....

31 The people of Israel called the bread manna. It was white like coriander seed and tasted like wafers made with honey.


(Continues...)

Excerpted from Giving Thanks to God by Sarah Young, Karen Lee-Thorp. Copyright © 2017 Sarah Young. Excerpted by permission of Thomas Nelson.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents

Introduction vii

Session 1 Giving Thanks for God's Abundance Genesis 2:8-9, 15-17; 3:1-8 1

Session 2 Giving Thanks for God's Provision Exodus 16:1-20 17

Session 3 Giving Thanks for Rescue Psalm 107:1-32 33

Session 4 Giving Thanks for Trials James 1:2-4: Philippians 4:4-7 49

Session 5 Giving Thanks for Spiritual Blessings Ephesians 1:3-14 63

Session 6 Giving Thanks for the Cross Matthew 27:32-50 79

Session 7 Giving Thanks for the Resurrection Luke 24:1-8, 36-49

Session 8 Giving Thanks for the Holy Spirit John 14:15-18, 25-27 109

Leader's Notes 123

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews

Giving Thanks to God 0 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 0 reviews.