Evangelism Explosion International
The Power of a Simple “Thank You”
By Rev. John B. Sorensen
Every year on November 8th, Randall picks up the phone and calls his pastor back home in Ohio to tell him “thank you.” He has done the same thing for more than 30 years. Why? On that day in 1986, he watched his pastor share the Gospel with his son. Then, he witnessed his son pray to accept Jesus Christ into his life.
Are you thankful for the person or people who introduced you to Jesus? Who prayed for you to find salvation? Who shared their faith with you when you were searching? Of course, we are always thankful to God first and foremost for our salvation but have you ever thought to tell the people He used, “thank you”? Faith and Thanksgiving naturally go hand-in-hand. At Thanksgiving, we often pause to think about how much God has blessed our lives and us. When we have an attitude of gratitude, God opens our eyes and helps us understand His grace. Dr. D. James Kennedy once said, “As soon as we begin to give thanks, we realize, suddenly, that God is there, wherever we are . . . Our spiritual eyes are opened, and our hearts are filled because in the hour of thankfulness, faith is full, and everything is changed.”
When we are thankful, God’s presence shines through us, and others take notice. That opens the door for the Gospel to be shared. 1 Peter 3:15 says to “always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have” (NIV). We can do this in a number of ways.
- Truthfully share who (and what) you are thankful for. As believers, we are most thankful for the Gospel! Our testimony has incredible power when it is shared with others.
- Read a Bible verse about being thankful or how God uses a thankful person. The Bible contains hundreds of verses about thanksgiving. Choose one or two and memorize it.
- Extend an invitation. Open your home to a friend or neighbor who doesn’t have family close by for the holidays. Then pray for an open door to share the Good News of Jesus Christ with them as someone once did with you.
Do you need to say “thank you” to someone this holiday season? Do it. Then pay it forward and give someone else the same gift – the opportunity to know and accept the free gift of eternal life through Jesus Christ.
Rev. John B. Sorensen, D.D. is the President/CEO of Evangelism Explosion International, headquartered in Arden, N.C. EE has been a leader in equipping Christians to share their faith for more than 50 years. For more free tips and resources, visit evangelismexplosion.org, or follow John on Twitter, @jbsoresen.