Christian Living

Spiritual Life

Grin and Grow with Kathy 11/27/19

Thanksgiving—Jesus Appreciation Day

Jesus is the reason we have a cornucopia of blessings and gratitude

STORY: In Jesus’ Name, Amen

What was Thanksgiving Day like for you growing up? Most years, we spent the day with my aunts and uncles and cousins. Usually Aunt Verna Jean hosted us. Everyone contributed to the meal and the dishes were spread out over the counters, the table and the breakfast bar. The food line chained through at least two rooms, or down the hall. Before anyone could start piling food on their plate, Uncle Bob would say the blessing. His words dripped with grace, like a juicy orange. Made me want to know more about this Jesus to whom he prayed. Then the amen punctuated the prayer and spoons started heaping yummy stuff on each dish.

Cousins divided up into the olders and youngers. I was in between those groups, so I usually went with the youngers. We often hung out downstairs at a folding table or sitting around the fireplace. It was fun catching up on school and dreaming about Christmas—our next gathering.

Today as you celebrate your own Thanksgiving celebration, we start a new series on the names and titles of Jesus. He’s the reason we have a cornucopia of blessings and gratitude.

STUDY: What’s in a Name?

Chief Cornerstone

The stone that the builders rejected has now become the cornerstone. (Psalm 118:22 NLT)
Therefore, this is what the Sovereign Lord says: “Look! I am placing a foundation stone in Jerusalem, a firm and tested stone. It is a precious cornerstone that is safe to build on. Whoever believes need never be shaken. (Isaiah 28:16 NLT)
  • How was Jesus rejected? Who do the builders represent?
  • In biblical times, a cornerstone was not only the foundation for the building, but a standard or pattern for constructing the structure. Based on the cornerstone, all the angles would be in square. If the cornerstone was removed, the building collapsed.
  • How is Jesus a “tested” stone? It reminds me of a high-rise that passes the hurricane-proof test.
  • How is Jesus precious? (valued, beloved, treasured, cherished, exquisite)
  • How is Jesus your cornerstone?


All right then, the Lord himself will give you the sign. Look! The virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son and will call him Immanuel (which means “God is with us”). (Isaiah 7:14 NLT)
  • What did Isaiah prophecy regarding Jesus?
  • There are two reasons the virgin birth is significant. Obviously, the fact that a woman conceived without being intimate with a man was a miracle. And the fact that she was a virgin also represents purity.
  • How is the meaning of Immanuel significant to Jewish people accustomed to placing their faith in an invisible God?

Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace

For a child is born to us, a son is given to us. The government will rest on his shoulders. And he will be called: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. (Isaiah 9:6 NLT)
  • When I think of the word “child” I ponder the significance. Jesus could have entered the world as a grown man. Instead he entered the same way we do, and lived a human life just like us—making him the perfect substitute for us.
  • The word “given” stands out, as we all think of buying and giving Christmas gifts this season. Take time today to thank God for giving you such a precious gift.
  • What meaning do you ascribe to each title given Jesus here? Take a moment to worship each facet of his identity featured in this verse.

Savior, Redeemer, Mighty One, Messiah, Lord, Prince, Christ

Powerful kings and mighty nations will satisfy your every need, as though you were a child nursing at the breast of a queen. You will know at last that I, the Lord, am your Savior and your Redeemer, the Mighty One of Israel. (Isaiah 60:16 NLT)
  • How is Jesus your Lord?
  • What has Jesus saved you from?
  • What does it mean for Jesus to be your redeemer?
  • Take a moment to worship the Mighty One of Israel.
The Savior—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David! (Luke 2:11 NLT)
  • Messiah means anointed. When a king was chosen by God for Israel, he was anointed with oil to signify being selected for this role.
  • Say a prayer, thanking Jesus for being Savior, Messiah, and Lord.
“Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the command to restore and build Jerusalem until Messiah the Prince, there shall be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks; the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublesome times. (Daniel 9:25 NKJV)
  • The word “Prince” means son of the king. In this context, Jesus is prince because he is the son of God.
  • In other Scripture, we see that Jesus is royalty and we are considered joint heirs with him. What does that make you?
Andrew went to find his brother, Simon, and told him, “We have found the Messiah” (which means “Christ”). (John 1:41 NLT)
  • Can you imagine the excitement as a Jewish person awaiting the promised Messiah, to get to meet him in person?
  • Even though you haven’t stood in the same space as Jesus, you too have the opportunity to find the Messiah. Remind yourself of the time you met Jesus for the first time.

STEPS: Appreciate Him

  1. Say the names of Jesus aloud. Chief Cornerstone. Immanuel. Wonderful Counselor. Mighty God. Everlasting Father. Prince of Peace. Savior. Redeemer. Mighty One. Messiah. Lord. Prince. Christ.
  2. Thank Jesus for what he does and who he is. Think through each name and what it represents, to you personally.
  3. Tell others what Jesus means to you. This might be the time to post on social media a Jesus-y gratitude list, based on this exercise.

Copyright © 2019 Kathy Carlton Willis, used with permission.

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