Fully Present & Fully Thankful


The busier (and older) I get, the more grateful I am for days set aside in the rhythm of life to celebrate what really matters.

Giving thanks is a vital ingredient in receiving all the goodness God has already given.

In fact, a recent study from UCLA documents that gratitude “actually changes the neural structures in the brain, making us feel happier and more content.”

But this principle is no news.

For instance, Paul postures thankfulness as an antidote to anxiety in Philippians 4:6 saying,

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.”

And the author of Psalm 100 exhorts us in verse 4 to give thanks as a pathway to God’s presence saying,

“Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name!”

In years past I’ve attempted to use the Thanksgiving holiday as a launching pad into a more consistent practice of Thanksgiving, and inadvertently focused more on tomorrow than today. So this Thanksgiving, I have only one encouragement for myself, and for you.

Be fully present and fully thankful, today. Leave the cares of tomorrow for tomorrow. Leave the mistakes of the past in the past. Simply be thankful for right now.

Because while God might dwell in eternity, you do not. All you have is right now. And right now is where giving thanks will make the biggest impact in your life, and in the lives of those around you.

So as we seek to soak up all of God’s goodness there is in this moment, join with me in giving God thanks.


My heavenly Father,

Author of all that is good,

Sustainer of my entire being,

I am grateful.


Grateful, for the breath in my lungs.

Grateful, to awaken to a day filled with promise.

Grateful, for your love for me that is so present right now,

whether I sense it or not.


Thank you, for making me.

Thank you, for loving me.

Thank you, for saving me.


Use me as an instrument of thanksgiving today,

for your glory and my good.




And know that I am beyond grateful for you as a reader of First15. You are a vital part of a growing community of believers committed to loving and being loved by God on a daily basis. And I am thankful simply to be a part of this community with you.

May you and your family have a wonderful Thanksgiving today. And may God bless you as you seek him today.

Craig Denison

Author & Founder | First15


Craig Denison | Craig is the author and founder of First15, a daily devotional guiding over a million believers into a fresh experience with God’s presence every day. He writes, speaks, and he and his wife, Rachel lead worship to help believers establish a more tangible, meaningful connection with God. You can check out his work by signing up to receive First15 every morning for free, and by engaging with First15 on social media.