George Hulse Blog PostSomething to Give Thanks For!

In recent weeks we have talked a lot about vision.  Nehemiah has been all about the future - seeing what does not yet exist, what could be and should be.  And we should give thanks that we are so free, in and through Jesus Christ our Lord, that we can look forward and hope and pray for a preferred future in His name!

But we should also pause from only looking ahead to the future at Thanksgiving time, and take an inventory of all that we already have in the present, and pour out gratitude to the Lord for all of it!  Our very existence and breath are reasons to stop and give thanks to our God.

The Bible gives us many great encouragements for giving God thanks.  

James tells us that we have many gifts to thank Him for in James 1:17, 18, 17 Whatever is good and perfect comes down to us from God our Father, who created all the lights in the heavens. He never changes or casts a shifting shadow. 18 He chose to give birth to us by giving us his true word.  And we, out of all creation, became his prized possession. Did you catch that?  Every good thing in our lives has come from God, and He has not changed.  He gave us the Gospel that led us to salvation and freedom in Jesus, and we have become even more precious to Him than anything on earth!  We are God’s prizes!  That is something to give thanks for!

Another encouragement toward thankfulness comes from The Apostle Paul.  He says in Ephesians 5:20, 20 and give thanks for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.  The surrounding context talks about being filled with God’s Spirit, and so we can be assured and take courage knowing that when we stop to give thanks for everything, we are living out a Spirit-filled life.

 So, even though many at this season will merely feel thankful for pilgrims and turkeys, and in some cases feel grateful for misguided notions of American freedom, let us go well beyond all of that.  Let us give thanks for everything, including our salvation, to God the Father through our Lord Jesus.  Let’s praise Him that we are free from sin, that He is always good and never changes, and for eternal life!  Let us take care to thank God for everything- even our very breath, with which we give Him the praise.

Here is an exercise that will only take a few minutes, but will fill your heart with joy and praise all season long.  Read through Ephesians 1:3-14 and each time you read about something God has done for believers, write it down and make it personal.  For instance, you may write from verse 3, “God has blessed us with every spiritual blessing through our faith in Christ.”  Just that thought alone is cause for thanksgiving isn’t it?  God has not withheld any spiritual blessing, but has instead lavished them all upon us.  There are so many more.  Enjoy giving Him thanks and praise for all that He has done.

 

GeoSigThumbGeorge Hulse

Lead Pastor