This morning as a consumed my daily dose of information from the blogosphere I see that most people I read after are happy and thankful. They did not leave me much to say but I will take my turn. It is good for us to express thanks because silent gratitude is not much use to anyone.
This morning I have a loving family, wonderful church, awesome friends, more than needed in housing, ridiculous ease in access to food, and I have not pent one moment of my life without any of those things. I will eat a meal today that would be the best and largest meal that the vast majority of the world would consider they have ever had. I live in a generation that has more conveniences than any king one hundred years ago. I could not imagine how I could be any more fortunate by being born into this family, in this county, and in this time in history.
Today I want to say “thank You” with the “You” being my gracious God! All the things I listed in the previous paragraph were not provided to me solely by any person. All anyone in my life could ever be is an instrument of God’s goodness upon my life. For a moment I would like to challenge you as you consider for what you are thankful to first stop and consider to whom are you thankful.
THANKFUL. 1. : conscious of benefit received <for what we are about to receive make us truly thankful>. 2. : expressive of thanks.
President Abraham Lincoln understood this when he officially set aside the last Thursday of November, in 1863, “as a day of thanksgiving and praise to our beneficent Father.” Thankfulness is only possible when we realize what we have received has been giving to us by choose in our lives and not by chance by an all knowing, loving God.
My friend Chris Gardner expressed it very clearly on Tuesday night when he shared the story of the 10 lepers. They all had the same circumstances of being healed from leprosy but on one CHOSE to express his thankfulness. When we look past what we receive and look to the giver do we find our greatest ability to be thankful.
I am amazed this morning when I think about how the Giver of all good things gave Himself. The God of Heaven took on a robe of flesh and died the death of a criminal on earth to give me an everlasting life free from the eternal penalty of sin. I have some many things to be thankful today and so do you regardless of your current state. Some of you may be going through the darkest season of your life. Could I challenge you to look back the “what” this morning and to the “Whom”. Do not believe for a moment that the God who died in your place desire to harm you. He is doing a wondrous work that we cannot understand. To the unbeliever He is drawing you to Him. To the believer He is conforming you into the image of Christ. Both of these things are acts of gracious love.
Today when you sit down with you family and make mention of all you are thankful for take a adequate time for all those present to realize first of all to Whom we are thankful. Use this day for its designated purpose “as a day of thanksgiving and praise to our beneficent Father.”
Today as you express you gratitude for Jesus who died in your place would you consider helping other people in other places know He died in their place as well. Here is a link that you help you learn how you can help the spread of the Gospel in China by seeing a church planted. http://us1.campaign-archive1.com/?u=fc91195352c523053aee88497&id=a62091c321