Thankful

November 23, 2009 at 4:33 pm | Posted in Christianity | Leave a comment
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This Thursday, Americans will celebrate Thanksgiving. I can only wonder how many will actually know that it is a Christian holiday. I am guessing that the numbers are few because most people are thinking about being with family and watching football. Then, they will get up at some unGodly time in order to be the first to have some new-fangled device that they don’t need and probably can’t afford. They will gorge themselves on food and then take naps before their favorite teams play.
 
Our nation owes everything to the God of the Bible. The Christian God is the source of everything that this nation is and has. When the people came over here so that they could worship Him the way they desired (instead of the way the king – and church – said) He protected them. When they fought for their freedom against the tyrannical power of the British throne, He saw them through. When they came together to be united States and founded the country on clearly Biblical principles, He prospered them. The founding fathers feared God and gave thanks to Him because they knew He was worthy. If our country would let go of its pride, self-righteousness, and arrogance and begin to give thanks to the Almighty God who created the universe, things would change. If Americans feared God again, and understood what He has done for them, they would rejoice to see the moral fabric renewed.
 
How often do you stop and thank God for what you have? Do you thank Him at all? He has given you life! That in itself is more than we deserve. God has blessed you with the opportunity to know Him. Have you taken it? Have you thanked Him for that? He went so far as to sent one moment in time where He entered into human history to play the role that no one else could. He came down to earth and became the Savior of all mankind. He lived the sinless life that you and I cannot. He fulfilled the requirements of God’s holy law, something that we will never do. Then, after being the perfect human being and still God, He suffered at the hands of those He loved and was crucified for the sins that you and I have committed.
What’s even more amazing is that He knew this the whole time. He knew how you would live your life in rebellion to Him and how you would curse Him, and He died for you anyway. The Bible says that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. That’s something that I will never understand. The good news is that I don’t have to understand it. All I have to do is know that it’s true. It’s true for me and for you. All you have to do is repent of (turn from) your sins and put your complete faith in Jesus Christ as your Savior. The Bible says that God is so gracious that He gives us the ability to repent as well as the ability to have faith in Him. Nothing that you or I could do would be enough, but God has made it so that every man, woman, and child who will repent and put their faith in Christ will be born again. That is something to be truly thankful for. If you haven’t repented and trusted in Christ, please do so. Consider your sin and how it will send you to hell, and then think about the kind and gracious God who came down and saved you.
 
In light of the wonderful things that God has done for me, I wanted to take some time to thank Him. Thank you God for You. Thank you for being God so that I don’t have to be. Thank you for being the omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient creator of the universe, and still a personal God. Thank you for loving the individual. Thank you for being gracious, kind, merciful, just, holy, and righteous. Thank you disciplining me and caring for me. Thank you Lord Jesus. Thank you for becoming like me so that You could live and die to reconcile me to God. Thank you for saving me from my sins and myself. Thank you Holy Spirit for leading me into all truth and correcting and convicting me when I’m wrong. Thank you for being my Helper and Comforter.
 
Thank you, Lord, for my family. My mom, stepdad, sisters, cousins, aunts, uncles, and various assorted others. Thank you for keeping them close to me even though they are so far away. Thank you for my wonderful daughter. I am so proud of her and the strong Christian woman she is becoming. It is a great blessing to be a part of her life and to help her grow. Marlee: Thank you for your love and support. I can only hope that I give you something close to what you’ve given me. To Kim, Jimmy, Mallory, Mayce, Mandy, Jeremy, Si and Sky, Donna, Eric, Laramie, Jessie Mae, Diane, and Billy: thank you for letting me be a part of your family when you don’t have to and for loving me with the love of Christ.
 
To Dave, Tonya, Cora, Emma, Colin, and Ridge: Thank you for the kind words, the time together, and the constant encouragement. To Jay, Jenifer, Maddie, Meghan, Todd, Cathy, Kylie, Sandra, Michaela, Malaina, Mark, Mary, Kelsie, Ricky, Cindy, Patrick, Bo, Margaret, Sandy, Grant, Kenney, April, Savannah, Dee, Lynsey, Lynn, Scarlet, and Amelia: Thank you for the help and encouragement both with the team and outside of it.Thank you for being such great friends and for sharing some of your precious time with me. To Steve: While the magic that you share with me is always amazing, the friendship that you’ve shared is even more so – thank you.
 
To Miss Kay, Jack, BJ, David, Jan, Sharon, and so many others at Precept: Thank you for being devoted to the Word and to our Lord and preaching the truth, even when I may not want to hear it. Thank you for having the willingness and the patience to put up with me!
 
To all of the others that I didn’t specifically mention by name, please understand that you are dear to me as well and I am thankful for your friendship.
 
If you aren’t a Christian, you may be wondering why I would take time to do something like this. Let me explain. I am a Christian. God has done the unthinkable in dying for my sins. He remembers them no more. Because of this, I am His. When I die, I know that I will go to heaven; not because of something I did, but because of what He’s done. I know that regardless of the things that I may go through in life, God is there. He will comfort me and keep me through the darkest times. There is no other “god” who will do this. Not Allah, not Buddha, not Vishnu or Brahman. The God of the Bible gives me peace through His Word and its promises (these are just some of them!): 
Give thanks to the LORD, for He is good ; For His lovingkindness is everlasting. Oh let Israel say, “His lovingkindness is everlasting.” Oh let the house of Aaron say, “His lovingkindness is everlasting.” Oh let those who fear the LORD say, “His lovingkindness is everlasting.” (Psalm 118:1-4)
You are my hiding place ; You preserve me from trouble ; You surround me with songs of deliverance. Selah. (Psalm 32:7)
The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures ; He leads me beside quiet waters. He restores my soul ; He guides me in the paths of righteousness For His name’s sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies ; You have anointed my head with oil ; My cup overflows. Surely goodness and lovingkindness will follow me all the days of my life, And I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever . (Psalm 23)
In the fear of the LORD there is strong confidence, And his children will have refuge. (Proverbs 14:26)
The name of the LORD is a strong tower ; The righteous runs into it and is safe. (Proverbs 18:10)
Do you not know ? Have you not heard ? The Everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth Does not become weary or tired. His understanding is inscrutable . He gives strength to the weary, And to him who lacks might He increases power. Though youths grow weary and tired, And vigorous young men stumble badly, Yet those who wait for the LORD Will gain new strength ; They will mount up with wings like eagles, They will run and not get tired, They will walk and not become weary. (Isaiah 40:28-31)
“These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage ; I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)
 
But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. (Romans 5:8, 10)
No other God offers these promises. No other God can save you from your sin or from the the suffering of hell. There is one God and one mediator between God and man – the man Christ Jesus (1 Timothy 2:5). This is what I am most thankful for. Will you be thankful for Him? Will you tell others? If you are a Christian, you should be living a life of praise worthy of the God who saved you. If you aren’t saved, then you face a terrible future, regardless of how good things are now. Please consider where you stand with God! If you’ve lied, stolen, blasphemed, looked with lust, hated, or dishonored your parents you’ve broken God’s law. If you’ve broken God’s law you are guilty in His sight. If you are guilty in His sight and die in your sins, you will find yourself in hell for eternity. But, God has created a way for you to be saved.
Repent of your sins! Trust in the Lord Jesus alone to save you and He will do it! This is a promise of His! And, once you are saved from God’s wrath, then all of the promises He gives to His children will be yours. This doesn’t mean that you will be rich. It doesn’t mean that you will be in perfect health. What it means is that you
will be spared the judgment that is to come. And that is something to truly be thankful for!
This week, as you prepare for the Thanksgiving holiday, take some time to stop and look around. God has made Himself evident to you. Have you been paying attention? Look at the family and friends that He’s blessed you with. He’s given you life! Then, when you recognize that it’s Him that is the cause of all you are and all you have, thank Him. Thank Him for everything. Thank Him for others. Thank Him with others. Just make sure that you thank Him and glorify His name, for He is truly worthy!
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