Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Thanksgiving thoughts

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. There is no pressure in present-giving (and receiving), delicious food is plenteous, and football is on the TV and in the back yard. Family get-togethers are great, and fellowship is rich. But this Thanksgiving I want to be sure that I am most thankful for the God who gives--not the gifts He gives!

In that spirit, here are some words from John MacArthur and a young preacher from Countryside.

Rekindling the Gratitude - John MacArthur
The Thanksgiving season is a wonderful time to heighten your sensitivity to the blessings bestowed by God. Thanksgiving grabs your attention, shakes the cobwebs loose, and reminds you of all God's most precious gifts. That's one reason Thanksgiving has always held such a special place in my heart. It rekindles in me the kind of God-centered gratitude that our Lord demands and deserves—the kind that should readily be on our lips year round.

To help stimulate that kind of deeper gratitude, my family has adopted a Thanksgiving tradition we've found extremely helpful. Each year after our Thanksgiving meal we gather in our living room and simply recite the blessings of God that have touched our lives. One by one we circle the room, each one of us expressing our gratitude to God for His many physical and spiritual blessings.

Allow me to share with you just five blessings that deeply touch me every year and prompt me to thank God. Perhaps it'll catch and you'll be able to rekindle your gratitude!

You're Saved and You Know It
No work of God's is more beyond my comprehension yet closer to my heart and more worthy of gratitude than salvation. Before coming to know Christ, each of us lived in a self-imposed prison. Guilty, condemned, spiritually blind, and with no means to pay our debt, our destiny was one of eternal separation from God.

But Christ not only rescued us from the power and penalty of our sins, He also lifted us to a place of blessing. He delivered us from punishment and brought glory. He took away the threat of hell and gave us the hope of heaven. He dismissed us from divine wrath and brought us a divine benediction. One hymn writer put that unfathomable transaction like this:

In wonder lost, with trembling joy, We take the pardon of our God; Pardon for crimes of deepest dye, A pardon bought with Jesus' blood, Who is a pard'ning God like Thee? Or who has grace so rich and free?

We sing of salvation. We talk of salvation. Salvation is the essence of Christianity. Thanking God for saving us should be the unceasing occupation of our lips—only a stone-cold heart could offer anything less.

Read the rest of the article here.

JD Summers (CSide) kicked of November with this message, and it still echoes in my brain and heart as we look to Thanksgiving tomorrow. JD asked, "What is it that you are most thankful for?" Stop and answer that before reading. JD went on to say that your answer to this reveals what is most important to you. Is it God or is it His gifts? God is the Gospel.

Finally, Jim Elliff has some practical ways we can honor God on Thanksgiving.

May the Lord richly bless you all with His mercy and grace!

No comments:

About Me

Here is my testimony: mike