The Thanksgiving Season is a wonderful time to heighten our sensitivity to the blessings bestowed on us by God. Thanksgiving grabs our attention, shakes the cobwebs loose, reminds us of God’s most precious gifts and convicts us of our lack of contentment.
Thanksgiving has always had a special place in my heart. It rekindles the kind of God Centered Gratitude that our Lord both demands and deserves.
Allow me to share SIX BLESSINGS that have deeply touched me through the years and prompts me to give thanks to God. As I reverse them they always rekindle my gratitude and I hope they help you to do the same.
I Am Grateful For The Lords Salvation. (Colossians 1:12- 14)
I am grateful for earthly life which I am keenly aware that the Lord gave me. But far more I am thankful for the forgiveness of sin. No work of God is beyond my comprehension yet closer to my heart. Before coming to Christ each of us lived lives in self imposed prisons, guilty, lonely, spiritually blind, fearful of death and life and no means to pay our sin debt. Our destiny was eternal separation from God lost in the eternal destruction of hell. But how Christ pardoned us from the penalty and power of sin. How he has delivered us from the dominion of Satan and translated us into the kingdom of the beloved Son, ( Colossians 1:12-14). He has taken away the threat of hell and now we live in the hope of heaven. He has dismissed His divine wrath and brought us in to divine benediction. He has given us abundant life, His daily presence and provisions. We daily sing of His salvation. We walk with Him, talk with Him, His Holy Spirit lives in us. Thanking God for saving our soul should be our year round unceasing occupation ! Luke 17:12-13 teaches us that we should fall to our knees and worship him for healing our souls. Thankfulness is a mark of the genuine christian and unthankfulness is a mark or the unforgiven and wicked, (Romans 1:19-20).
II. I Am Grateful For The Lord’s Word. (John 17:17)
I am thankful for the Whole Truth and Nothing But the Truth- The Holy Bible! The world is gripped by lies, half truths, false teachers and false teaching. Conflicts about philosophies, political systems, world cultures deceive the masses and yet we have the TRUTH AND NOTHING BUT THE TRUTH. The world has questions and no answers, the born again believer has questions and answers found in God’s Holy Word. Answers for every area of life most importantly answers how to find forgiveness of sin and eternal life. Thanks to the Lord we have a copy of GOD’S WORD. We have an eternal, objective, incontestable, irrevocable, unchangeable standard we can depend on for all matters of life. God’s Word is the words of life that offer us answers in every issue of life.
III. I Am Grateful For The Privilege And Power Of Prayer. (Matthew 7:7-11)
That we can come boldly to the Throne of God and make our requests unto our loving and listening Sovereign. That we can make petitions for ourselves, intercessions for others. That we can “ ask it shall be forgiven, seek and it shall be found, knock and it shall be opened” , (Matthew 6-7). I am thankful that we can pray privately, corporately, unceasingly and we can pray from anywhere and at any time. Prayers that shake our world and send the gospel in power. I am thankful that prayer changes me personally and moves the mighty hand of God.
IV. I am grateful for the Lord's storms. ( Mark 4:39 )
Perhaps the most difficult time to give thanks is when we are in the midst of a storm of life. Setbacks, challenges, trials can hinder our sense of contentment and gratitude. When the storms come giving thanks rarely are my first reaction. Being thankful for adversity is never easy but always right. But from my experience I know the difficult times are ones in which God seems to be most at work in my life. He is closely working on me as He prunes, strengthens, teaches, developed my faith and in general makes me more like Himself.
The more mature we become in Christ the more grateful we become for the SOVEREIGN STORMS our Lord allows to enter our lives.
V. I am grateful for the Lord's church. ( Matthew 16:18 )
I am thankful for the Lord building His true and genuine church. I have loved the church since the moment the Holy Spirit moved into my life at my new birth. I am a stronger believer in the church than without. It is the place as a believer that I find my place I belong. I am thankful for the family of God that gathers in it to strengthen and scatters from it to lengthen. I an thankful for the churches that have stayed the course of spreading the true gospel and living pure and holy lives. For those that are standing for the full course of Bible truth. Resisting fads, remaining faithful to the biblical purposes that the Lord instituted the church for in the first place. It fills my heart with gratitude to be a part of the Lord’s church. To partner in life and ministry.
VI. I am grateful for the Lord's people.
The Lord has placed people in our life! No mistakes! All ordained! Our parents, mates, children, grandchildren, friends, other Christians now and those who are now in heaven, pastors, deacons, teachers and the list goes on. Our earthly families are so precious and our sisters and brothers in the family of God. How Blessed we are for each one. Living life with others is far better than living alone. Giving thanks for the partnerships, guidance, help that others have brought to our lives fitting for each of us 365 days a year.
I am thankful at this time of year and my desire is that I will rekindle such thanksgiving every day of the year for the rest of my life. Hope you do the same!
Terry has been the Senior Pastor of Liberty for 30 years. He and his wife, Karen, have 4 children, 11 grandchildren, and 1 spoiled dog named Cooper.