Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Reasons I am Thankful

This past month, numerous friends on Facebook have posted about things for which they are thankful. So for this week’s post I have decided to follow their lead and give thanks.

I am thankful for Jesus.
1 Timothy 1:15 The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost.
I am the worst sinner I know, but thankfully Jesus came into this world to save sinners. My salvation came at the expense of his death on the cross. There he suffered God’s wrath for my sin. He was forsaken by God so that I might be accepted by him. He suffered agony upon agony in order that I might experience glory forever. Of all the things I am thankful for, I am most thankful for Jesus.

I am thankful for the resurrection of the dead.
1 Corinthians 15:55 “O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
As a pastor I make numerous hospital visits and conduct several funerals each year. This constantly reminds me of the reality of death. Although I know one day I will die, I have an unshakable hope that death is not the end for me. Since Christ has been resurrected and I am united to him by faith, I know that one day I will experience the resurrection from the dead. I thank God that the sting of death has been removed.

I am thankful that I have been set free from the power of sin.
Romans 6:17 But thanks be to God, that you who were once slaves of sin have become obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to which you were committed
Sin is not only damning, it’s enslaving. It is a cruel and harsh taskmaster. Sin does two things well; it over-promises and under-delivers. The beauty of the gospel is that it is powerful enough to rescue from the captivity of sin. Once I was regenerated by the Holy Spirit, I received a new master, Jesus, whose yoke is easy. I am grateful that I have received rest for my sin-wearied soul.  

I am thankful for my wife.
Proverbs 19:14 House and wealth are inherited from fathers, but a prudent wife is from the LORD.
There are no material possessions or financial gifts in this life that are as sweet as my wife. I am daily reminded of how blessed I am as I reflect on our relationship and watch her interact with our children. The Lord has blessed me more than I deserve by giving me such a kind and caring wife.

I am thankful for my church.
Philippians 1:3-5 I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy, because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now.
I serve at a very gracious and generous church. And when I use the word “church” I mean the people, not the building. I have heard several horror stories of older churches chewing up and spitting out younger pastors. I am especially grateful for such a loving and kind church family.

I am thankful for food.
1 Timothy 4:3-4 ...God created [food] to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth. For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving
Food is a gift from God not only for our provision, but also for our enjoyment. Paul explains elsewhere that God is good to humans by “satisfying [their] hearts with food and gladness.” (Acts 14:17). This Thanksgiving I will enjoy the delicious food that is put before me and use it as occasion to give thanks to God for his generosity and kindness. 

I have many more reasons to be thankful, but I want to know what your reasons are. Why are you thankful?

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