Wednesday, November 27, 2013
Psalm 107:21-22 - Oh, that men would give thanks to the Lord for His goodness, and for His wonderful works to the children of men! Let them sacrifice the sacrifices of thanksgiving, and declare His works with rejoicing.
When one becomes a born again Christian one looks at life differently. While I am thankful for the freedoms we have had in the United States, I realize they can be taken away...which we are seeing. I'm still thankful for what we have left. If we live to see more erosion, will we still have something to be thankful for? If life becomes harder for whatever reason, will we still have something to be thankful for? If we call ourselves Christians, disciples of Christ, we should.
So what is my view of Thanksgiving? For some Thanksgiving is just another day off work, food, drink, football and family. Others will celebrate this year and truly will be thankful for God's goodness toward them. A very good friend of mine will testify to this through her waiting on God without any inkling of what she would be facing. And for some, her in particular, He has proven what trusting in Him is all about. (I may post this testimony in time!) I am thankful most of all for God's love, grace and mercy to me. Without Him there is no hope. In Him I have a freedom that cannot be taken away at someone else's whim.
Oh, that men would give thanks to the Lord for His goodness. Thanksgiving is thanking the Lord...that He chose me, redeemed me, guides me...and it is He I can put my trust in.
I recently found out that Thanksgiving as we may know it didn't really happen the way we think. If you are interested in what it might have been, you can research yourself. It was not as Christian a day as we all believe it to be, sad to say. It may have been thanksgiving for lives saved, but not so much for the way of life they lived.
Putting the real story aside, and coming to what we can truly be thankful for...we can thank God today for the physical blessings He has given us. But it's so much more than the physical blessings, or possessions. The biggest thanks we can have is the thanks for our salvation. Two verses prior to the ones above say this: Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble, and He saved them out of their distresses. He sent His word and healed them, and delivered them from their destructions.
Not a new story as far as my posts! When we come to the end of ourselves, can't possibly imagine how we will get through something, we CAN cry out to the Lord and He will heal and deliver through His Word, the Lord Jesus Christ. We can be thankful, truly thankful, if we have received Christ.
He offers the greatest blessing of all time. If we have called on Him for forgiveness of our sins and have continued to follow Him and trust in Him, we can lift up our voices in the most amazing thanksgiving. It's not always about the possessions we have or our freedoms but our spiritual condition, our rightness with God or relationship with Christ. Nothing is more important to God than that.
I am thankful for His sacrificial love for all of us. None of us deserve eternal life. But He offered up His life anyway so that all men who would call on His name, receive Him and wait on and trust in Him would have this eternal life. He gave His life for us. How can we not be thankful for that? When we are at the place where we can thank Him for this, then His hand will be upon us. But how do we live that out? By loving Him first, or what the world believes is important? Think about it...
Oswald Chambers wrote this: The religion of Jesus Christ is a religion of personal relationship to God and has NOTHING to do with possessions. Professional Christianity is a religion of possessions that are devoted to God. The disciple realizes that his life does not consist in the abundance of things he possesses, because what we possess often possesses us; we are possessed by possession.
Look at it this way, though. If we have Christ we have the greatest possession. He is the greatest treasure. He will not leave or forsake anyone who claims this possession. Matthew 6 tells us Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
There are many verses on thanks and thanksgiving to God. He is a great and awesome God who gives generously to those who trust Him. Sometimes what He gives isn't in ways we would expect. We might not even be able to put a finger on what He gives; sometimes it's just in the peace and contentment we feel. Then at other times, because He knows what we have need of (not want of) He provides. And He knows each one of us has need of a Savior. We should be thankful He provided His Son to be that Savior. We should be thankful for the freedom we have in Christ. Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed. (John 8:36) Do you know this freedom?
Psalm 100: Make a joyful shout to the Lord, all you lands! Serve the Lord with gladness; come before His presence with singing. Know that the Lord, He is God; it is He who has made us, and not we ourselves; we are His people and the sheep of His pasture. Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name. For the Lord is good; His mercy is everlasting, and His truth endures to all generations. - A Psalm of Thanksgiving