24 November 2016

Eternally Thankful

Family and friends will gather today to reflect on their thankfulness for the gifts they have been given. Yet, the great majority of these individuals will ultimately "give thanks" to an unknown, unacknowledged being. They do not know the true One from whom all good things flow.
Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow. (James 1:17)
And while they ought to be thankful for His mercy, for it has kept them from thus far being destroyed, in truth, they hate this God because they do not know Him.
For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. (Romans 1:21)
By contrast, Christians ought to be mindful this day—and every day—to thank their Lord for far more than a warm home, a food-filled table, and the laughter of friends. God has indeed promised to provide for His children's daily needs (Matthew 6:25-34), and it is right and good to thank Him for this; however, in a world that is only thankful for the tangible things of life, the Christian has hope that peers far beyond those fleeting, failing mementos and memories
The Christian is thankful for his salvation, an eternal gift that he could never obtain or attain on his own.
And they sang a new song, saying, “Worthy are You to take the book and to break its seals; for You were slain, and purchased for God with Your blood men from every tribe and tongue and people and nation. (Revelation 5:9)
The Christian is thankful for his undeserved, eternal inheritance, which is a promised treasure to be enjoyed for eternity.
In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will, to the end that we who were the first to hope in Christ would be to the praise of His glory. In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation--having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God’s own possession, to the praise of His glory. (Ephesians 1:11-14)
Above these great, immeasurable gifts is God the Father; God the Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, who purchased His own in order that they might enjoy that salvation and eternal inheritance; and God the Holy Spirit, who is granted to believers at the moment of their salvation so that they might grow, learn, and walk in holiness.

Yes, above all, the Christian is thankful not simply for what God has given him, but for who God is.

The Christian is thankful that God is sovereign, for he can know that his heavenly Father is working all things together for the good of His children and for His glory.
And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren; and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified. (Romans 8:28-30)
The Christian is thankful for God's unchanging nature, for he can know that such immutability secures his salvation in Christ.
For I, the LORD, do not change; therefore you, O sons of Jacob, are not consumed. (Malachi 3:6)

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. (Hebrews 13:8)
The Christian is thankful for Christ and His perfect obedience, such that He would willingly go to the cross and die so that His people might be redeemed.
Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. (Philippians 2:8)
The Christian is thankful that God is forgiving, so that in Christ, we may be seen as justified before this holy and righteous Judge.
If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9)
The Christian is thankful for God's justice, for He will one day make all things right and new.
Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth passed away, and there is no longer any sea. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them, and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away.” 

And He who sits on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” And He said, “Write, for these words are faithful and true.” Then He said to me, “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give to the one who thirsts from the spring of the water of life without cost. He who overcomes will inherit these things, and I will be his God and he will be My son. But for the cowardly and unbelieving and abominable and murderers and immoral persons and sorcerers and idolaters and all liars, their part will be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.” (Revelation 21:1-8)
The Christian is thankful that God is a personal deity who has revealed Himself to men through His Son and through His Word.
God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world. (Hebrews 1:1-2)
The Christian is thankful that God is a promise-keeping God, and that Christ has promised to keep and come for those whom He has purchased.
Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also. (John 14:1-3)
The thanks, praise, glory, and honor that is due to our Lord can never be sufficiently offered to Him this side of Heaven. May believers be thankful for a promised eternity throughout which we can offer Jesus Christ the laud that He is due. May we long for that day when we can join with the angels in declaring, "Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty!" Let us in all things give thanks to God through our Lord Jesus Christ (Colossians 3:17), for His lovingkindness, His love, His mercy, His grace, His goodness, indeed all that He is, shall endure forever.
Praise the LORD! Oh give thanks to the LORD, for He is good; For His lovingkindness is everlasting. (Psalm 106:1)
Further Reading
Worthy Is the Lamb
Why Would We Not Give Him Thanks?
It Is Good to Give Thanks to the Lord
Give Thanks With All of Your Heart
Thankful for the Word

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