Category: Thanksgiving (Page 1 of 2)

Giving Thanks

Thanksgiving is a central part of Paul’s letter to the Colossians.

1:3 – We’re thankful for the faith and the hope of all the good people around us.

1:12 – You should be thankful for the salvation you share with all our brothers and sisters in the Kingdom of God.

2:7 – You should overflow with thankfulness because you have received the fullness of God in Christ.

3:15 – Be thankful for the peace of Christ inside you, the Word of Christ inside you.

3:17 – Be thankful for the name of Christ we all wear by the grace of God.

4:2 – Be thankful for the many redemptive ways God is breaking into our world.

Be thankful for the goodness of our God. Be thankful for the Good News of the Gospel of Jesus Christ that has come to you and changed your whole life. Be thankful for the mercies of God and the mighty acts of God that belong to you. Be thankful that God has begun a good work in you and he is going to see it all the way to completion on that day when Christ appears and you appear with him in his eternal glory.

It’s good to be thankful around all the family, food, and football in late November. But be thankful every day – every waking moment – that, through Christ, you belong to God forever.

Peace,

Allan

In All Circumstances

“Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” ~1 Thessalonians 5:18

There’s a difference between giving thanks FOR all circumstances and giving thanks IN all circumstances. You don’t give thanks for all the dirty dishes in the sink at the end of the day — unless you’re some kind of sicko; you do thank God for the food he gives you to dirty all those dishes. You don’t give thanks for the car accident; you do thank God that nobody was seriously injured. You don’t give thanks that Molly White is in the hospital; you do thank God for the opportunity to minister to Molly and her husband Pete and for deeming you somehow worthy to minister in the name of Jesus. You don’t give thanks that Vernon died; you do thank God that death is not the bottom line, death is not the last chapter. Thank you, Lord, that God in Christ is the ultimate power with the ultimate authority and he always writes the final word! Thank the Lord that resurrection and life belong to us in Jesus!

I always get a kick out of listening to little kids pray — I’m talking about little kids: three, four, five years old. They give thanks to God for everybody and every thing. If we’re at the table, they thank God for everybody around the table and every food item, the plates, the napkins, the silverware, the Kool-Aid, and what they hope is for dessert.

If we’re praying in the living room, they thank God for the couch and the fireplace and the TV and the remote. If we’re in the bedroom, they thank God for the bed, their pillow, their blanket, their clothes, their shoes, and they name every single stuffed animal and every doll and lift them each to God in praise. It’s everything.

Everything they see is a gift from God. Everything in the world, everything going on around them right now, at this moment, all of it is a blessing from God and he is to be thanked profusely.

Why do we lose that?

Joyful souls and prayerful spirits and grateful hearts — that is God’s will for us in Christ Jesus.

Peace,

Allan

Short Week

It’s Tuesday. Feels like Monday. Tomorrow’s Wednesday. And I’m running behind. We concluded our “Marriage Matters” sermon series on Sunday with “Sex and Marriage.” I’d like to reproduce a lot of that sermon in a series of three or four posts here in this space, but it’s probably not going to happen this week. Stay tuned.

In the meantime, let me share a couple of links with you.

Erica Grieder has written a column in the current Texas Monthly about the San Antonio Spurs, claiming that they are not only the best franchise in the NBA, but the best professional sports team in the history of the state of Texas. She makes a pretty good case and she taunts Cowboys fans with a parenthetical “Prove me wrong!” You can read her column by clicking here.

Jim Martin has written an excellent post about being grateful on his blog “God Hungry.” As always, he makes a point that hurts: sometimes we say “Thank you” to everybody in our lives except the people we love the most. You can click here to read his post.

RangersTrip2016Group

We took our annual Central Boys Night Out trip to the Ballpark in Arlington last Friday to see the home team get clobbered by the Pirates. Didn’t much matter; we had an absolute blast. Dale won the homerun pool, I took home the double-play pot, and Speck lucked into the final-out bucks. Lou went to his first big league game, Andy wore an orange bandana around his neck, and we made Greg wear an Adrian Beltre shirt. We also learned that if you’re a cop, like Doug, you don’t have to go through the security line like everybody else. On the way we saw where Bruce grew up in Quanah, and on the way back we quietly lamented the idiocy that would destroy the baseball temple in Arlington and rebuild it next door with a retractable roof. And we all ate for the cycle.

Peace,

Allan

Thanksgiving in Christ

In good times and bad, we have much for which to be thankful. Much. Odds are that you personally rankĀ in the top ten percent of the wealthiest people in the world. And, yes, we are thankful. We are thankful for all the wonderful blessings of our lives: our families, our children, our friends, our jobs and houses, our cars and money. And that’s good. It’s very good to acknowledge God as the giver of all good gifts. Everything you have is a gift from God. We thank him for every good thing we see.

But beyond that — way, way, way beyond that — we enjoy the blessings of a righteous relationship with God through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Everything we’ve been given, all our possessions, every blessing you could possibly count this week finds more significance because of Christ. Every blessing is richer, it’s better, it’s deeper, it’s more significant, it’s more meaningful because of Christ. In fact, all thanksgiving is because of, related to, and in the name of Jesus.

The things the Scriptures long for, the blessings the psalms yearn for, the promises the Bible begs to be delivered are all fulfilled for us in Christ Jesus. He is our righteousness, our holiness, and our redemption.

So, you’re thankful today? “Thanks be to God — through Jesus Christ our Lord!” (Romans 7:25)

You’re thankful for a particular person today? “I always thank God for you, because of his grace given you in Christ Jesus!” (1 Corinthians 1:4)

You’re thankful today even in tough times? “Give thanks in all circumstances for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus!” (1 Thessalonians 5:18)

You’re thankful for salvation? “Thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ!” (1 Corinthians 15:57)

In Ephesians 5:20, Paul tells us to give thanks to God “for everything in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

We have a whole lot for which to be thankful today. Let’s be reminded that all thanksgiving — all of it — finds its source and its meaning in our Savior and Lord.

Peace,

Allan

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