Abounding In Thanksgiving

This morning, around Canada, pastors will stand behind pulpits and give Thanksgiving Sunday messages. “What does it mean to be thankful?”, “What are you thankful for this morning?”  I, myself, will be preaching on, “Growing Christians Are Thankful” a sermon handed down to me from the pastor whose church we are all joining with for worship today.  My text is, 

Colossians 2:6-7
Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.

After the service many families will rush home to rescue their chicken/turkey in the oven (praying the oven actually turned on as planned).  They’ll gather around the table with few family or many depending on their situation and give thanks to God for ???  It’ll be a “thanksgiving party” but anything we do will pale in comparison to the Thanksgiving in Heaven we see in Revelation 7…

Revelation 7:9-12
After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!”
 And all the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures, and they fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, saying, “Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might be to our God forever and ever! Amen.”

This really got me to thinking, “What am I thankful for?”  I mean, truly, after I run through the list of Jesus (duh), loving spouse, food to eat, home to sleep in, employment, etc., etc., etc…what “hits me right in the feels” with thankfulness?  Amazingly enough, it didn’t take me long to come to an answer: I am most deeply thankful for LOVE.  

The fact that God loves me through and through without measure.  That He sees me, wants me, lives in me, with me, goes through life with me, talks to me, forgives me, saves me, cherishes me and will do so for all eternity…THAT truly fills my heart with Thanksgiving.   

My passage in Colossians begins with ,”Therefore, as your received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him…” I received Jesus (TRULY received Jesus) when his love became THE defining point over what religious people had been telling me for years. In fact, once I got a clearer picture of God’s love and grace I was actually mad at “the church” who had been influencing me for years but had neglected to share with me a clear picture of God’s love!  Infected with legalism, I believed God would only love and want me if I lived a perfect sinless life following Him without stumble or fall.  He was the eye in the sky ever watching, the judge over me ever recording my failings…what a different picture than Romans 8:31-39,

What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died-more than that, who was raised-who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword?
 As it is written, “For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.”
 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord

What am I thankful for? As one song-writer put it: “The overwhelming, never-ending, reckless love of God [that] chases me down, fights ’til I’m found, leaves the ninety-nine. I couldn’t earn it, and I don’t deserve it, still, You give Yourself away. Oh, the overwhelming, never-ending, reckless love of God.”  (Cory Asbury)

I pray you would hear and receive and know the depth of God’s love for you today. May your heart abound with thanksgiving for you are His beloved and He is crazy about you! ? 

God, You’re So Good (Passion)

Amazing love — That welcomes me — The kindness of mercy
That bought with blood, wholeheartedly — My soul undeserving

 God, You’re so good, Oh God, You’re so good
 God, You’re so good, You’re so good to me

Behold the cross — Age to age — And hour by hour
The dead are raised, the sinner saved — The work of Your power

I am blessed, I am called, I am healed, I am whole
I am saved in Jesus’ name
Highly favored, anointed, Filled with Your power
For the glory of Jesus’ name

And should this life — Bring suffering — Lord, I will remember
What Calvary has bought for me — Both now and forever

God, You’re so good, Oh God, You’re so good
 God, You’re so good, You’re so good to me