Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Thankful Like Jesus

The table is set, the feast is prepared and served, and the family gathers. Thanksgiving remains a special evening in America. Inevitably, someone will ask, "what are you thankful for?" If you're like my family, this is a question that must be answered by everyone at the table. How will you answer this question?

Jesus was thankful that the Father had hidden the teachings of Christ from the wise and understanding yet revealed to little children (Matthew 11:25). Jesus was thankful for the food He provided in the feeding of the 4,000 (Matthew 15:36). Jesus was thankful to the heavenly Father for always hearing Jesus' prayer at the resurrection of Lazarus (John 11:41-42). Jesus gave thanks at the last supper before His trial, suffering, and execution (Matthew 26:26-27).

Jesus remained thankful despite experiencing much ingratitude. One day, our Lord Jesus healed ten lepers who asked Jesus to have mercy on them (Luke 17:11-19). They were healed on their way to show themselves to the priest, yet only one turned back and gave Jesus thanks.

What are you thankful for? I am thankful that He would reveal Himself to such a wretch like me. I am thankful to be fed by Christ like the 4,000. I am thankful that through Christ the Father always hears me. I am thankful for the death of Christ in my place. Like the healed leper, I am thankful that my Lord showed me mercy.

I have much to be thankful for. Yet, when it comes to my turn to answer, it isn't simply what I am thankful for, but to Whom. He has show me mercy when I deserve judgment, healing when I deserve wounding, and a forever reconciliation with my God when I deserve to live in squalor in the far country (Luke 15:16).

It is when I know to Whom I am thankful and aware of my place, I truly see the rich blessings I enjoy on earth with a grateful heart. I am thankful to God for my wife. She is a truly good friend and help meet. I am thankful to God for my children. They are a joy. I am thankful to God for my church family. They encourage me and love my family. I am thankful for my parents and siblings. I have happy memories growing up which I hope to continue in my own children.

Whether I have plenty or little, I am thankful the Lord taught me to be content (Philippians 4:12). With a thankful heart I let my requests be made known to God, and I am thankful He always hears me and does not treat me according to my iniquities. Rather, Jesus the Good Shepherd is bringing me all the way to God. What now is my chief purpose? To glorify God and enjoy Him forever.

What am I thankful for? I am His, and He is mine. 
What are you thankful for?

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