Did You Count Your Many Blessings This Past Thanksgiving Day? (Or can’t you count that high?)
And have you thanked God for all your many blessings? Have you thanked God for your greatest blessing? The bible tells us in 1 Corinthians 15:57; “But thanks be to God, who giveth us the victory, through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Are you thankful for the victory? And are you thankful for Jesus? And are you thankful for your faith, which is HOW you gain the victory through Jesus? “And this is the victory that overcomes the world, even our faith.” (1 John 5, verse 4)
And are you thankful for the bible, the Word of God, which is HOW you gain your faith? “So the faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of Christ.” (Romans 10:17)
And are you thankful for the forgiveness of sins? Because sin, is the very thing that the victory is over! It’s the victory over sin; And it’s the victory over spiritual death, which comes by sin. “O’ death, where is thy victory; O’ death, where is thy sting? The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ!” (1 Corinthians 15:55 thru 57)
Could we please have one of the men lead us in a prayer, and specifically thank God for our victory over sin and death?
Doug, maybe.. would you lead us in a prayer?
Give Thanks Through Him
We’re told in 1 Thessalonians 5, verse 18; “In everything, give thanks; For this is God’s will for you, in Christ Jesus.” If you’re a Christian, it is God’s will for you to be thankful, in everything, and always.
And Colossians 3, verse 17 exhorts us with these words; “And whatever you do, in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.”
We give our thanks to the Father, through, Jesus Christ. We have to go through Jesus Christ, to get to the Father. “I am the way, the truth, and the life; No man comes to the Father, but through Me.” (John 14:6) Jesus is our high priest, isn’t He? You can’t go to the Father, except through the high priest. That’s even the way it was in ancient Israel. The people had no direct access to God. Access was only through the high priest; Hence the Levitical priesthood.
But we’ve got even a better high priest, who’s got a better priesthood! Hebrews 7:17 says; “For it is testified: “You are a priest forever in the order of Melchizedek.” Verse 21 says; “But He became a priest, with an oath made by the One who said to Him: The Lord has sworn, and He will not change His mind, You are a priest forever!”
The high priest is the one who goes between man and God the Father, in heaven. And Jesus is that “go between”. “For there is one God, and one mediator also, between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself as a ransom for all, the testimony given at the proper time.” (1 Timothy 2:5 & 6)
Hebrews 7:25 says; “Therefore He is able to save completely, those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to intercede for them.” Jesus intercedes for us, always! Romans 8, verse 34 encourages us with these words; “Who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is He who died; Yes, rather who was raised! Who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us.” Christ is there, always! Interceding for us. In other words, being our mediator with God the Father.
Remember what Jesus promised in Mathew 10, verse 32; “Whosoever therefore shall confess Me before men, him will I confess also before My Father which is in heaven.” That’s obviously one of the ways in which Jesus intercedes for us. He confesses us as HIS, before the Father in heaven. He confesses us as one of His assembly of the saved. A member of His “church”, and of His kingdom, the kingdom of Christ!
We could probably go on all day about all the blessings we have in Jesus, or we could simply quote Ephesians 1, verse 3, which tells us; “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, (in other words; Thanks be to God) who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ.”
How about if we have a prayer now, specifically giving thanks for Jesus Christ, and for all spiritual blessings in Him.. Milo..
And how about our physical, and material blessings? Are we thankful, enough, and often enough, for all that God gives us? Are not all of our material possessions, gifts from God? I think they are. How many things have you acquired, all by yourself, with absolutely no help from God? Acts 17, verse 28 tells us; “For in Him we live, and move, and have our being..” In other words, we wouldn’t even exist without God! Let alone have any ability to accomplish anything! Some people don’t have the ability to move and accomplish things. Some people had the ability, but it was taken away. We need to count our blessings. Name them one-by-one!
We can’t be arrogant, and think that all we do, is simply because ourselves. Do you remember the lesson that we’re taught in James 4, verses 13 thru 15? “Come now, you who say; Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, and spend a year there, and engage in business, and make a profit. You do not even know what will happen tomorrow! What is your life? You are a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say; If the Lord should WILL, we will both live, and we will do, this or that.”
It’s all a gift form God isn’t it? And we know, that “Every good thing given, and every perfect gift, is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation nor shadow of turning.” (James 1:17) Not only spiritual gifts, but physical gifts, and material gifts as well. “Every good thing given, and every perfect gift, is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation nor shadow of turning.” In other words, God doesn’t give us good things one day, and bad things the next. There is no variance with God, and if He were to cast a shadow, it wouldn’t shift or turn in the slightest! God does not change.
It’s just like we’re told in Hebrews 13, verse 8; “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” And that of course applies to God our Father, as well as to Jesus Christ.
God simply does not give us anything short, of that which is good. And if we’re faithful to God, won’t He simply bless us all the more? Psalm 37, verse 25 says; “I have been young, and now I am old; Yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his descendants begging bread.” God is our Father!
Jesus tells us in Mathew 6:25 & 26; “For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they?”
But God teaches us not to be greedy, doesn’t He? And not to be stingy. But to be thankfully generous, and to be giving. Just look at all that God has given us. Are we thankful for it all? Are we thankful enough to be generous in return? Here’s what God tells us about our generosity. He says in Luke 6:38; Actually these are the words of Jesus.. “Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.”
And Proverbs 11:25 says; “A generous soul will prosper, and he who refreshes others, will himself be refreshed.”
Here’s what God says in Malachi 3, verse 10; “Bring the full tithe into the storehouse, so that there may be food in My house. Test Me in this, says the LORD of Hosts. See if I will not open the windows of heaven, and pour out for you blessing without measure.”
I’ve asked Milo to offer our final prayer of thanksgiving this morning. And Bobby is going to thank the Lord for all of our material and physical blessings.
And that’s our lesson for this morning. Be thankful; Not only on certain days of the year, but on every day of the year, and every hour of the day.
And so in closing, we thank God for the way of salvation through Christ. We thank God for His Word, which produces faith in our hearts. And we thank God for the opportunity to confess the name of Christ, openly. And to repent of our sins. God has granted us the opportunity to repent. Let’s make sure that we use that opportunity. And we thank God for the opportunity to be buried in baptized, so that our sins can be washed away. And of course, we always have the opportunity to remain faithful every day.