It’s unbelievable how fast this year has passed as we’re well into fall and slowly recovering from the COVID pandemic of 2020, although some would question our recovery. It’s a good time to focus on giving thanks to our Creator, Father, and God.
Our country has known thanksgiving is important, and our greatest leaders felt from their hearts the need to make it public, mirroring the sentiments of the American people at different times. One of my best friends and mentors published a most excellent blog chronicling the historical, governmental, cultural, and spiritual aspects of Thanksgiving. I recommend you get quiet with a cup of coffee or tea, then read and meditate on it. You’ll be grateful you did.
Last Sunday, a passionate young teacher at our church gave an excellent sermon or teaching on thanksgiving from the Bible — its purpose, what it means to God, and to us. I would also wholeheartedly suggest you give it a look if you’re inclined.
Thanksgiving is the opposite of entitlement, which may be the biggest problem in our nation today. In the book I just finished writing, and will hopefully be available in a few days, I have a few things to say about this topic:
“I have a good friend who was the CEO of a large hospital. He once told me, ‘Entitlement is the biggest problem in our nation today.’ Why would you think that the Almighty owes you anything? Or that anyone else does? Is it your pride? Or your self-asserted importance? Self-exaltation? Who gave you life? This beautiful planet for a home? Air to breathe? Water to drink? Destiny? Purpose? Love?
“Worth is a complex issue to discuss, yet it’s simple in light of the Bible and the Creator. We are made in His image. He made creation for our habitation. This says we are very valuable to him. We are His image bearers, witnesses to angels, and to those who do not yet know Him. Yet our value to Him goes deeper still.
“If being made in His image with this beautiful planet to enjoy wasn’t enough, God gave us free will to make a mark, good or bad, on His creation and to use or abuse the same. Then if that wasn’t enough, we are twice bought, created by Him, then redeemed from sin and death by His cross. So what are we worth to Him? It would seem a price too great to pay!
“Tell me again, what does God owe you? Only a rebellious, spoiled child would think God owed them something or anything. Feeling entitled in light of the gift of life and creation is the height of hubris, the very pinnacle of pride.
“That’s why God won’t stomach it. That’s why He will welcome grace and reject forever self-effort and works or those who claim and act as though they are entitled to something more than the marvelous gifts He has given and ascribed to them. ‘For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast [emphasis added]’ (Ephesians 2:8-9).”
And I didn’t mention God’s nearness — how He walks and communes with those who love Him. If you know Him this way, you will gladly give thanks!