“He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?” (Romans 8:32 NIV)
The fall season brings cooler temperatures, the changing of leaves, and a focus on giving thanks for the blessings we enjoy. In America, we set aside the day of Thanksgiving to specifically call out and remember these blessings. For many, this day is focused on the physical blessings of this world — family, a house, job, or good health. And it’s easy to perceive that these earthly blessings are based on our work or our own perseverance. However, the scripture reminds us of a different source for these things we enjoy.
“Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers and sisters. Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all he created.” (James 1:16-18 NIV)
As the psalmist says in Psalm 89:11 (NIV), the earth is the Lord’s. He founded it and all that is in it. When we believe that our blessings come from ourselves, we discredit our Creator. And Jesus told us how temporary the things we enjoy this life really are.
“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Matthew 6:19-21 NIV)
As followers of Christ, we have more than earthly things to be thankful for. We have spiritual and eternal blessings from our Savior. So, what are these spiritual blessings we can remember and be thankful for as the holiday season begins? Here are three blessings from God to hold fast to this Thanksgiving.
SALVATION IN CHRIST
It is through the death, burial and resurrection of Christ that we have been redeemed from our sins. As it says in 2 Corinthians 5:21 (NIV), “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” The blood of Christ allows us to stand before God blameless, just as Christ was blameless. For those who profess that “Jesus is Lord” and believe in his resurrection, there is saving grace through faith (Romans 10:9-10 NIV).
THE PROMISE OF ETERNAL LIFE
For believers, salvation through Christ is a gift that has a wonderful promise — eternal life. Jesus tells us in John 5:24 (NIV), “Very truly I tell you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be judged but has crossed over from death to life.”
In his letter to the Corinthians, Paul reminds the church that no one on earth can fathom “the things that God has prepared for those who love him” (1 Corinthians 2:9 NIV). And he goes on to tell them of the how our earthly bodies will fade away but be “raised in glory” as “spiritual bodies,” and that those who celebrate victory in Jesus will “bear the image of heavenly man” (I Corinthians 15:42-49 NIV). What a glorious day it will be when we hear the “last trumpet,” and are forever changed (I Corinthians 15:52 NIV). No more pain. No more suffering. That’s something to be thankful for.
EVERLASTING WORD OF GOD
Finally, we have God’s Word. The scriptures offer wisdom that guides us and teaching that instructs us on how we ought to live. As written in 1 Timothy 3:16-17 (NIV), it “is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” The Bible equips us with what we need, which is why it is so crucial to read it, meditate on it, and keep its teachings written on the tablets of our hearts (Proverbs 7:2-3 NIV).
For thousands of years, God’s Word has endured, and Jesus tells us in Matthew 24:35 (NIV), “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.” We can rely on it. When we pray for God to open our hearts and eyes to the instruction in his Word, he will.
As you gather around the table with family and friends this Thanksgiving, remember all that you have to be thankful for, both on this earth and on into eternity.