Giving thanks by Thankful Giving
The Upward Look, by Jon Forrest
Giving Thanks by Thankful Giving
In John 15:13 Jesus said, “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” It would not be long before Jesus would demonstrate that incredible love for you and for me. If you think that Jesus went to the cross for crucifixion as a victim of angry religious leaders and a tyrannical Roman government, you are gravely mistaken. His death on the cross was Christ’s mission. Jesus explained this in John 10:17-18 when he said, “ The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life—only to take it up again, No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father.”
Some people struggle with the idea of Thanksgiving because they don’t think they have nothing for with they should be thankful. Well, we can all begin right here. Paul wrote in the 5th chapter of Romans, “You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 6:5-8)
Those of us who have recognized our sinfulness and the sacrificial action Christ made to forgive those sins and bring us into a right relationship with God and have embraced that sacrificial act of love have every reason to be thankful.
If we are truly thankful, how will we demonstrate that gratitude?
Paul wrote to the Corinthian church about their generous financial gift to help the church in Jerusalem with these words, “This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of the Lord’s people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God.” (2 Corinthians 9:12)
In November we will share a series of messages under the title of this blog, “Giving Thanks by Thankful Giving.“ The messages, based on the 8th and 9th chapters of 2 Corinthians, will encourage us to find the attitude of gratitude which always results in giving from that attitude. Giving is not only a monetary gift. It is the giving of one’s self. When we give ourselves, our money, our time, our physical labor and every aspect of giving will follow. This is called stewardship. Peter wrote, “Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.” (1Peter 4:10)
Please pray that God will lead me in preparation of these messages and that He will reach into the hearts of us all in bringing us the kind of generosity Christ expects from us who are thankful for what Jesus Christ did for us.
Gratefully giving with you,