Thanksgiving Thoughts from Lori Prehar, former First Lutheran Church member now in Austin, Texas. Lori’s blog posts have appeared semi-regularly on the First Lutheran website. Her regular blog can be found here.
It’s Thanksgiving, folks. In Ephesians 5:20 Paul says, “giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Now, I certainly don’t ‘give thanks’ nearly as much as I should. “Always and for everything” is something I’m working towards. But you have to start somewhere and praise God, I think I’ve got a pretty good list going- here it is:
• I’m thankful that He loves me so much, He willingly poured His royal blood out so we will never be apart.
“Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.” (John 15:13)
• I’m thankful Jesus is not only my Savior, but my friend.
“No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you.” (John 15:15)
• I’m thankful for my faith and knowing nothing is impossible with Him.
“He said to them….” For truly, I say to you, if you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you.” (Matthew 17:20)
• I’m thankful He cries for me, even though He knows how the story is ultimately going to play out.
“And He said, “Where have you laid him?” They said to him, “Lord, come and see.” Jesus wept. (John 34-35) When He had said these things, He cried out with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out.” The man who had died came out, his hands and feet bound with linen strips, and his face wrapped with a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Unbind him, and let him go.” (John 43-44)
• I’m thankful He’s my Healer.
“…for I am the Lord, your healer.” (Exodus 15:26)
• I’m thankful He’s my Advocate.
”And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, to be with you forever” (John 14:16)
• I’m thankful He always hears me.
“I cry aloud to God, and he will hear me.” (Psalm 77:1)
• I’m thankful He’ll never lose me.
“For thus says the Lord God: Behold, I myself will search for my sheep and will seek them out.” (Ezekiel 34:11)
• I’m thankful He adopted me. He could have picked anyone, but the same God that is responsible for all creation, hand picked me.
“You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, He may give it to you.” (John 15:16)
• I’m thankful He is rooting me on.
“What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31)
• I’m thankful He has big plans for me in His Kingdom.
“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” (Jeremiah 29:11)
• I’m thankful that His victory over sin, death and Satan I can wholeheartedly celebrate because it is my victory, indeed!
“But take heart; I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)
• I’m thankful I can find rest in Him that nourishes me to my very core.
“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30)
• I’m thankful I know since Good Friday and then the glorious Easter morning, His blood is my Holy eraser for every mistake I’ll ever knowingly or cluelessly make or have already made. He died so I don’t have to and has gifted me freedom from the shackles I carried.
“When Jesus had received the sour wine, he said, “It is finished,” and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.” John 19:30)
• I am grateful beyond words that He is my portion, and He is enough.
“But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” (2 Corinthians 12:9)
• I’m thankful He prays with me, and the Holy Spirit relentlessly pursues me and wants me to turn to Him in every detail, not just the ones I think I can’t handle. But I am super duper over the top thankful that I know my Redeemer lives.
“For I know that my Redeemer lives, and at the last He will stand upon the earth.” (Job19:25) and we will meet in heaven, because He was the only way I was ever getting in. “And he said to him, “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.” (Luke23:43)
I love Jesus, so I know what I’m thankful for – HIM!!! Have a blessed Thanksgiving. Praise God for His abundance – 3000 calories in one meal might be overdoing it, but “Eat, drink and be merry!!!” giving glory to Him from whom all blessings flow.