Monday, November 23, 2009

Thanksgiving

As I enter into the halfway mark of my 60 Days of Humility, I am also ushering in Thanksgiving and the upcoming season of Christmas - my long awaited goal and the long awaited Messiah that God promised us. There are many things to be thankful for - family and friends, shelter, clothes, food, jobs, health, etc. - and it is certainly good to give thanks for these things. However, I believe that the holiday once intended for thanksgiving and prayer has become about these things rather than about God Himself. Also, because of my church's focus on the "big picture" of the Bible - faith and Messiah - I am striving for a biblical (God-focused) view of this holiday.

So in response and in keeping in line with my focus on humility, I will be focusing on these items to give thanks this year:

Creation
In Genesis 1-2, God created. He created wonderfully and beautifully, and then gave it all - everything - to us. He even thought of giving us human companionship when He created Eve for Adam. There was nothing lacking in what He created for us and, despite knowing the outcome, He still gave it for us to enjoy. God created the universe so that we would look at it, be amazed, and know that it was the work of His hands, just as Romans 1:20 says.

Hope
In Genesis 3, we became separated from God. But God was not at all shaken; in Genesis 3:15 He immediately provided hope in the midst of the wreckage. Throughout the rest of the Old Testament, God continued to provide hope to His people even in the seemingly worst circumstances. Today, Christianity is persecuted like never before in American history. But God has made promises in the past that give hope...

Faithfulness
...which leads me to His faithfulness. God promised a Messiah over and over and over again in biblical history as a show of His faithfulness. As Hebrews 11 explains, there were many people in history who trusted God and received God's blessings. Moses and Elijah, both great leaders, recognized God's trustworthiness and encouraged their people to trust and continue waiting for the coming Messiah.

Love
God's incredible, faithful love to His people was magnificently displayed on the cross. But before even that, He provided, He listened, He responded, He led, and He waited. Throughout a history riddled with our unfaithfulness, God's overpowering love kept Him focused on His ultimate plan: Messiah who could make right what we had been begging God for (Psalm 51:10-12).

As Thanksgiving comes, I will be turning my heart to Him in thanks for what He has already done and continue waiting. As the Christmas season begins, I will look forward to the fulfillment of that waiting and the radical message Jesus brings.


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