It’s that time again. Making our list and telling everyone all of the things in our lives, we are thankful for. What a great exercise in gratitude and appreciation. Last year my kids and I made a turkey out of a shoe box. Through a hole in the top, we deposited tiny notes of things we were thankful for throughout the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving.
With Thanksgiving getting busy, we did not get our fat little turkey opened up so we put it up to open this year. I am excited to look through it. I am excited to see how we have changed. I am excited to see how God has blessed our family throughout this past year.
I love the reminder from James 1:17. Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow.
We were freely given these good and perfect gifts. They are unearned and undeserved.
Often times we go down our list: We are thankful for our family, our kids, our spouses, our health, our jobs, our homes. Sometimes we become like someone at the Grammies receiving an award. I want to Thank God for my mom and dad and first-grade teacher and … we rattle off our list… and most of all I am thankful for God.
Do not get me wrong, I am sure that you are very sincere and grateful for your list.
Today, however, I want you to pause for a minute because sometimes by Friday morning we are already complaining about the clerk at the checkout line.
So pause… and… breathe. Close your eyes if you have to. This is not a race to the finish.
Keep breathing. Sit in the stillness of God. This too is a gift and we forget to take the time to just be still.
We rush through this season and forget to breathe.
Then the LORD God formed the man from the dust of the ground. He breathed the breath of life into the man's nostrils, and the man became a living person. Genesis 2:7
The breath that is slowly going in and out of your lungs is a gift.
When God reached down from Heaven, scooped up the dirt to form man, He breathed into him the very first gift of breath and he became a living creature.
I always imagine this scene with God’s magnificent and mighty hands slowly scooping up just the right dirt and thoughtfully crafting and carving the first man. Gently pushing the hair out of his eyes.
After He had created Him, taking a deep breath and gently breathing life into this new being. Then looking at him lovingly, as a new father looks at his first-born child, boldly and proudly proclaiming this is very good.
If you go back and recount the creation story from Genesis every day God was creating something new, He was looking at His creation and saying that it was good. Look around today at God’s creation, He Himself has declared it good and it is His gift to you.
Remember James 1:17. Every good and perfect gift comes from the Father.
This story would not be complete without the gift of salvation. The gift of God’s grace.
Leaving His heavenly home. Coming to this lowly place and giving His life. Remember the word for gift means given freely. An unearned, undeserved gift. That is what Christ gave us on the cross.
He chose through His grace and mercy to love us… a gift
He chooses to give us life… a gift
He chose to send His one and only Son… a gift
He chose to die so we might live… a gift
Now this is where we respond. We can take this gift or leave it. We can choose to accept it or not. We can go toward Christ in our life or walk away.
If you already have Christ in your life, He offered this gift to you. Although we may be quick to think we chose this gift, remember God offered the perfect gift of the cross to you.
God tells His people in Isaiah 43:4, “Since you are precious in My sight, since you are honored and I love you, I will give other men in your place and other peoples in exchange for your life.”
Other people were given in your place. Other people were given in exchange for you.
You have the gift of salvation because He chose you because He loves you and you are precious to Him.
What a gift! Now that is a reason to have a thankful heart.
We should not miss a single day forgetting and being thankful to our God because He chose us.
Thank you Heavenly Father for this day. Thank you for the opportunity to praise you and show our gratitude for all the good and perfect gifts that only come from you. Thank you for choosing us to be your people. Thank you for everything including the breath of life that you continue to give us. I do not want to miss a day remembering all that I have and am because of who you are. In Jesus precious name, Amen.
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Grace and Mercy
Come As You Are
You Are Uniquely You