As we approach the end of the calendar year, two great holidays await us. We should, of course, spend every day thanking our God for all He has done for us. We are reminded in I Thessalonians 5:17 that it is God’s will in Christ Jesus for us to give Him thanks in all circumstances. Yet it is a wonderful thing to set aside a day like Thanksgiving to remember the great blessings that God has given to us in Jesus. It is also appropriate to daily rejoice in Christ coming to earth for us, but how blessed we are at Christmas to remember the incarnation of our Savior in a special way. Let me suggest that this year we would do well to combine our celebrations of Thanksgiving and Christmas as we give thanks to our God for four wonderful gifts He has given to us as His people.
First and foremost, we echo Paul ‘s words in II Corinthians 9:15, ” Thanks be to God for his inexpressible gift!” Words cannot describe how amazing it is that God the Father would send His only Son to die for sinful men. Nor can we ever express the greatness of our Savior’s love for us in suffering the anguish on the cross that our sins deserved. We also cannot fathom the greatness of our Savior who was able to overcome death, who is now siting at God the Father’s right hand interceding for us, and who will one day return to earth to claim us as His own. Until then, we ought to spend every day, not just Thanksgiving and Christmas, rejoicing in the greatest gift ever given, our great Redeemer, the inexpressible Lord Jesus Christ.
Second, we should thank the Lord for giving us the gift of faith. Ephesians 2:8 tells us, “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God.” Left on our, in our sinful natures, we would never be able to trust in the One who came to die for sinners. Thanks be to God that, by His grace, we do turn away from our sins and receive and rest upon Christ alone for our salvation. May we all spend time in the upcoming holiday seasons and throughout the rest of our lives rejoicing in God’s gift of faith to us.
Third, those who are given the gift of faith are also given eternal life. Romans 6:23 proclaims, “The wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus.” We have been separated form God at birth because of our sin, and this separation is what the Bible defines as spiritual death. But thanks be to God that those who have been blessed with the gift of faith in Christ have also been blessed with spiritual life! That eternal life does not begin in heaven but is a gift that we should be enjoying now as those who have been made spiritually alive in Christ and who are no longer separated from God. Our new life in Christ is certainly worth celebrating now and throughout eternity.
Fourth, our loving Father and our blessed Savior have given us the gift of the Holy Spirit. Jesus declares to us in Luke 11:13, “If you then, who are evil know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” Even those of us who have been given faith and eternal life in Christ need the ongoing work and presence of the Holy Spirit to guide us, to strengthen us, and to help us. Even as we give our loved ones “good gifts” this Christmas, may we be grateful for the even greater gift of God’s Holy Spirit who will be with us for the rest of our lives.
May the Lord grant to you a blessed Thanksgiving and Christmas as you marvel at His good gifts to you – the gift of Jesus, the gift of faith, the gift of eternal life, and the gift of the Holy Spirit. May He grant to you also the grace to live a life of gratitude for these marvelous gifts.
If you have not received these gifts from God and would like to talk to me more about them, please do not hesitate to contact me at GraceOPCostaMesaCA@gmail.com
or at -1-714-983-7995.
Pastor David Thibault