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Preparation for Thanksgiving November 23, 2006

Posted by Joe in Random Musings.
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Lar,

Thanks for pointing us to that great link in your last post.  I would encourage everyone to at least listen to the excerpt, although the full sermon is better.  It is a powerful and needed word.  I am so enslaved by my own personal desire for comfort that I can barely see it.  I have lived with it all my life and find myself surrounded with a culture that reinforces it every moment of everyday.  It is tough to break through (maybe impossible apart from the grace of God is more apt).  We in America seem to guard our ‘comfort zones’ very well.  And O how we can spiritualize all our actions that do so!  May the Lord grant us mercy to treasure Him more and reveal that in the way we live–even in who we invite to a feast.

I did want to share a brief word on the how we can grow in the joy of thanksgiving.  After all, that is what this day is set aside for right?  Simply put, my point is this:  we cannot truly appreciate that which we have unless we know (and feel the weight of) that which we truly deserve.

That’s nothing seriously profound I realize, but I do think we need to be reminded of it everyday.  For deep down in all of us resides the foolish and arrogant notion that we are somehow deserving of God’s blessing.  Especially for those of us who believe in God and Jesus Christ, this notion of deservedness is deadly to the joy of thanksgiving.  Our hearts will never overflow with thanksgiving if we believe ourselves to be deserving of all the blessings we enjoy.  And this notion of deservedness is much more deeply entrenched in our souls than we might realize.

The reason why?  Well, I believe this is the case centrally because we do not really understand the gravity and wickedness of our sin.  For if we truly understood that which we deserve, we would never be inclined to think we deserve any good thing!  And naturally, our hearts would be unable to constrain heart-felt thanksgiving!  Meditation upon our sin is meant to make us more fully appreciate the gospel and above all, the Savior.  The more we understand the deadliness of the disease, the sweeter is the cure.  We cannot appreciate Ephesians 2:4-10 unless we first feel the weight of Ephesians 2:1-3.

I could say more, but this has become increasingly apparent to me this day.  I do not feel the weight of my sin and rebellion and belittling of my God.  My heart does not overflow with thanksgiving and praise every single moment of every single day because deep down there is the foolish notion that I somehow deserve all God’s good blessings.  Pray for me brother.  I need great grace in order to appreciate great grace!  How incredibly helpless and weak I am!  Yet even that thought fills my heart with thanksgiving.  As I look to the Savior, I can rejoice in my weakness and overflow with praise!

Seeking to be a man who sees my sin so that I can be more thankful for the Savior,

Joe

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