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Top Ten Thanksgivings

by David Johnson

IMG_0666  It is good to be together again as we look into the Word of God and learn what God has for us today. The title for the lesson is, “Top 10 Thanksgivings,” and the text is in the Old Testament, the book of Psalms, Psalm 106 verses one and two. This is the Word of God. “Praise the Lord. Give thanks to the Lord for he is good. His love endures for ever. Who can proclaim the mighty acts of the Lord or fully declare his praise?” These are wonderful words from the Word of God.

Today, undoubtedly, you and I have all kinds of top 10 lists. For example, we talk about the top 10 in athletics, the top 10 football teams or the top 10 basketball teams. Sometimes we hear on the news about the top 10 economic nations or perhaps the top five to 10 seasonal foods that we want to eat, for example, on Thanksgiving day. If you are like me, you have the top five or 10 stores that you do not want to go to during the holidays.

So what would be your top 10 concerning biblical principles, biblical thanksgivings, truths from Scripture? And, of course, we have to be honest about what we are genuinely thankful about, especially spiritually. For example, we can’t claim to be thankful for all of the in-laws and outlaws that may invade our homes for a thanksgiving meal if we are not really thankful for their coming. Or, like the youngster that I read about who was asked to give thanks for the food as they were about to receive it, give the blessing. And as he eyed every dish before him he honestly prayed thus. ‘Lord, I don’t like the looks of all these vegetables, stuffings and sauces. But mom tried her best. Help me not to choke on it. Thank you for your almighty help. Amen.’ Well, that is an honest prayer from a youngster.

So here is my suggested list of the top 10 biblical thanksgivings to prompt us to all be more thoughtful in our thankfulness and certainly thank God every day for all of his great blessings and goodness to us.

Number 10, on our way to number one thanksgivings from the Scripture, is found in Genesis chapter one and verse 27 “So God created man in his own image. In the image of God he created him, male and female he created them”. We are thankful for, and should be thankful for, the creative creator who created us in the first place. If God had not created us, we could not thank him. We should thank God for our very lives, for existence itself, and that we are created in the image of God, which includes having an eternal spirit as eternal beings. And also includes in the image of God having minds and intellect and emotions and choice. We can be ever so thankful for females or males depending on what we are and all that they bring to the table, especially females, figuratively and literally, because Adam alone would have been a dead end.
Number nine. Genesis chapter one and verse 28 says, in part, that we are to rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground. We can be ever so thankful that God put human beings at the top of the food chain and that we control this planet physically, that mankind rules. God could have put the lions in control to rule.

     Number eight. 2 Corinthians chapter five and verse 17. It says: “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ he is a new creation”. The old has gone. The new has come. Because of sin, mankind, made in the image of God, has been tragically and terribly tarnished, but in Christ we can be eternally thankful that we have been recreated, reborn on the inside, that our spirits have been made alive again, born from above, born anew, a new creature, a new creation spiritually in Christ Jesus through saving faith in him, made new in our spirits and our hearts. Be ever so thankful.

Number seven. Consider Isaiah chapter 45 and verse five that says, in part, “I am the Lord and there is no other. Apart from me there is no God.” We can be ever so thankful that God, that our God, the one true God of the universe, is sovereign. He is the supreme being and his greatest attribute is his sovereignty, that he is supreme, that no one nor any thing can challenge God, the one and only. Therefore, all that God has promised mankind, past, present and future cannot be hindered or halted in any way, shape or form. Not Satan, not even men. No one, nothing, nada, nyet can thwart the mind, the will of God. We can be ever so thankful that God is incomparable, invincible, all powerful, all knowing, ever present.

Number six. Psalm 106 and verse one says: “Praise the Lord. Give thanks to the Lord for he is good. His love endures forever”. We should all be especially thankful, since God is uniquely sovereign over the universe, that our God is good, not evil, that our God is love, not hate and that all of his marvelous and supreme and superlative attributes are forever invincible, incomparable, thankful that God cares about us even intimately and individually.

Number five. Consider 2 Peter chapter three and verse nine. It says, in part, that he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. We can be thankful that in spite of our lack of godly goodness, of genuine goodness from God’s perspective, often times our lack of love and lack of obedience, that God is still long suffering and patient toward our stubbornness in sin, giving us time to repent, giving us time to change with his help and that he is concerned about us and wishes that none would perish, but that all would come eventually to repentance. And yet we must repent.

     Number four. In Hebrews chapter seven and verse 26 we find these words: “Such a high priest meets our need, one who is holy, blameless, pure, set apart from sinners, exalted above the heavens”. Of course referring to Jesus, the Christ. We can be ever so thankful for the one, perfect man, the last Adam with godly genuine goodness who was full of love, full of grace, embodied the very grace of God, embodied truth, embodied love and obedience. Jesus Christ who never had to repent and yet became a sin offering for us sinners, the holy one of God, our Lord, our Savior. We can be ever so thankful for him.

Number three. Romans chapter eight and verse nine: “You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature, but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you”. We can be ever so thankful also for the Spirit of God in us, that is the Holy Spirit, for the power to persevere, for the power to overcome sin, to overcome this world, for the Holy Spirit who is our helper, our guide, our teacher, our comforter, our counselor, our paraclete that comes alongside of us and helps us in so many different ways and who convicts us and convinces us according to our individual and intimate needs. In so many ways the Holy Spirit is our helper and our comforter and we can be ever so thankful for his intimate, individual presence within our hearts and minds.

Number two. 1 Corinthians chapter 15, verses 42 and 43: “So it will be with the resurrection of the dead. The body that is sown is perishable. It is raised imperishable. It is sown in dishonor. It is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness. It is raised in power”. We can be ever so thankful for our great God who has even power over death, thankful for this life, for this body that is not the end, that this life and this body are just the beginning, that the best is yet to come for believers. We can be thankful that we will one day in Christ Jesus be imperishable, no more disease, no more death ever. We can be thankful that we will be glorified, that we will eventually be with Christ in glory, no more shame, no more sin, no more guilt ever. We can be thankful that we will be with power, no more weakness morally, no more weakness mentally, no more weakness physically, no more weakness emotionally – ever. There is thanksgiving that we will be perfect in body, soul and spirit. We will never be gods, but we will be like God, because God cannot abide sin. We will not ever sin again because we are in the presence of God. There is no sin in heaven. We will be imperishable, glorified and powerful. We can be thankful that God cannot only raise us from the dead, but also raise our departed loved ones that were in Christ Jesus, raised to reside with us forever, all of God’s family together into eternity.

About Number One. All of us can come up with a number one most thankful truth of Scripture that would be especially precious to each of us. For example, being reunited with our departed spouse or a departed child to walk the streets of gold. But as believers today we could certainly echo the words of King David thousands of years ago. Consider first the context of what he wrote. In Psalm 17 and verse 14 it says: “Oh, Lord, by your hand save me from such men, from men of this world whose reward is in this life’. In other words, David here was referring to unbelievers, to doubters who only live for this life, who do not believe that there is any eternal life, that there is no life after death, that only believe in just ahead. So sad. Unbelievers are only thankful for people and things and happenings in this life, which one day abruptly ends, which is so very sad. But David and all believers can echo again his words in Psalm 17 and verse 15 where he says to us, and I—and we can put ourselves in that verse—and I in righteousness—that is in the righteousness of Christ—I will see your face when I awake. I will be satisfied with seeing your likeness.

Here, David was speaking about seeing Jehovah, God, Yahweh, our creator, God the Father. Imagine our individual, tremendous thanksgiving to be face to face with our creator God. God is Spirit. True. God is Spirit. But when we are glorified, our eyes will be glorified also and we will be able to see God, God the Father who is Spirit, God, the Holy Spirit and Jesus, who has an eternal body of flesh and bone. If Jesus can see God the Father, we will see God the Father. We shall be transformed to be like him. Our lowly bodies will be transformed to be like his glorious body. And so we will have our eyes transformed also and we will be able to see our God, our Father God, our creator God, the Lord of the universe, seeing God, safe and secure in paradise with myriads upon myriads of angels and all of God’s people forever.

But all of this is only possible in Christ Jesus, in a saving relationship with Christ Jesus. We can be ever so thankful that God the Father sent Jesus, that Jesus came and perfectly obeyed the Father’s will, dying on the cross. God exalted Jesus by raising him from the dead, by accepting his sacrifice, his atoning sacrifice on the cross that was paid in full for our sin by his blood and then the giving of the Holy Spirit to us to indwell us into eternity.

So are you in Christ Jesus today? You must be to enjoy all of these wonderful things. So consider today in this season of thanksgiving to make your own top 10 and to thank God every day for God is good and God is sovereign.

 

David Johnson is minister of the Sellersburg Church of Christ, Sellersburg, IN.




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I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.

John 16:33