Friday, October 30, 2009

The Beginning of Thanksgiving

3"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade—kept in heaven for you, 5who through faith are shielded by God's power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. 6In this you greatly rejoice..." (1 Peter 1:3-6a)

In a few weeks, I'll be preaching a message on Thanksgiving.  This past Sunday, I taught on "Weathering the Storm" - one of the keys to weathering any storm; in fact, one of the keys to a happy life in general is having a default mind-set of Thanksgiving.  And to put it simply, Thanksgiving starts with the gospel.  Read the above passage carefully...and consider, Peter is writing to a church that is experiencing persecution and trials.

Thanksgiving starts with the gospel...and what is that gospel?
- Praise be to God...Thanksgiving starts with praising God
- In His great mercy...It's recognizing that God made the 1st HIS great mercy...
- New birth into a living hope...It's remembering what we were saved from...and what we were saved to
- Through the resurrection of Christ...Our new hope is made possible ONLY because of the resurrection of Jesus Christ.  If Christ is still in the tomb, our faith is dead...but He's not.
- Into an inheritance...This is incredible news.  We, Gentiles, have been grafted into the vine, adopted as sons and daughters with the full rights.  What rights?  The right to inherit the kingdom of God
- Who through faith are shielded by God's power...When you walk into that inheritance, you also walk into the protection of God.  His power shields us...
- In this you greatly rejoice...The book-end.  We start with praise, we end with praise.

Thanksgiving starts with the "good news" of the kingdom of God and His rescue of all of us.  When is the last time you pondered that message?

Take a moment and quiet your heart, and "be thankful."

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