The following post is written by Kurt Nelson, President and CEO of East-West.
Have you ever stopped to consider all that you’ve been given in Jesus Christ?
Thanksgiving cultivates renewed gratitude in our hearts. It’s a season of heightened awareness of the gifts that fill our lives. For the believer, it’s an opportunity to praise God for our homes, jobs, families, friends, vehicles, churches, and so much more. And while we praise Him for the physical blessings around us, the gift deserving of our highest praise is our restored relationship with God.
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.” -Ephesians 1:3
The Apostle Paul’s opening lines in Ephesians remind us of the spiritual blessings we’ve received through the gospel. According to Paul, each of us in Christ are…
- Chosen by God to be holy and blameless (Eph.1:4)
- Adopted children of God (Eph.1:5)
- Redeemed through the blood of Christ (Eph. 1:7)
- Freely lavished in God’s grace (Eph.1:7-8)
- Given the mystery of God’s will (Eph. 1:9-10)
- Marked and sealed by the Holy Spirit (Eph. 1:13)
- Given a heavenly inheritance (Eph. 1:14)
One of my favorite things to consider in this passage is how “[God] made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfillment—to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ” (Ephesians 1:9-10).
This Scripture reveals that God is pleased, even delights, in revealing to us His redemptive plan for Christ’s perfect rule over all things. And we get to play a part in building His Kingdom on earth.
So how do we respond in light of knowing God’s will?
“Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” -1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
A life lived in joy, prayer, and thanksgiving on the mountain tops and in the valley depths give the watching world a glimpse into the coming Kingdom. It is in remembering what all we’ve been given in Christ—physically and spiritually—that we can praise and give thanks to God.
And this is my hope for you this week. That you’d take a moment to pause, reflect, and praise God for the abundance of good gifts He has showered you with this Thanksgiving. In doing so, I pray you will share the Source of your grateful spirit—Jesus Christ—with those around you.
“Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever.” -1 Chronicles 16:34-35