Thanksgiving is just a couple of days away as I write this. I hope all of you have plenty to be thankful for. Please comment with things you are thankful for because I'd love to read them.
Saturday I was reading Ephesians Chapter 1 with my girlfriend and we came upon a familiar passage that has great meaning this time of year.
"For this reason, ever since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints, I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers. I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know Him better. I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which He has called you, the riches of His glorious inheritance in the saints, and His incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is like the working of His mighty strength, which He exerted in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every title that can be given, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. And God placed all things under His feet and appointed Him to be head over everything for the Church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills everything in every way." Ephesians 1:15-23
There is so much rich truth in this passage. This passage is a great one to pray for your church but I want us to look at reasons we have to be thankful according to this text.
1) We are to be thankful for the Church and our church.
Paul said he hadn't stopped giving thanks for the church at Ephesus. That church had many problems, as Paul would later detail, but he couldn't stop thanking God for it. The Church and our church is far from perfect but we have so many reasons to be thankful to God for it. I'm thankful, like Paul, for the love my church has for all the saints and for its incredible generosity and the way it is focused on the Gospel. What about your church are you thankful for?
2) We are to be thankful for the Spirit because it reveals God to us.
The Holy Spirit's main job is to point to God the Father and God the Son. The Holy Spirit is the person of God that allows us to see God correctly; beyond that He is the person of God that lives in us. How could we not be thankful for that?
3) We are to be thankful for what we have been given and not just hungry for more blessing.
Paul prayed that the church at Ephesus would have their eyes opened to the gifts God already had given them. Those being: The hope to which they/we were called to; that rich inheritance. The incomparable power we were given; the same sort of power that raised and exulted Jesus. The direct leadership of Jesus in our lives; His lordship for our well-being.
What an awesome blessing! So often we keep asking God over and over to bless us, which is a good and Biblical thing to do, but we've already been blessed to the hilt. Does God want to bless us? Absolutely. But in addition to that He wants to open the eyes of our hearts to the immense blessings He has already so richly poured out on all of us. These blessings are enough to live and die for.
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving with your family. Count your many blessings this week. Thank God for the Church and your church. Be thankful for the gift of the Holy Spirit. Ask God to open the eyes of your heart to see the blessings He has surrounded you with today.