Giving Thanks

Happy Thanksgiving!

I haven't blogged until now this week, partly because we decided to surprise Holly's family by dropping in for Thanksgiving. We drove all day (15 hours!) Monday and arrived late Monday evening. The look on their faces was worth the whole trip! They were so surprised! And we've had a great time.

As I was thinking about Thanksgiving I wanted to post something on thanking the Lord for spiritual blessings. All of the blessings God gives us fall within the categories of creation, providence, and redemption. Most of the time, Thanksgiving seems to be focused on thanking God for blessings from the first two - creation and providence. And we should thank God for these things - family, friends, health, food, and so on.

But we should thank God most of all for the spiritual blessings given to us in Christ - the blessings of redemption. So this post is offered as a help - a starter list to help us set our minds and hearts on things above this Thanksgiving Day.

Give thanks to the Lord:

  • for he is good
  • for his steadfast love endures forever
  • for his sovereign mercy and grace
  • for election - choosing us to be his own before the world began
  • for predestining us to be his children
  • for choosing Abraham and the nation of Israel to be a light for the nations
  • for the covenants with Abraham, Israel, and David
  • for the promise to send the Messiah, the king of Israel and the Lord of the world
  • for sending his only Son, born of a virgin, in the fullness of time
  • for the incarnation of Christ
  • for Jesus' perfect life
  • for Jesus' sinless endurance through temptations of every kind
  • for Jesus' compassion on needy people
  • for Jesus' meekness in being led as lamb to the slaughter
  • for Jesus' love for his enemies even while they crucified him
  • for Jesus' death as our substitute
  • for propitiation - the appeasement of God's wrath) through Jesus' death
  • for redemption - the rescue of sinners through the ransom payment of Jesus' death
  • for reconciliation - the removal of hostility and the restoraion of peace and harmony in our relationship with God through Jesus' death
  • for justification - the verdict of "not guilty" given to us by God on account of Christ's perfect obedience and righteousness reckoned ours through faith alone
  • for the active and passive obedience of Christ
  • for the resurrection of Jesus and the defeat of death
  • for the appearances of Jesus to his disciples after his resurrection
  • for the ascension of Jesus to the right hand of God and his exaltation as Lord and Christ
  • for the kingship of Christ
  • for rescuing us from the domain of darkness
  • for transferring us into the kingdom of God's beloved son
  • for the priesthood of Christ - perfect and everlasting
  • for the intercession of Christ on our behalf
  • for the blessings of the new covenant
  • for access into God's presence and confidence to come to the throne of grace to receive mercy and help for our times of need
  • for the gift of the Holy Spirit
  • for the teaching ministry of the Holy Spirit, who shows us the things of Christ
  • for the inspiration of the Scriptures by the Holy Spirit
  • for the regenerating grace of the Spirit - new birth - raising us from death in sin to life in Christ
  • for the gifts of faith and repentance which enable us to turn from sin and trust in Christ
  • for union with Christ through faith
  • for the indwelling of the Holy Spirit within us
  • for the sanctifying ministry of the Spirit through the Word
  • for help in putting sin to death by the Spirit
  • for the fruit of the Spirit in our hearts and lives
  • for the armor of God to protect us in our spiritual warfare
  • for the witness of the Spirit that we are God's children
  • for the sealing of the Spirit - securing us in our salvation for the day of redemption
  • for the comfort of the Spirit in our afflictions and suffering
  • for the intercession of the Spirit who prays for us with groanings that cannot be uttered
  • for the gifts of the Spirit that help us minister to others and build up the Body of Christ
  • for the Body of Christ, the Church
  • for baptism
  • for the Lord's Table
  • for the gifts of apostles, prophets, evangelists, and pastors-teachers
  • for the privileges of corporate worship with the saints
  • for the preaching of the Word
  • for songs, hymns, and spiritual songs
  • for the ministry of the saints to one another
  • for the gift of Christian friendship and fellowship - koinonia
  • for the prayers of the saints
  • for the faith and example of saints who have gone before, especially the missionaries and martyrs of the church
  • for the humble service of those who follow Jesus in the quiet and obscure paths of love - in nursing homes, prisons, nurseries, Sunday schools, small churches, homeless shelters, soup kitchens, and mission fields
  • for the promise and hope of Jesus' future return
  • for the the future resurrection of the physical body
  • for the hope of the new heavens and new earth
  • for pleasures at God's right hand forever more

And the list could go on. Add to it and thank God for the many spiritual blessings given to us through Christ today.

Happy Thanksgiving

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