Faith Perspectives – November 15, 2017
By Scott T. Sharp, Pastor
First Baptist Church, Nashville
Each year when Thanksgiving rolls around, most people take time during the holiday week to think about all they have to be thankful for. At the same time, there are also many who feel they have no reason to thank God for anything. “After all,” they say, “what has He ever done for me?”
One reason people fail to thank God for His blessings is because they live under the illusion that all they have in life they’ve acquired on their own and therefore, they don’t owe God any thanks. We hear people say all the time, “I have what I have because I worked for it. Nobody’s ever given me anything. Everything I have I earned on my own.”
Now don’t get me wrong. I appreciate a strong work ethic in a person’s life.
I, too, consider myself to be a pretty hard worker. But despite all my hard work, I realize that all the blessings I have in my life have not been of my own making.
Truth be known, none of them have come about because of my efforts. All the blessings that exist in my life exist because God has shown His grace and mercy toward me and blessed me.
How do I know that’s true? Because the Bible tells me it’s true.
In James chapter one it says: “Do not be deceived, my beloved brothers. Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights (God) with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. Of his own will he brought us forth by the word of truth, that we should be a kind of first fruits of his creatures.” All the blessings we have in life, including life itself, come from God. So the apostle James warns us not to deceive ourselves into thinking that somehow we’ve acquired what we have by our own efforts.
A similar warning exists in chapter eight of Deuteronomy: It says, “Beware lest you say in your heart, ‘My power and the might of my hand have gotten me this wealth.’ You shall remember the LORD your God, for it is he who gives you power to get wealth, that he may confirm his covenant that he swore to your fathers, as it is this day. “
The Bible says it is God who blesses us with all that we have and God who gives us the ability to acquire all that we possess. An understanding of these truths allows us to tangibly show our thanks to God for everything, in every situation, especially during the Thanksgiving season.
As we acknowledge His blessings at this time of year, let’s also strive to give God ownership rights to everything He entrusts to our care every day of the year. Let’s simply make it a point to thank Him every time something good comes our way.