October 11th, 2010
Dear St. George’s.
Happy thanksgiving. Here’s a thought from scripture.
We want you to know, brothers, about the grace of God that has been given among the churches of Macedonia, for in a severe test of affliction, their abundance of joy and their extreme poverty have overflowed in a wealth of generosity on their part. For they gave according to their means, as I can testify, and beyond their means, of their own accord, begging us earnestly for the favor of taking part in the relief of the saints— and this, not as we expected, but they gave themselves first to the Lord and then by the will of God to us. Accordingly, we urged Titus that as he had started, so he should complete among you this act of grace. But as you excel in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in all earnestness, and in our love for you —see that you excel in this act of grace also. I say this not as a command, but to prove by the earnestness of others that your love also is genuine. For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you by his poverty might become rich.
The Christian life is all about grace. Each breath you take, the next beat of your heart, food in your cupboards, clean water to drink, family to love, friends to enjoy, and gainful employment are all tangible evidence of God’s unmerited goodness bestowed on His children. Yet, even when one or all of these cease, God’s grace sustains His children. In fact, His chief grace is extended to you and to me in the person of suffering servant, Jesus who, “… though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you by his poverty might become rich”.
Reflecting on God’s extravagant grace, Paul told the church in Rome, “Or do you presume on the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance?” (Romans 2:4). God’s goodness, His kindness, His grace is not to be trifled with. Indeed, the life of a Christian is lived out marveling at, admiring and responding to God’s unmerited grace. We do so first by repenting. Secondly, we do so by giving.
Thanksgiving weekend reminds us annually that everything we have comes from God’s bountiful grace.
Take time this thanksgiving to do two things in response to God’s grace in your life:
1) Repent. Declare that you are a sinner and utterly helpless to save yourself. Turn to Jesus and declare your trust in His act on the cross. Begin to live your life acknowledging His right to be your Lord and to tell you what to do.
2) Give. In response to His extravagant gift give sacrificially. Excel in giving. Give to show that your love for our grace-giving God is genuine.
And do everything with thanksgiving.
Thanks be to God for his inexpressible gift!