Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Giving Thanks

What are you thankful for? How often do you sit down and really ponder the blessings you enjoy--small and great--in this land of ours? Personally, I don't do it enough. And I think that all the clamor on the part of many for the government to do more for us is a tacit admission that we have grown ungrateful for what we do have. Some recently have begun to speak of the U. S. Constitution as comprising "negative rights", by which they mean that it says what the government does not have the right to do. And they find a problem with that. Personally, I like it that way. The less the government can do for me, the less it can do to me. So for the individual and the states, limitations on the federal power constitutes positive rights--more freedoms for you and me to pursue what the writers of the Declaration of Independence sought: "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness."

But, back to what I'm thankful for today. I'm thankful for a nice house to live in, located in a nice, quiet subdivision. I'm thankful for hot and cold running water, heat in the winter and air conditioning in the summer. I'm thankful for good transportation (all paid for). I'm thankful for my job, which God has provided for me that allows me to afford all these things and time with my family. I'm thankful for the Boy Scouts of America and the American Heritage Girls--youth organizations that help me instill in my children the values I believe are important to their becoming good citizens and followers of Christ.

Most importantly, I'm thankful for the relationships in my life. I'm thankful for my wife. God has given me the most wonderful wife in the world. I can't imagine life without her. I'm thankful for my children. They are a blessing to me everyday. I'm thankful that one has heard and answered the call of salvation, and I'm hopeful that the others will, too, in the course of time. I'm thankful for oh, so many good friends and a wonderful church in which to serve the Lord. But more than any other relationship, I'm thankful for my relationship with God through Jesus Christ. It was God who looked down through the stream of time, saw me in my sin and rebellion, and loved me anyway. He chose, freely, to send his Son to die on the cross for my sins. He chose, freely, to send his Holy Spirit to convict me and convert me, drawing me to himself by his grace. He chose to set those influences in my life that he used to awaken me to my lost condition. He has claimed me for his own and conquered me for himself. It is solely by his grace that I am what I am. I can claim no credit for myself, for left to myself I would be a loathsome, sinful wretch of a man given to every unclean appetite. But praise be to God he did not leave me like that. He saved me and has called and equipped me to take a stand. So my deepest gratitude is to God for all the blessings I enjoy, but most especially for my salvation.

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