As we prepare for Thanksgiving Day tomorrow, I thought we would do well to meditate on “Expressions Of Thanks-Living.” On Monday I explained Thanks-Living with our words; today we’ll look at expressing our thanks with our works. As I said on Monday, all of this is rooted in Ephesians 5:20.
[A]lways giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Expressions with Works
As we saw on Monday, we express our thanksgiving to God with our words, and our words are to be matched with our works. In short, our walk is to match our talk. The Reformers of the 16th century were fond of saying, “We are saved by faith alone, but not a faith that is alone.” I have said it here many times: God does not in any way “need” our good works, but everyone around us absolutely does! And there is no better way to demonstrate that we belong to God than when we are serving others.
The way Paul opened his letter to the Philippians would be well said of all of us.
Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus. (Philippians 1:1)
Could your name be plugged in for Timothy’s? How would those around you respond to that question as it relates to you? Jesus came to serve, not to be served (Mark 10:45), and this is to be the confession of the lives of all those who are His. Remember, Jesus said that if we want to be great we must serve. Service is the key that unlocks the door to living a life of significance. Think about the happiest, most joy-filled people you know. Is it not because they live lives marked by service to others?
Here is a verse that we should all keep in view.
[H]ow God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and how he went around doing good . . . (Acts 10:38)
The entire life of our Lord Jesus Christ was marked by service. He “went around doing good”—healing the sick, feeding the hungry, comforting the brokenhearted, and ultimately giving His life as a ransom for all those who would believe in Him.
When we realize just how blessed we are, we will spend our lives blessing others. Salvation, rightly understood, makes the believer so “other-oriented” that what we are by nature (self-absorbed) begins to be exchanged for self-sacrifice. As our Lord did, we begin laying our lives down for others.
So . . . is your life marked by going around and doing good?
Thanksgiving is on our calendar tomorrow. But for the Christian, every day is to be a day of “Thanks-Living,” and our gratitude is to be expressed to all those we come in contact with by both our words and our works.
Happy Thanksgiving! And may each day after be marked by expressions Of Thanks-Living.
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!