In order to have true thankfulness a person must understand what God has done for them. “But God demonstrated his own love toward us, in this, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8.” You and I are sinners and deserve Hell. Don’t think so? You may think you are not that bad of a person and compared to a human level you might not be that bad. However, compared to God, nobody can measure up. “For all have sinned and fall short of Gods glory. Romans 3:23” Another word for glory—perfect perfection.
Still don’t think you are that bad? Why would God send his only son to die for you if you weren’t that bad? “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16” We all will perish physically (death) and spiritually (hell) unless we receive what God has given us, His Son Jesus.
We have all broken God’s law. Examine yourself against the Ten Commandments. Have you ever lied? Have you ever stolen something? Blasphemed God’s name (or Jesus)? God is a God of love but He is also a just God and sin must be punished. Most people think they will be saved because they are a “good” person. But the Bible says we are saved by faith in Jesus. (Ephesians 2:8-9) If a person was guilty of a crime (i.e. stealing), would a just judge let him or her go because they said they were a “good person”. God had to punish sin and for that punished His own Son on the cross. Jesus took the sin of the world of those who believe in Him.
Why would someone not want to receive God’s free gift of his Son Jesus? “And this is the condemnation, that light (Jesus) is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather that light, because their deeds were evil. As said above Romans 1:21, they became futile in their thinking and hearts were darkened. Why… they did not honor God nor gave thanks to Him.
Unless God works in us because of His mercy and kindness, we never would respond to God. Hence, we would never be truly thankful. You might feel as though you are thankful when life is going well, you get a good job, have a new baby or get a promotion. How about when life is not going well—would you be thankful? Job said to his wife after losing everything including his children. ”…Shall we receive good from God, and shall we not receive evil…” Job 2:10. Apart from God working in your life and realizing that you need his Son to save you from your sins, you will never be truly thankful. “But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, He saved us not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, but the washing of regeneration of renewal of the Holy Spirit, Titus 3:4-5.” I pray as you ponder Thanksgiving that you truly are thankful and thank the Lord Jesus for what He has done for you. Now that is a lasting Thanksgiving worth being thankful about.