Happy Thanksgiving week, friends! I love this week and after spending the last eight days with the flu, I have a whole new appreciation for the things in my life I need to be thankful for. Along with the obvious family, shelter, job and food on the table, I am adding antibiotics, peppermint oil and tissues……definitely tissues to the thankful list!
I don’t know about the people that you are surrounded by, but I think my friends and family have a true appreciation and gratitude for the things that God has blessed us all with. I see people regularly expressing thankfulness for good health, safe and happy kids, a thriving church, secure job and income, good friends and so on. I think that is so great! However, I ran across a quote yesterday that gave me a new perspective on where thankfulness should begin. Yes, we should thank God for every gift and blessing every day, but what is the origin of our gratitude?
I believe that if Jesus had not died on the cross for us in order to offer us eternal life, we would have never have anything to be thankful for. What would the point of thankfulness be if we spent our entire lives knowing that we were doomed to an eternity in hell? Oh, how grateful I am for salvation!
Equally, I also believe the origin of our gratitude is forgiveness. Yes, forgiveness of sin and salvation go hand in hand, but have you ever stopped to really process that? Jesus not only died on the cross so that we might spend eternity with Him one day but He also gives us forgiveness of sin so that we can live this life without that burden. It is a twofold blessing!
Eternal life with my Christ is something that I long for, but because I am human, I do have a little bit of a hard time imagining it. However, being set free from sin is something that I totally understand and celebrate daily! I am no longer a slave to my tendencies, choices, past, habits, lies or fears. I have been forgiven by the death of my perfect Jesus in my place! I am free from sin!
I heard a story from Beth Moore earlier this year. She said that she is constantly under attack from the enemy about her past. He likes to whisper those little reminders in her head about her past and the things she has done. She decided that she needed a visual reminder that all of her sins were dealt with on the cross, so she had a verse about forgiveness painted very big on her office wall. Now every time that Satan shows up to remind her of her past, she just points at her wall! She does not stop what she is doing to give audience to the enemy’s comments, she just throws her finger out to her life changing verse! I love that! We should all consider putting up a go to declaration of forgiveness and freedom so that when Satan tries to mess with us, we can point and say,” Nope, not today!”
Beth’s little story really resonated with me because I can relate to it so well. I used to have a hard time getting past my sin and accepting forgiveness. I am a horrible perfectionist. Bad choices, mistakes, wrong decisions, they are simply not allowed. I knew that God had forgiven me and I was so grateful for that, but I had a hard time forgiving myself. I would always let Satan’s little reminders derail me again and again.
Just in the last few years has it really sunk in that I am spotless by the blood of the Lamb no matter what I might think. I need to walk in that freedom and stop being so disrespectful to my God. Was God really going to tell me that I was forgiven and instead I chime in and say, “No really I’m not.” My God has not only forgiven me, but He has thrown away my sins!
Psalm 103:12- As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us.
Now think about this, sister! Our world is a circle. How far east can you travel before it becomes west because you’re traveling in a circular motion? Therefore, we never get to the end of east to where our sin resides. It is gone and we are free from it! Talk about something to be thankful for this holiday season!
The quote I mentioned earlier is by Corrie Ten Boom. She was an amazing Christian woman who lived during the Holocaust. She said the following:
I love that….no fishing allowed! God does not pull your sin back out so follow His lead and you don’t go looking for them either. Live in freedom. If you are a child of God then freedom is rightfully yours, claim it!
Sisters, I hope you all live in the victory of forgiveness and salvation this Thanksgiving week! It is our original blessing! In the midst of your cooking , family chaos and Black Friday shopping take a minute to express your thanks to God. Happy Thanksgiving, my friends! I wish you all a very blessed week!