We are fast approaching the yearly day of Thanksgiving, the day on which we are supposed to be thankful for all the blessings God has given us.  We sit down at the table with family and friends and partake of a huge nice meal, symbolic of all the blessings we have been given, sometimes followed by a nap from having a full belly. Everyone is thankful, that is, except the Thanksgiving turkey, who was sacrificed so that we might feast.

Sometimes the people take turns stating what they are thankful for.  To one it might be good health, or a wonderful mate, or a nice comfortable home, or having a job, or children.  But to me, the thing I am most thankful for is the sacrifice Christ Jesus made for me that my sins are forgiven and I have been invited to be in His family.  That is something I am thankful for, not just on Thanksgiving day, but every day of the year.

But exactly how are we showing our gratitude to the Lord Jesus for what He has done for us?  Are we sharing the Gospel message with others?  Or are we too busy sharing other stuff with our Facebook friends?  Oh, you mean ME?  That’s not MY job, it’s the preacher’s job. Ok, then, are you helping fund the preacher so he or she can be doing the job that ALL born-again people are also called to do?  People make all kinds of excuses why they don’t share the Gospel with others.  Maybe it’s because we aren’t really pleased with Jesus?

I just finished doing a week of radio shows before starting on this article, and the station asked me to speak about “Thankfulness” for two days and “Jesus the reason for the season” for the other days, and  I saw plenty of opportunity to tie these two subjects together so they flow well.  There is SO MUCH for us to be thankful for, and yet if someone asks you “What are you thankful for?”, it might take some people some serious thought to come up with an answer.  We, who call ourselves Christians, should have no problem answering that question.  That is, if we are truly thankful for all Christ Jesus has done for us, and if we are well pleased with Jesus.  Let’s look what is written in Mark 1:9-11:

Mar 1:9  And it came to pass in those days, that Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee, and was baptized of John in Jordan.
Mar 1:10  And straightway coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens opened, and the Spirit like a dove descending upon him:
Mar 1:11  And there came a voice from heaven, saying, Thou art my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.

So by this we know the heavenly Father was well pleased with Jesus.  But what about US?  How does God the Father know if we are well pleased with Jesus?  Simply this: if we go to a restaurant and are served a wonderful meal and the service is exceptional, then we will be telling everyone we know about it, right?  And if we aren’t impressed, we won’t.  Well, if we are well pleased with Jesus, we will be thankful and telling everyone we can about Him, and if we aren’t, well, we won’t.  That’s how you tell.  And that’s how the Father knows, too.

It seems to me that people are getting an “entitlement mentality” these days.  Why, just last night an ad was on TV telling people to make sure they were getting all they were entitled to, concerning health care and other social benefits.  Let me tell you something, the only thing we are “entitled to” is death and hell. We have earned it by our sins and thumbing our nose at God’s laws. It is written in Romans 6:23, For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

We are NOT entitled to the gift of God, but because He is so gracious, He is offering it to us freely.  It was certainly not free to Jesus, but it’s free to us.  You’d think everyone would be so thankful that there would be little time for anything but praise and worship to God for it.  But that isn’t what I see.  People are becoming less thankful all the time, because they think God OWES them something.  And if the “Bless me, bless me” machine is not working well enough to suit them, they aren’t well pleased with Jesus either.  They treat Him like they are doing Him a favor by letting Him be their Savior.  Notice I didn’t say LORD.  No, THEY want to be LORD of their lives.  They just want to use Jesus for the “fire escape”, know what I mean?

I’m sad as I write this.  I know God’s heart must be hurt by how we treat Him.  We have opportunity to thank God joyfully, with all our hearts, every day of the week, and yet it seems a chore to even be thankful even one day of the year to Him, and that’s on Thanksgiving….and that’s for the meal, not what Christ Jesus did for us.  And THAT is a pity.

We have SO much to be thankful for in Christ Jesus, not only for the material blessings God showers us with (that many of His kids in other countries don’t have, yet they are thankful anyway), but for the Holy Spirit given us to lead and guide us.  I’m so thankful the LORD looked upon my pitiful and lost estate and offered up His Son for my salvation, because I could not pay my sin debt and live to tell about it.  I want to share the Gospel with anyone who will listen, in the hopes they too will believe unto salvation.  There is no greater gift than God’s love.

I don’t think there’s a day that goes by that we don’t have opportunity to thank God for all the blessings He gives to us.  If you can’t think of any blessings to thank God for, then thank Him for all the bad stuff that DOESN’T happen to you.  Either way, we can be thankful every day, all year long, for God is worthy of all glory, honor, praise, might, power, dominion and wisdom forever, ages without end.  His love is without measure, without end, and certainly is pure and without selfish motive.  Can we say our love to Him is such?  Yet He loves us anyway.

There are some who truly appreciate what God has done for them, like the one leper out of ten whom the Lord Jesus healed: here, let’s read about it in Luke 17:11-18.
Luk 17:11  And it came to pass, as he went to Jerusalem, that he passed through the midst of Samaria and Galilee.
Luk 17:12  And as he entered into a certain village, there met him ten men that were lepers, which stood afar off:
Luk 17:13  And they lifted up their voices, and said, Jesus, Master, have mercy on us.
Luk 17:14  And when he saw them, he said unto them, Go shew yourselves unto the priests. And it came to pass, that, as they went, they were cleansed.
Luk 17:15  And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, and with a loud voice glorified God,
Luk 17:16  And fell down on his face at his feet, giving him thanks: and he was a Samaritan.
Luk 17:17  And Jesus answering said, Were there not ten cleansed? but where are the nine?
Luk 17:18 There are not found that returned to give glory to God, save this stranger.

There are those who are actively sharing the Gospel with anyone they can.  To them I say, Keep up the good work.  Give God the glory and the thanks.  He knows who is thankful and who isn’t. For the “unthankful” saved, Don’t miss the wonderful opportunity you have been given to share the best gift on the face of the earth to a lost and dying world, Christ Jesus.  You will find that sharing Jesus is not a job or a task, but a joyful privilege.  And if you aren’t saved yet, now is your time to receive the greatest gift the world has ever known.  And you can truly have thanksgiving all year long.  Christ Jesus; the giver of the gift AND the gift.