There are many grievous happenings in the world today. Perhaps the most atrocious of these are happening under the guise of “churches” and in the name of God, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit. Though none of this is new – there has always been apostasy, blasphemy, false teachers – it does indeed seem as though the activity has rapidly increased in recent years and months. And yet, dear Christian, we remain joyful. We stand in certainty. We praise our God. Why? Because He does not change. Our great Lord and Savior stands unwavering. Truly He is the same today as He was yesterday, and as He will be forever (Hebrews 13:8)! And yet, He is not idle. He is ever-working (John 5:17), ever-interceding (Romans 8:34), and ever-reigning (Hebrews 1:8). Even now, He sustains the universe “by the word of His power (Hebrews 1:3).” At the same time, He hears the prayers of those who love Him and is active and working and sovereign over our lives. We serve a great, mighty, powerful, loving, tender, all-consuming, perfect, holy God! And I am thankful, though I can never be thankful enough.
“Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts;
the whole earth is full of his glory!” (Isaiah 6:3)
Today, we will be thankful for family and for friends, for health and for laughable memories. We ought also to be thankful for the trials we have encountered, for through them God purifies us and continues His work of refining us to be more like Him. Above all, we ought to be thankful for the gift of Jesus Christ, without whom no one would be saved!
All of us, in spite of good intentions and laudable works, are great, wicked sinners. Each man, each woman, who has ever taken a breath has transgressed the perfect law of God, and without perfection we cannot expect to see the glories of Heaven. Instead, we deserve to have the full wrath of God unleashed upon us for all of eternity! And yet, God, in His grace and mercy, provided a way. His perfect Son, sent from Heaven, became a man and lived the perfect, sinless life that we cannot. Then, the sins of all who would ever trust in Him were placed upon Him. As He was beaten, tortured, crucified, He suffered and endured the wrath of God that each one of us deserves. He died. Three days later He rose again, proving His victory over death, sin and Satan. And now, all those who come to Him broken and repentant, aware of their own hopelessness before God, may be saved from the wrath they deserve. To believe upon Him, to trust solely in His blood, His perfect and complete work on the cross, is to receive eternal life. At the moment of salvation, the perfect righteousness of Christ will be imputed to those who believe, and they will be seen as justified before God. Because of the work of Christ, we may now draw near to this perfect God, and come before His throne with confidence (Hebrews 4:16) We serve a great, merciful, gracious, forgiving, amazing God!
And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross. (Colossians 2:13-14)
Do you worry you have not come to this place of repentance? God will bring you there (2 Corinthians 2:25). Do you fear you have not reached this place of faith? God will bring you there. Indeed, these are gifts from God above and yet, all those who call upon Him will be saved! Oh yes, we serve a saving God!
For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. (Ephesians 2:8-9)
For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” (Romans 10:13)
And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him. (Hebrews 11:6)
And so we are thankful. We are thankful for the temporal gifts entrusted to us by God, yet we are more thankful still for those eternal gifts given to us by Him. We are thankful for the gift of Christ, the gift of salvation, and we are thankful for the promise of a perfect, undefiled inheritance which we enjoy even now (Ephesians 1:3-14). In the midst of the busyness, when the world threatens to suffocate our eternal perspective, let us not forget to turn to Him who will one day make all things new. He who has perfectly orchestrated history continues to reign in sovereignty and we must rest in this while keeping our eyes ever vigilant and fixed upon Him. We serve the one and only true and living God.
The LORD is righteous in all his ways
and kind in all his works.
The LORD is near to all who call on him,
to all who call on him in truth. (Psalm 145:17-18)
Give thanks, give praise, give glory, to God Almighty!
Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen. (Jude 1:24-25)