Thanksgiving: When we hear the word our minds go immediately to a usually lengthy list of those things and people that fill our hearts with gratitude and thanks. Family, home, church, and specific people in our lives all fight to be placed at the top of the list. God demonstrates His goodness to us on this earth by the tangible people and things we can observe and touch. And for those we are deeply thankful.
Yet, thankfulness goes much deeper. It begins in our hearts at the very character of God and demonstration of that character in the gift of His Son. John Piper in his sermon, “Proud People Don’t say Thanks.”, hits it right on the mark.
Proud people can’t be grateful. So here are three very humbling truths for the sake of your thankfulness.
- Nature teaches us that an infinitely marvelous, eternally powerful being created us and all we have. Therefore we are his creatures. He owns us. Our life, our breath, and everything we have is a gift. Our duty is simply to be thankful to him from our heart and to cherish his glory.
- All of us have fallen short of this duty. We have not consistently prized the diamond of God’s glory with an affection anywhere near its value. Instead, we’ve exchanged it again and again for the cracked marbles that in our great “wisdom” we have determined are more valuable.
- God, in his great mercy, sent his Son to suffer the judgment of people who are broken and contrite in spirit and who trust in him.
Proud people don’t say thanks, but people who believe these three truths do. We are utterly dependent; we are depraved sinners; and we are redeemed and forgiven through contrite faith.
If this penetrates our hearts today, we will be emptied of pride and filled with thankfulness to God.