What are you thankful for? What are those things that put a little hop in your step or a song in your heart? What can bring tears of joy to your eyes? Perhaps it’s family and friends, the generosity of others, or the home that you live in. Some are thankful for meaningful experiences including visiting beautiful places, eating delicious food, or just sitting by a warm fire. My youngest son is thankful for bottlecaps and corndogs.
But the one thing that should move us to praise and thanksgiving is often the one thing we take for granted or have grown cold to, that is, our salvation. Before you roll your eyes at this obvious, sunday school answer, think carefully. The gospel of your salvation is one the greatest, life-changing truth that continues to bear fruit in you throughout all of your days!
I need to continually return to this myself. I need to consider how a perfect God would love, die for, and accept a deeply sinful person like me. This is more than amazing and should lead me to grateful worship. God’s holiness makes it impossible for man to draw near to God and yet God has chosen to draw near to us in the person and work of Jesus.
Our reading for today tells us a few things about our salvation that we should be praising God for.
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,
1 Peter 1:3
The great mercy of the new birth (regeneration) is the life changing aspect of the gospel. It is when God reaches deep inside us and takes out our heart of stone in order to replace it with a heart of flesh that beats for him (Eze. 36:26). But a new heart isn’t the only thing we receive. God also gives us a new mind, a new spirit and new affections.
We are no longer what we once were. God has taken away the older person and made us new (2 Cor 5:17). We can now love God and treasure his word. The new birth causes us to weep over our sins and rejoice over God’s immeasurable grace. And best of all there is no person whose sin goes so deep that God’s cant’ reach it and exchange it for a heart of righteousness.
This is truly praiseworthy.
and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you,
1 Peter 1:4
God’s amazing generosity and love do not stop with simply giving us a new life through Christ’s death. He continues his generosity by granting us an eternal inheritance. This inheritance is beyond what we could ever imagine. It includes a kingdom, a new world, eternal life, and Christ himself. Sadly many of us find this boring. Those who are not excited about the inheritance don’t hate their sin and the evil in the world as much as they should, nor see Jesus Christ as their first love. We want to be with the ones we love. We long to escape the evil that hurts us and others. Study this inheritance and know it well–it belongs to you. The better you understand and know it the more thankful you will be for it.
who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials.
1 Peter 1:5,6
This inheritance is not something to be bought or earned in any way. As a part of the good news of the gospel it is a precious gift from God. And he is keeping it safe for us until we get to heaven. While life on earth can be very difficult, God will protect our souls and empower us to persevere in faith to the very end. What Christ’s blood has bought cannot be undone. The life that Christ gives through his resurrection cannot be killed. This is truly a great reason to celebrate with gratitude and thanksgiving!
Looking to Jesus,
Our NEW upcoming Advent study begins December 1!
Mark these dates and keep an eye open for more information coming soon!