Thankful for Our Generous God

Thankful for Our Generous God

As Thanksgiving approaches, it is a good time to reflect on that for which we are thankful. I hear people say all kinds of things they are thankful for. These include their families, jobs, health, or even their bank accounts. While these are indeed good things, have you considered that all of this would not be possible without the generous nature of our God?

In the book of Genesis, God is portrayed as a generous host who provides everything needed for His creation to enjoy. God appoints humanity (Adam and Eve) to be co-rulers over His creation and generously supplies for all their needs. He asks them to trust in His generous provision and live according to His wisdom.

But Satan came into the garden as a serpent and deceived mankind to think that God was not generous, but was actually holding out on them. He tricked them into focusing on what they did not have instead of fixating on all the wonderful things He had given them. The result was the fall of man as they sinned against God. Instead of trusting in the truth of God’s gracious generosity, they trusted in a lie and believed they needed more than what God had generously provided.

The rest of the Old Testament demonstrates how God chose a people (Israel) on whom to pour out His generous blessing. But humanity constantly rebelled against Him and selfishly wanted more and more, just as Adam and Eve did. They were never satisfied. Sadly, the Old Testament concludes with God going silent and mankind remaining in a state of selfishness, rebellion, and sin.

As we turn the page to the New Testament, one might think that God would bring utter destruction and judgment upon humankind. But instead, we are stunned by God’s incredible generosity.

God sends His own Son, Jesus Christ, as the most generous and gracious gift to selfish and ungrateful humanity. Jesus could have come to live in opulence, but instead, He chose to live a life without comfort or abundance. He lived without the comforts of this life so that He could relate to the poorest of the poor and share God’s generosity with all who would receive Him. Jesus was so generous that He gave His own life and allowed His own people to kill Him, so that He alone could pay the enormous cost of their sin.

In Jesus, we see this unfathomable generosity of God. Because of God’s love and provision provided in Jesus, mankind has a new opportunity to trust in God rather than to selfishly trust in self or the things of this world.

Remember what Jesus said: “Do not worry about what you will eat or what you drink or what you will wear. But seek first His Kingdom and His righteousness and all these things will be added to you.” (Matt. 6:31-33).

Where is your focus this Thanksgiving? Is it on what you do not have or is your focus on what God has generously given in Jesus Christ? Jesus also said: “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matt. 6:21). Jesus is God’s most generous gift to mankind!

What are you thankful for this Thanksgiving? Hopefully, we are thankful for all His blessings. Ultimately, though, I am thankful for Jesus Christ because He truly is God’s most generous gift and my greatest treasure!

A Welcomed Guest

A Welcomed Guest

Colossians 3:16

Have you ever stayed as a guest in a home where the people made you feel like an unwelcomed guest? I recently read a story about a pastor who had been asked to preach at a church that was far away from his home, but the congregation could not afford to put him up in a hotel. They told him that a family in the church had offered to have him stay in their home for the few days that he was there.

When the pastor arrived at the home the mother of the family greeted him coldly and showed him his room. She then told him, “Don’t expect any meals or expect us to talk with you. We agreed to let you use this room but you are on your own for anything else.” She left the pastor standing in the doorway, and for the next five days and nights that he was there, the entire family went about their business as if he was not there. He had never felt more awkward and unwanted in his life. He was an unwelcomed guest.

That story got me thinking about what Paul the apostle says in Colossians 3:16: “Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you…”

In Colossians 3:16, Paul tells us that the word of Christ should dwell in us richly. The word dwell is taken from the Greek word enoikeo, which is a compound of the words en and oikos. The word en means in, and the word oikos is the Greek word for home. Together they mean to dwell in a home. It carries the idea of someone who takes up permanent residence in a home.

So when Paul tells us to let the word of Christ dwell in us richly, he is encouraging us to give God’s word a warm and welcoming reception so that it feels at home in us and takes up permanent residency within us!

Does the word of God have this kind of place in your life? Does it dwell in you richly? Does it feel at home in your life or is it being treated as a complete stranger just as that pastor was? I pray that the word of God is a welcome guest in your life and that it will always be at home and dwell in you richly!