Lifelines July 21, 2019

Gratitude is one of the greatest mood boosters in the world.  Whenever we’re feeling down and out thankfulness will lift our spirits like nothing else.  The psalmist repeatedly urges it based upon all of the blessings that we receive from God.  Christians have even more reasons to be grateful because our blessings are even greater.  The Lord has withheld nothing from those who are in Christ (Ephesians 1:3 ff).

Atop the “Thank you, Lord” list is our adoption into His family.  Jesus relinquished all of the glory and honor that He shared with the Father to make a place for us.  Sin had robbed us of a place at the table.  We were estranged from the One who loved us the most, and we were powerless to resolve it.  The Son of God did.  He stepped into the human family to enable us to be part of the heavenly one. For that, we give thanks.

We shudder to look at the brutality of the cross.  The sinless One endured the most inhumane treatment imaginable at the hands of those He came to save.  He prayed for their forgiveness.  He did not simply suffer; He died for our sins.  It took His life to save ours, a brutal death to make eternal life possible.  The love of God and His Son prompted it.  We benefit.  Thank the Lord.

The empty tomb stands as an everlasting testament to what He can do.  The great love that He displayed at the cross steers His indescribable power.  He can raise the dead, and what He did for His Son is exactly what He does for Christians.  Sin defeated us and took our life, a dilemma without a human solution apart from God.  He flexes His resurrection muscles with each baptism.  No matter the situation, there is always hope with an omnipotent Lord.

Sin tears the world apart.  It ruins relationships between people and alienates them from God.  The morning paper reminds us daily of the world that has forsaken Him.  It quickly degenerates into chaos.  Keeping a loving Creator at arm’s length will never work out well.  It is a problem that He sent His Son to repair.  He reached out to a rebellious world and brought reconciliation.  He repaired what we broke.

Before us is an eternity in the presence of God.  It is unimaginable.  We have already experienced a storehouse of blessings, and the best is yet to come.  We could never take it all in.  If we could lay them end-to-end, they would go on forever.  Human words can never do it justice.  It will be simply heavenly.  Paradise once lost has been restored, and it is in the future for Christians. 

Psalm 100 overflows with thanksgiving.  Our hearts should, too.  After all, we have been blessed with every spiritual blessing.  Thank you, Lord for giving us everything.