Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. (Ephesians 1:3)
Recently my pastor (aka my dad) gave out the challenge of being thankful for our spiritual blessings. He wanted us to think of a spiritual blessing for each of the letters in the word THANKFUL and back each blessing up with a scripture. I wasn't able to complete my assignment before our discussion this past Sunday but I found this exercise very rewarding and thought I would share. I came up with several answers for each letter but I am only going to share one for each because I want to encourage you to do this as well. We have so much to be thankful for every day, every moment. As the verse in Ephesians says, we have been blessed with every spiritual blessing. Every last one. Sometimes it doesn't quite feel that way, does it? And that's exactly why it is so important to stop and literally count and recount our blessings. I'm starting tonight with these eight spiritual blessings:
T—I am thankful for our TRIUMPH in Christ.
Romans 8:35-37—Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written: 'For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered." No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.H—I am thankful for the HOME waiting for us.
John 14:2-3—In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.A—I am thankful for our ACCEPTANCE in Christ.
Romans 15:5-7—May the god who gives endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of unit among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus, so that with one heart and mouth you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God.N—I am thankful there is NO CONDEMNATION in Christ!
Romans 8:1-2—Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death.K—I am thankful for chance to KNOW CHRIST.
Philippians 3:8-11—What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith. I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead.F—I am thankful for the FORTRESS we have in God.
Psalm 18:1-2—I love you, O Lord, my strength. The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge. He is my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.U—I am thankful for Christ's UNDERSTANDING of our weakness.
Hebrews 4:15—For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet was without sin. Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.L—I am thankful for the LIGHT OF THE WORLD
John 8:12—When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life."
Okay, now it's your turn!