Serving the High Plains

Being thankful for spiritual blessings

Thanksgiving reminds of our bounteous natural resources, our society’s diversity and the faith-based principles upon which our nation was founded. These have led to our great success as a nation because our forebears trusted in God (Proverbs 3:5-6; Psalm 91:1-2; 18:2; 32:12-32). We should never forget our true history because that would cause us to miss out on an equally bright future (Jeremiah 29:10-14).

Remember that Israel had a long history of sin and repentance because they didn’t learn the first, second, or you count the times how good God was to them (Judges 2:6-19 describes the rest of the book of Judges and Israel’s history until Jerusalem’s destruction in 70 A.D.). God’s discipline of Israel was meant for their good, and their history was written down in the Old Testament so we could avoid the same troubles (Hebrews 12:4-11; 1 Corinthians 10:1-11). God wants every person to prosper, which leads to national prosperity, with a bright hope for the future, but to really benefit from his plans, we must follow his single route to success (Jeremiah 29:4-7; 31:21-25; 2 Peter 3:9; Matthew 7:13-14; John 14:1-6; Luke 6:46-49; Isaiah 35:8-10).

God uses obvious ways to draw all people to himself so he can bless them even more. First, he has each individual live in the best place and time to find him and he promises to release from captivity those who truly seek him (Acts 17:24-27). The basis of our captivity is sin (Acts 8:23; Galatians 3:22-25; Romans 6:16-18; 6:3-7; Luke 4:14-21). Then God attracts the world to himself by providing for our material needs through his glorious magnificence in creation (Romans 1:18-20; Matthew 5:45; Luke 6:35) and through Christians who exhibit even greater blessings to the praise of his glory (Ephesians 1:3-14; Titus 2:9-14; Matthew 5:14-16).

These spiritual blessings begin with forgiveness by which we become God’s children, co-heirs with Jesus with the indwelling of his Spirit by whom we share in his divine nature (Galatians 3:26-4:7; 5:24; Acts 2:38-39; 2 Peter 1:3-4; 1 John 3:1-3; 5:1-5; Mark 16:16; Acts 19:1-5). Having the indwelling Spirit leads to additional blessings, including more fully understanding God’s word, helping us overcome the sin that still occurs in our lives, translating our prayers to God, and, most importantly, justification at the final judgment, among many other blessings too numerous to list, so long as we live faithfully (1 Corinthians 2:9-16; Romans 8:1-27; 1 John 1:5-9; Revelation 2:10; Matthew 7:21-27).

Are you enjoying all the spiritual blessings God wants you to have through Christ Jesus? If not, look at the world around you to see how God already blesses you. He renews his love for you every morning, no matter how far from him you feel you (Lamentations 3:19-24; John 3:16-17; Romans 5:6-11).

As a child of God, are you thankful for the spiritual blessings God has lavished on you (Colossians 3:15; 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18; Hebrews 12:28)? As Christians, we must keep trusting in God and show other Americans the value of that trust!

Leonard Lauriault is a member of the Church of Christ in Logan who writes about faith for the Quay County Sun. Contact him at [email protected].