I’m thankful for Jesus.

I don’t mean to sound trite, or simplistic or self righteous. I want to pass along something simple God is teaching me this year.

In Colossians 1:12-14, Paul prays that the church would

“[give] thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.”

Think of how grateful you are when you receive an extravagant gift. Or how grateful you are, although differently, when you deserve something terrible, but you are shown mercy.

Think again of the type of gratitude you feel when you arrive home after a long day of work. Or you’re starving and you sit down to a steak dinner. Or when the paycheck clears before the payment is called to account.

Or the kind of gratitude you felt when you saw your son or daughter for the first time. Or when a loved one sees you, knows you, and fully loves you. How do you thank someone who saved your life?

God is worthy of our whole lives and such expressions of gratitude please him. I’m not saying you can’t become more thankful through disciplines like keeping a gratitude journal; I’m saying that the most important thing is to stir your heart up to love for God and a knowledge of the gospel.

Yes, thank him for the little things – please! But don’t be a person who thanks him for the food on your plate and the money in your bank, but never for saving you from certain death!

Thank him for the sunshine, and the clouds, and the food on your table. But let those things point your heart to Jesus and find the welcome reminder – that all these small providences of God point to the crowning achievement – when he delivered you from Satan into the arms of your savior Jesus.

So when you’re thanking God for the beautiful fall leaves, it just so quickly moves to thanking him for Jesus. And when you smell the warm pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving, it just moves to Jesus with so little effort. It’s like there’s this song of gratitude in our hearts already singing, and when the daily reminders of God’s presence and faithfulness come close to our hearts, that song is like a tuning fork that just picks up and starts to vibrate.

Remember that the Father saved you from certain death and delivered you to certain hope because of Jesus.

Happy Thanksgiving – we will get through this together.