For the last few months at Grace Baptist Church, we have been working our way methodically through Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount from the Gospel of Matthew.
Jesus starts the whole sermon with the command “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” (Matthew 4:17 ESV) The rest of the Sermon on the Mount addresses what ‘Kingdom of Heaven’ living actually looks like.
We have so much to be thankful for, blessings are all around us. We can be thankful for a bountiful harvest, a good sales season, productive seasons or labor, family, healing, health, and food and shelter. Each of these things are good and important to our lives and are worthy of being thankful to God for. In His goodness He gives these good gifts, these common graces, to all of creation. All these things, however, are temporary.
Jesus also wins in the Sermon on the Mount, “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Matthew 6:19–21 ESV)
Jesus is calling those who believe in Him and follow Him to set their eyes on something higher. The things of earth will fade and decay. Jesus warns us not to set our hopes on the things of earth, but to remember that as co-heirs with Christ, our eternal reward is safeguarded for us by Him in heaven.
At Thanksgiving we want to glorify God by giving Him thanks for the many blessings He has given us. We are grateful to Him, and the Apostle James reminds us that God is the preeminent giver of good gifts (James 1:17).
As He has given us all these good things mentioned above, the greatest gift He has given us is His son, Jesus. The greatest gift he could ever possibly give us is Himself.
As the preeminent gift giver, he gave us his best, He gave himself. While we are thankful for the temporal things, we remember that they will all expire and be lost.
However, we have a gift that is eternal, and for Him we give eternal thanksgiving. God gave us His Son and we are always thankful because “Kingdom of Heaven” people will know Him forever and be in His presence eternally. Nothing is worth more for giving thanks about.