NOVEMBER 24 

Forever Grateful 

Bible Reading: Psalm 100; Colossians 2:6-7; 2 Corinthians 9:10-15

2 Corinthians 9:15, “Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!” 

This is the time of year when churches across America work to fill “Operation Christmas Child,” shoeboxes—filled with toys and such—to send to needy children in faraway places. On one of my visits to Africa, I was privileged to witness the distribution of the shoeboxes. On the occasion of my visit, there were hundreds of children, all sitting in a big school yard, trying their best to be patient as they waited to be given their box, each appropriate to their gender and age. Most of these children had never received a gift of any kind before, so imagine their excitement when they opened their boxes and discovered their own precious gifts! It was one of the most joyous scenes I’ve ever witnessed! Yet as exciting as were the contents of those boxes, inside were instructions, in the child’s own language, telling them how to receive an even better gift, an indescribable one.

I remember as a child how excited I was for Christmas in anticipation of opening my Christmas presents. Those days were long ago, and those gifts are but distant memories. Since then, I’ve received many gifts from family members and friends, some quite valuable and precious. But of all the gifts I’ve ever received, only one could be deemed “indescribable.” 

Some forty years ago, I was given this gift. It came undeserved and unexpectedly. I came to realize I had need of it. But since then, I’ve come to understand, in a growing awareness of my frailty, that I needed it much more than I then realized. Most gifts wear out over time, or they are replaced with something better, or more suitable, to our changing wants and needs. Yet this gift will never wear out. In fact, the more I examine it and make use of it, the more precious it becomes to me. The value and beauty of this gift only grows in its allure over time. The gift came to me at infinite cost to the giver, such is the largeness of his heart and readiness to give good gifts to all. Since I received this gift, I’ve met countless others who have received it as well. Regardless of age, gender, or stature, they are all likewise incredibly grateful for being so immeasurably blessed. One day, I’ll meet the Gift Giver face to face. I’ve been told I’ll marvel even more as new facets of the gift will be unveiled to me (2 Thessalonians 1:10).

By now you’ve realized I’m speaking of Jesus and salvation. He came into this world to save sinners (1 Timothy 1:15)! He’s the indescribable gift spoken of in 2 Corinthians 9:15. Salvation comes to us as a gift, freely given to those who put their trust in Him (Ephesians 2:8-9). He gladly forgives, saves and transforms us, assuring us of a future home in heaven. He, in His person, is the perfect gift. Have you trusted in Him for salvation? There is much joy to be had in receiving Him (John 1:12; 1 Peter 1:8)! 

In receiving this indescribable gift, we’ve abundant reason to be forever grateful. Plenteous grace calls for plenteous praise. As a holiday, Thanksgiving has been set aside for us to give thanks to God for the blessings He has bestowed. But it’s good for us to count our blessings always, thanking God for all He does. Preeminent amongst all our blessings is the gift of salvation we’ve experienced in Jesus! I remember how one of our elders at Lewis and Clark Bible Church would always conclude his prayers by saying “And thank you for Jesus!” And so, we need to be careful to remember in Jesus, we’ve received an incredible gift that is so much so that it defies our ability to fully comprehend or describe! Give thanks to God today, and above all else, give thanks for Jesus!

I’M FOREVER GRATEFUL

You did not wait for me
To draw near to You
But You clothed Yourself
With frail humanity
You did not wait for me
To cry out to You
But You let me hear
Your voice calling me

And I’m forever grateful to You
I’m forever grateful
For the cross
I’m forever grateful to You
That You came
To seek and save the lost

Song and music by Mark Altrogge
© 1985 Sovereign Grace Praise (Admin. by Sovereign Grace Ministries)

Author: looking2jesus13

Having served as pastor at Lewis and Clark Bible Church, in Astoria, Oregon, for almost three decades, my wife’s cancer diagnosis led to my retirement and subsequent move to Heppner to be near our two grandchildren. I divide my time between caring for Laura and working as a part time hospice chaplain and spending time with family and spoiling my chocolate lab.

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