Titus 2:11-13

"For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men, instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus."

Monday, November 22, 2010

Giving Thanks: God's Spiritual Provision

With Thanksgiving Day upon us, I will be spending this week at Eternal Outlook as one of intentional giving of thanks to God for His provision in every aspect of my life, and I invite you to do the same. This will be nothing more than what we are called to do anyway--to be "always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father" (Ephesians 5:20). All too frequently we allow ourselves to become so comfortable that we forget how much we need God. Like the Israelites, we sometimes forget (or even fail to recognize) all the mighty things He has done--and is doing--for us. Let this week be one of both recognizing and remembering God's provision in our lives.

Today, I am specifically praising and thanking God for his spiritual provision in my life, namely, for the salvation that is from Him, the relationship that is with Him, and the prayer that is to Him.

The most important aspect of God's spiritual provision in my life is salvation itself. The Bible says "that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved" (Romans 10:9). Before that moment when I confessed and believed, I was dead in my trespasses and sins (Ephesians 2:1)--and you were, too. "But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ.... For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast." (Ephesians 2:4-9) Thank You, God, for Your gift of salvation!

Indeed, the largest component of God's spiritual provision in my life (i.e. salvation) rests in my relationship with God as my Savior. But not to be forgotten is the provision offered through my relationship with God as my Father (God adopted me. (Galatians 4:4-7)), God as my Advocate (Jesus represents me. (1 John 2:1)), and God as my Helper (The Holy Spirit teaches me. (John 14:26)). Through these (and more) aspects of my relationship with God, He "has granted to [me] everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called [me] by His own glory and excellence" (1 Peter 1:3). Thank You, God, for the relationship I have with You because of my salvation!

Because of my salvation (and because of who God is), I have a relationship with God which is grown and strengthened through communication with Him. This third aspect of God's spiritual provision in my life--prayer--is another of the blessings I am thanking God for. When Jesus died on the cross the veil was torn (Matthew 27:51), signifying to us that we no longer have to stay outside the "Holy of Holies" (Hebrews 9:3). We now "have confidence to enter the holy place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which He inaugurated for us through the veil, that is, His flesh" (Hebrews 10:19-20). Because of Christ's work on the cross, we have access to God through prayer. Not only that, but we also have the assurance that He hears the prayers of the righteous (Proverbs 15:29). Thank You, God, for prayer which strengthens my relationship with You--my Savior, my Father, my Advocate, my Helper!

God has provided for our every spiritual need, but before we can receive that provision, we first have to recognize that we have a need. We need a Savior! We must see the gravity of our sin, and we must admit that without Jesus and His shed blood we are dead in our trespasses. Have you acknowledged your need for Jesus? The Bible says that "if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved" (Romans 10:9)! Today is the day of salvation. I encourage you, if you have not given your life to Jesus,
"Seek the Lord while He may be found; call upon Him while He is near. Let the wicked forsake his way and the unrighteous man his thoughts; and let him return to the Lord, and He will have compassion on him, and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon." (Isaiah 55:6-7)
I am so thankful for God's spiritual provisions of salvation, relationship, and prayer. May I never forget nor fail to recognize the mighty works of God in my life; but instead, may my heart be continually praising God, saying, "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ" (Ephesians 1:3)!

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