I'm sure we are all full from our festivities of Thankfulness. Turkey naps have been taken, shopping is all done, and the Christmas tree has been cut down (or taken out of the box).
But do you feel thankful? Really thankful?
Paul tells us in Romans 1 that our thankfulness matters. It is the key to Obedience. It is the key to Joy. It is the key to Eternity.
For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things -- Romans 1:21-23
A heart filled with self, is a recipe for a dark and foolish heart. This has led to the greatest tragedies in history and the saddest personal days in all of our lives. We weren't created to be focused on anything other than our creator and being stewards of all that he created.
C.S. Lewis wrote often about this heart issue. The last paragraph of Mere Christianity summarizes the biblical truth of giving up our lives for the truth of Jesus.
The principle runs through all life from top to bottom. Give up yourself, and you will find your real self. Lose your life and you will save it. Submit to death, death of your ambitions and favorite wishes every day and the death of your whole body in the end: submit with every fiber of your being, and you will find eternal life. Keep back nothing. Nothing that you have not given away will be really yours. Nothing in you that has not died will ever be raised from the dead. Look for yourself, and you will find in the long run only hatred, loneliness, despair, rage, ruin, and decay. But look for Christ and you will find him, and with him everything else thrown in.
It is not in our self-interest to be selfish. Rather, self-denial is in our self-interest.
In Lewis's classic sermon The Weight of Glory, he poses this same dilemma of wicked and sad selfishness. In that context, he gives what has become my favorite Lewis quote:
Our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink, sex, and ambition, when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.
Are you Thankful that your savior loves you?
Are you Thankful that you have breath?
Are you Thankful that you have been created for a purpose?
Are you Thankful to the point of living life with open hands and paper thin agendas?
Thanksgiving matters not just once a year, but each day. Our Thankfulness is the key to really living and the source of all our Joy.
Happy Thanksgiving Today and I Pray EVERY Day