The Symbol of Thanksgiving

I number gifts and I snap photos and I write graces and I post them here. A continual boasting of His love poured out; rain drops of great grace. But what’s the point of eucharisteo?

Is it a mere Joel Osteen type attempt at a false prosperity gospel to bring health, wealth, and happiness by speaking bold “words of faith” and gratefulness to leverage victory and gain? Is it another postmodern system of relativism that preaches thankfulness without acknowledging to Whom we ought to be thankful?

The apostle Paul answers these questions for us in Galatians 6:14:

Boast in the Cross

With the words God forbid, Paul makes it clear that any other ground for boasting is counterfeit and contrary to the Gospel. The cross was an object of shame to the Judaizers, and means little to legalists, but to the wretch who grasps amazing grace, the cross is the only symbol of thanksgiving.

Romans 2:4-5 teaches that we store up God’s wrath if we think lightly of the blessings we receive, not grasping that His kindness is meant to lead us to repentance and boasting in His death and resurrection.

While the Bible itself speaks of boasting in other things – in the glory of God (Romans 5:2), in our weaknesses (2 Cor. 11:30 & 12:9), in tribulations (Romans 5:3), and in the people of Christ (1 Thess. 2:19) – Paul is saying that all other boasting must still find its validity in the cross.

In his book The Passion of Jesus Christ, John Piper offers this truth:

Everything good, and everything bad that God turns for the good, was purchased by the sufferings of Christ…every legitimate pleasure in the world becomes a blood-bought evidence of Christ’s love and an occasion of boasting in the cross. When our hearts run back along the beam of blessing, to the source in the cross, then the worldliness of the blessing is dead, and Christ crucified is everything.” (emphasis mine)

And so we boast in our blessings because they find their dawn and their legitimacy in the cross.

 

In the still, the Spirit comes and He whispers a name.

Christ.

The counting of all blessings is ultimately summed up in One.” ~ Ann Voskamp

 

Thanksgiving Thursday: Unwrapping the Gifts

 

1146. Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me!

Amazing Grace

 

1111. Writing at a coffee shop during a rainstorm

 

1096. Sundresses; because every girl feels good in a sundress 🙂

 

1101. Take out from Three Margaritas

 

1118. Taking our Peanut up her first 14er

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1134. Snuggling on the couch with my Love, watching a late night movie

 

1144. A family walk that ended just as the rain began to pour

 

1090. Playing games and eating pizza during Peanut’s nap

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Please tell me, what gifts have you unwrapped this week?

 

 

photo credit

photo credit

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Thanksgiving Thursday: Your Identification, Please

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Merriam-Webster defines identity as “sameness of essential or generic character in different instances; sameness in all that constitutes the object reality of a thing.”

 

I often hear Christians describe themselves as nothing more than saved sinners, people whose souls are now saved from hell, but whose identity still rests in sin. They claim to be covered by a grace that saves them from the condemnation of sin, yet they cannot see themselves as being transformed and empowered by a grace that keeps them from sin itself. But as a believing Christ-follower, is that how we are to see ourselves? Is that how God sees us? Who you think you are defines how you act.

 

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Mark Driscoll puts it this way: “A Christian’s identity is primarily saint, not sinner. You will sin some of the time, but you are a saint all of the time in Christ. A saint is remorseful over sin, receiving conviction from God; there is no condemnation for the saint. A saint is faithful and powerful over sin through the empowering grace of God…If your primary identity is as sinner, and then you are tempted to sin, your identity will determine your activity: ‘I’m a sinner, I guess I’m going to sin.’ No! I’m a saint, I don’t have to!”

 

There is a distinct and important difference between our inability to reach sinless perfection in this life and living in sin. As much as the reality of the saint-identity for the believer is a rich and glorious promise, it is also a severe warning to those who profess Christianity yet use the sinner-identity to excuse their delight in or dependence on sin. In Romans 6:1 & 2, Paul asks and answers a pivotal question: “What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it?”

 

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Friends, if you are in Christ, your identity is not sinner, it’s saint! “Those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires…those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God. You, however, are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit of God who lives in you. Therefore, brothers and sisters, we have an obligation – but it is not to the flesh, to live according to it…For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God!” (Romans 8:5-12, emphasis mine.) Claim the name of saint, friends, it is who you are!

 

 

My Thanksgiving List 2/7/13

 

 

738. Warm, comfy clothes after a steaming hot bath

 

744. Praying with Peanut before her meals, and hearing her exclaim, “Mamen!” at the end

 

721. The face of an angel

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750. Soft, cushy diapers for my baby’s adorable fanny

 

767. Homemade mozzarella sticks

 

777. A noisy dinner at Tucanos

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755. Lying tummy down, working, laughing, and creating with my mama

 

772. Being a voice for those who cannot speak for themselves

 

769. Park dates with my loves

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Please tell me, what gifts have you unwrapped this week?