Thursday, November 13, 2008

Giving Thanks by Giving Up

The source of our thanksgiving is our salvation! David's words flow from our hearts, "I will give you thanks, for you answered me; you have become my salvation" (Psalm 118:21). We aren't going to die because of our sins! God has rescued us in Christ!

What have you given up in order to give thanks? Thanksgiving replaces sin in the life of the saved! Paul wrote, "But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God's holy people. Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving. For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person-such a man is an idolater-has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God" (Eph 5:3-6).

The Christian with gratitude in his heart and praise on his lips isn't going to be fornicating as if sex is the goal of life, or impure as if simply following God isn't good enough, or greedy as if what he has received from God isn't enough to satisfy. The thankful child of God is too busy praising to have the time or the tongue energy to be obscene, or talking without a spiritual filter, or trying to be funny by being dirty.

We've got much better things to do with our eternal life than living in the kind of way that killed us spiritually in the first place. We've got too much reason to thank God than to even divide the words between blessing and cursing. James wrote about the hypocrisy of being double-tongued like that: "With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God's likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers, this should not be. Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring? My brothers, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water" (James 3:9-12).

Give it up to give thanks! You've come far beyond shame and death! You've come to righteousness and holiness. You've come from deserving death to being given the gift of life! Live like you're glad about that! Talk like your thankful! Give thanks by giving up sin! That's Life at Work!

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