Thanksgiving is just behind us. What a wonderful holiday to express our gratitude for the blessings our great God bestows on us daily, such as our food supplies which are abundant and our overall standard of living, both of which are bountiful compared to the rest of the world. Also, a heart of thanksgiving cannot forget the freedoms we as Americans experience, especially the freedom to worship.
But we must not forget that these blessings come from an Almighty God who loves and cares for us. He is the One to whom we give thanks. Psalm 100 expresses the right relationship between a Holy God and His people. Since we are the "sheep of His pasture" we must give thanks as the psalmist exhorts in verses 4-5: "Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. For the Lord is good and his love endures forever, his faithfulness continues through all generations."
Thanksgiving to God shouldn't stop just because the holiday is past, but should continue throughout the year.
I'm sure you've noticed Christmas is fast approaching as marketers flood the media with all their goodies; Christmas music is bellowing over the airwaves.
But for many there is no music at Christmas as their lives are filled with loneliness and hunger. All sense of joy is gone from them.
With this reality, I remind myself of the reason for the seasons - to give thanks to God for His provision and the gift of His Son, Jesus.
As Christians we are a blessed and generous people. Everything we have is a gift from God who loved the world so much He sent His only Son.
This Christmas season let's not forget to share the greatest gift we can offer to our family and friends - Jesus, the Christ. There is no greater gift than Jesus Christ. I think the Apostle Paul said it best in II Corinthians 9:15: "Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift."
This Christmas, don't forget to share our "indescribable gift" out of a heart of thanks for His sacrifice that brings salvation and eternal life. California Southern Baptists have the opportunity of sharing Christ with about 33 million of our fellow citizens who don't know Him as their personal Savior.
My family and I and the California Southern Baptist Convention staff wish you the merriest Christmas ever, filled with the Good News the Babe in the manger provides for all who believe.