God Is Our Savior
The Bible says that we should try to think of others as better than ourselves.
Philippians 2:3 New King James Version (NKJV)
3 Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself.
I think you are smarter than I am. I think you are more charming and talented than I am. I think you love more deeply than I do. I even think you have the best of intentions. I do not know how I would fix you. I can only improve my own attitude. Why is that something to be thankful for? Everyone of us is broken. Everyone of us needs to be fixed. Yet if someone is better than myself, how can I fix them? I can only love them and share the things I have. The most important thing I can share is the perfect Word of God, but only Jesus can save anyone. So you are His fix-it project, not mine. We are His creation. He has made us His responsibility.
We Have Joyful Work
I believe the Bible is the Word of God. I believe that faith in Jesus, not obeying a bunch of arcane rules and regulations, leads to salvation. Was Jesus ever worried about obeying a bunch of arcane rules and regulations? No? And yet He lived a perfect life. If I am trying to follow His example, what do I need with a bunch of arcane rules and regulations?
I believe that faith, not good works, leads to salvation. Why is that something to be thankful for? Don’t Christians believe in work? Yes, but we don’t work for our salvation. We work joyfully because we have been saved.
Because we believe faith in Jesus leads to salvation, we need not worry about going to Hell or even going through the Great Tribulation. Because we love God and our neighbors, we put into practice the teachings of the Bible .
James 2:20 New King James Version (NKJV)
20 But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is dead?
Check out James 2:20 context. The Apostle Paul taught the same thing.
Ephesians 2:4-10 New King James Version (NKJV)
4 But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, 5 even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), 6 and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast. 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.
What are good works? If good works are not just about obeying a bunch of arcane rules and regulations, then what are they? Good works involve living this life to its fullest, loving God and each other.
- How do we love God? We give Him praise. We give Him all the glory. We appreciate the gift of His Creation with all our heart, mind, and soul, and we do our best to take care of this little Earth.
- How do we love each other? We serve each other in love; we share with each other our hope in Christ.
We Have Hope
Our hope in Christ? What is that? What does it mean to be saved? In 1 Corinthians 2:9, Paul Isaiah 64:4. Let me add one more verse from Isaiah 64.
Isaiah 64:4-5 New King James Version (NKJV)
4 For since the beginning of the world
Men have not heard nor perceived by the ear,
Nor has the eye seen any God besides You,
Who acts for the one who waits for Him.
5 You meet him who rejoices and does righteousness,
Who remembers You in Your ways.
You are indeed angry, for we have sinned—
In these ways we continue;
And we need to be saved.
We are sinners, but God gives us salvation. It is a gift; we just have to accept it gratefully. We just have to have faith that Jesus has already provided for our redemption from sin. We just have to love God and each other. Then we can count on a life to come we cannot begin to imagine.
Does believing such a thing make this life dreary? If our pride rebels at the thought of needing to be saved from sin, I suppose it might. Yet think about the silliness of such pride. Compared to our Creator we have no significance. He created everything. He created so much so well that without Him we would be lost in the wonder of what He has made. Yet here He is, offering each of us Himself our our personal mentor, making Now just the beginning of an eternal existence. With His help, we can become perfect. How could it be any better than that? What could give us more reason to be thankful?
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