COME, FOLLOW JESUS: “Thankfully Grateful” (Part 1 of 2)

Hebrews 12:28-29

“Then I will praise God’s name with singing, and I will honor Him with Thanksgiving.” (Psalm 69:30, NLT) (Background illustration by Jenn Webster)

In the next week, this great country of ours will be celebrating all of the many things that we should be thankful for; The holiday that we are celebrating is Thanksgiving, and Thanksgiving is a holiday that should not ever be treated as a day to eat turkey, cranberry sauce, pumpkin pie and the like; Thanksgiving should be treated as a day in which we must learn to be grateful for the many blessings that our Lord God has bestowed on us.
For those two weeks, I would very much like to talk to you about something in which I would like to call being “thankfully grateful”; What does it mean by being thankfully grateful? Well, it means that we are to be both thankful that we have survived through another year of our lives, thankful that we finally have that job that we had been looking for so that we would have enough money to pay the bills, and thankful that our children had finally been recovered from illness. We are truly thankful for things such as these and many more, while also being grateful for what our Lord God has provided for us throughout all our lives.
But what about you? Are you “thankfully grateful”? Well, there are people whom we would like to be thankful as well as grateful, but the truth of the matter is, those people do not ever know who God’s only Son, Jesus Christ, really is. They go about their lives not ever caring about the One who was sent by God to pay the ultimate price for our sins by dying on the cross, and being raised from the dead, defeating death so that all of us could very well have life eternal. My friend, are you among those people who would like to give thanks to, but do not want to ever know who Jesus Christ is? If you are, then there is no time to get to know Jesus Christ than right now.

You see, we as Christians are so very thankful to our Heavenly Father that He has granted us the most blessed gift of all: Eternal life, and that gift has ultimately been paid for by the precious blood of our Lord and Savior Christ Jesus that has been shed on the cross at a place called Calvary. And although we do not exactly know the time or date that Jesus Christ will come, when He comes, He shall very well give us a Kingdom that cannot ever end: “Since we are receiving a Kingdom that is unshakeable, let us be thankful and please God by worshiping Him with holy fear and awe. For our God is a devouring fire.” (Hebrews 12:28-29, NLT).
Yes, we can be thankful that God showed His love for us by sending His only Son, Jesus Christ, to die on the cross for us so that we can be saved. Yes, as Christians, we are thankful that because Jesus died for every one of us, God answers our prayers, He blesses every one of us, and we can also be thankful that we are brothers and sisters in Christ. Yes, we are so very thankful that God saved us from the fires of eternal damnation through the blood shed by Jesus Christ, His only Son.
But what about you? First of all, let me ask you this question: Are you thankful for the blessings of God? If not, then how can you be thankful when you have taken drugs or have been drinking alcohol? How could you be so very grateful when you have been trapped in the addition of pornography and have been trying for many years to get out of that poisonous trap? Most of all, how could any of you be “thankfully grateful” when you have been struggling with sin for so many years of your lives? Well, have I got good news for you-In spite of your flaws, God just wants you to know that He loves you so very much, and He would like for you to know that He has shown His love for you by sending His only Son to take your place on the cross as the punishment for your sins, dying and shedding His blood for you, and then defeated death and was risen from the dead. Now, Jesus is alive, and God would very much like for you to accept His invitation by repenting of all of your sins, and by giving your very own heart to Jesus Christ right now! So, one question remains: Will you be ready to be thankfully grateful for all that our Lord God has done for you by giving your heart to the One who died for you, Jesus Christ, today?

   “For this is how God loved the world: He gave His one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life. God sent His Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through Him.” (John 3:16-17, NLT)
So with that, are you ready to give heartfelt thanks to God who has sent His Son to save you by giving your very own heart to Christ Jesus right now? Then please pray this prayer with me: “Oh, Lord Jesus Christ, I admit that I am a sinner. I believe that You have died on the cross for my sins, and have risen from the dead on the third day, defeating death so that I could have eternal life. I ask now that You please come into my heart, and to let me follow You always as my personal Savior. I thank You so very much for taking my place on the cross and taking the punishment for me. In Your most holy & blessed name. Amen.”
If you have just prayed this prayer with me, then I would very much like to welcome YOU into God’s Great, Big Family! Now, the very next thing that you need to do now that you have given your heart to Jesus Christ would be to read the Holy Bible, God’s Most Blessed Word, each and every day of your life, and then you need to go to a good, Christian church, each and every Sunday of your life, so that you can worship, praise, and thank our Lord God for His blessings and for sending Jesus, His Son, to die for you. I very much hope and pray that you make the ultimate choice in following Jesus today, so that you can always give thanks. I would like to thank you so very much for taking the time to read this message today; Please join me next time as we conclude this two-part special series on why we need to be “Thankfully Grateful”. Until then, Lord willing, may God bless you ever so richly.

Glory be to the Father, to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever. Amen.


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