I offer in this post a little twist to typical Thanksgiving messages, though it is written to elicit effusive thanks to our wonderful God. I hope by now you know me well enough to expect nothing standard from me, no matter the season!
As I prayed with some friends recently, we saw something of Jesus’ actions on the cross that caused us all to respond with shouts of thanksgiving and praise. I don’t know that it was a brand-new, never-heard-before kind of thing, but somehow it became real to us in prayer as it never had before.
Our prayer was for the body of Christ to know the love of God, to experience it the way He gives it – lavishly. That word, lavishly, was very important. When I think of a lavish feast, I think not only of top quality foods prepared by the best chefs, but of heaping platter upon heaping platter on table upon table, with nothing running out – ever. If a parent lavishes gifts upon their child, there are so many presents that the child cannot possibly take advantage of them all. Even that, however, doesn’t come close to what God has done for us in sending His Son Jesus.
How could Jesus, the Lamb of God, shed His blood for us, covering all sins for all time, when the lambs sacrificed for sins as a ritual act year after year never could? It all had to do with what was in His blood. Because He knew no sin, the quality of His blood was perfect. With that being the case, only one drop of that perfect, sinless blood was required to pay for all sin for all time. Just one drop covered them all. But Jesus shed all His blood for us. All! He gave more than the basic requirement. When Jesus died on the cross for our sins, He poured His love out for us lavishly. It was almost as if, in giving it all, in abundance, lavishly, He shouted a shout that continues to this day to those who will hear: “I love you! The price for your sin is paid beyond its cost. You are worth it all and more! I love you! I love you!” It reverberates across the miles, across the centuries, across the cultures, throughout the entire world. And this message is not for the masses, but for every individual. It’s for you, too! Receive the lavish outpouring of His love for you today!
Romans 5:16-17 NIV 16 Again, the gift of God is not like the result of the one man’s sin: The judgment followed one sin and brought condemnation, but the gift followed many trespasses and brought justification. 17 For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ.
1 Corinthians 2:12 AMP Now we have not received the spirit [that belongs to] the world, but the [Holy] Spirit Who is from God, [given to us] that we might realize and comprehend and appreciate the gifts [of divine favor and blessing so freely and lavishly] bestowed on us by God.