“The Lord is my shepherd; I have all that I need. He lets me rest in green meadows; he leads me beside peaceful streams. He renews my strength. He guides me along right paths, bringing honor to his name. Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me. Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me. You prepare a feast for me in the presence of my enemies. You honor me by anointing my head with oil. My cup overflows with blessings. Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me all the days of my life, and I will live in the house of the Lord forever.” – Psalm 23.
Thanksgiving is upon us and already stores are putting up their Christmas decorations. It’s that glorious time of year set aside for giving lots of stuff and to stuffing ourselves a lot. But to celebrate these holidays—and every day—as God intended, one thing above all is necessary: we must grasp that all of life is grace. James 1:17 reminds us of that fact: “Whatever is good and perfect is a gift coming down to us from God our Father…” Thanksgiving is the time to count your blessings, name them one by one. But how do we do that? God has blessed us far more than we deserve and with far too many blessings to count. Yet there are times that we want more.
Jesus showed time and time again that He would and could provide for those who followed Him. Just as a shepherd provides for the sheep, so does Jesus provide for those who follow Him. Psalm 23 tells us exactly that. David is an old man when he wrote Psalm 23. He had seen tragedies and disappointments, but he also had come to know God. David knew that God was beneath him in green pastures, beside him in still waters, before him at the table, behind him pursuing him with goodness and mercy, behind him preparing a heavenly home, and with him all the while as the good shepherd. David had been given more than he deserved.
That is why we should be grateful every day. Not because we hope to earn more than others, or that we have more stuff, but because we know that he has already given us more than we deserve. We serve a generous God.
I am not here to serve a God that gives people what they deserve. I am here to serve a God who gives people more than they deserve. I am here to serve a God who has given me more than I deserve.
So as you embrace this time of Thanksgiving, will you focus on the Giver, who gives you more than you need? Will you prayerfully consider that less is more and that if you have more than you need share it with others?
- Americans are some of the wealthiest people in the world, but do you think Americans are generous with their wealth? Why or why not?
- What excuses do people sometimes make for not being more generous with their resources (time, money, and energy) toward others? Are they valid?
- God has blessed us with more than we deserve. When God blesses us how should we respond?