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To Receive Life

November 23, 2011

The Benediction; you know what I am talking about when I say that don’t you?  Every Sunday, at the very end of the service, the Pastor, usually the one that has delivered the message will ask us to join in the benediction.  My Pastor typically asks us to reach out and receive the Lord’s benediction.  While I don’t know that this definition is totally sufficient, it is the best one that I have.  The benediction is a prayer for God’s blessing on His people, or a prayer recognizing that blessing has been given.  You have probably heard these words at the end of a sermon before: “May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.”  2 Corinthians 13:14.  That is a popular text that is used as a benediction every Sunday, all around the globe.  It is a blessing on the congregation as they go forth from the church into the world.

 Okay, the obvious question is, “Why am I bringing this up today… on thanksgiving?”  Well, the truth is; what better day is there to recognize, by the definition of benediction, that blessings have been given from above?  Let me say it like this, thanksgiving, for the Christian, is nothing more than a great (government sanctioned) benediction.  It is an opportunity to acknowledge the saving grace of our Lord, not just to recognize the peripheral blessings that are around us. 

 I am not going to go into the historical context of thanksgiving, other than to acknowledge that God saw it in his infinite wisdom, to give us a day set apart to reflect on the blessings that He has given to us.  He gave us a great benediction.  It is not just another day to watch the Detroit Lions get owned by the Green Bay Packers.  (Although, that is entertaining)

 Let me close with these words from a neglected book in the scriptures.  Just two verses that seem to be calling out to me today, to recognize what we should really be thankful for.  “To him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy – to the only God our Savior be the glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore!  Amen.”  Jude 1: 24-25

 Today, be thankful for the Savior, the One who is able to keep you from falling.  And not just that; but also the One who presents you…not as you were (a child of wrath)…but as one who has been chosen by the Creator of all things…not to receive turkey…but to receive life.

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