by Mike Ratliff
A Psalm for giving thanks. Make a joyful noise to the LORD, all the earth! Serve the LORD with gladness! Come into his presence with singing! Know that the LORD, he is God! It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name! For the LORD is good; his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations. (Psalms 100:1-5 ESV)
O, let us give thanks to the Lord for He is exceedingly good to us. No person born of Adam deserves anything from Him except eternal judgment yet every person, whether they are a believer or not, receives from God His common grace. However, those who are in Christ should joyfully give thanks to Him for the miracle of their salvation along with all of the heavenly promises that go with it. I was in a discussion on Sunday with a friend at church about how awesome it is that God has made Himself known to us through the Son and through His Word. We rejoiced together in our fellowship just seconds before the worship and praise part of our Sunday morning began. What a joy that was!
What are you thankful for? One of the things that I am deeply thankful for is how God is continually confirming His Word to me as I read, study, and meditate on it. This confirmation always, and I mean always, humbles me as I see that God is sovereign and I am His because of what He has done, not what I have done. The Christian that is walking in repentance and in whom God is glorified is humble. I find myself humbled as I mediate on the wonders of salvation and what awaits the faithful in eternity. As I read the following devotional this evening, I was humbled. I pray that God will use it in your heart as He did mine.
“For He saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.”-Romans 9:15
In these words the Lord in the plainest manner claims the right to give or to withhold His mercy according to His own sovereign will. As the prerogative of life and death is vested in the monarch, so the Judge of all the earth has a right to spare or condemn the guilty, as may seem best in His sight. Men by their sins have forfeited all claim upon God; they deserve to perish for their sins-and if they all do so, they have no ground for complaint. If the Lord steps in to save any, He may do so if the ends of justice are not thwarted; but if He judges it best to leave the condemned to suffer the righteous sentence, none may arraign Him at their bar. Foolish and impudent are all those discourses about the rights of men to be all placed on the same footing; ignorant, if not worse, are those contentions against discriminating grace, which are but the rebellions of proud human nature against the crown and sceptre of Jehovah. When we are brought to see our own utter ruin and ill desert, and the justice of the divine verdict against sin, we no longer cavil at the truth that the Lord is not bound to save us; we do not murmur if He chooses to save others, as though He were doing us an injury, but feel that if He deigns to look upon us, it will be His own free act of undeserved goodness, for which we shall for ever bless His name.
How shall those who are the subjects of divine election sufficiently adore the grace of God? They have no room for boasting, for sovereignty most effectually excludes it. The Lord’s will alone is glorified, and the very notion of human merit is cast out to everlasting contempt. There is no more humbling doctrine in Scripture than that of election, none more promotive of gratitude, and, consequently, none more sanctifying. Believers should not be afraid of it, but adoringly rejoice in it.- C.H. Spurgeon
The doctrine of election is not one that generates pride in the regenerate. No, it always leads to humility instead. Those who try to make it out to be something to be proud of do not understand what it really says. Those whom God elected were not chosen on any merit inherit in them. No, it was only according to the will of God for His glory alone. Those in Christ can take no credit for that fact and any who try to do so are actually showing that they either don’t understand the doctrine or they are only fooling themselves about the veracity of their salvation. No, when we ponder our salvation it should humble us even more. The more mature in Christ that we become the deeper this humility will become.
What are you thankful for?
Soli Deo Gloria!