"I always thank my God for you because of His grace given you in Christ Jesus."1 Corinthians 1:4 NIV
Paul. What a wonderful example of gratitude he is! Always thankful to Christ, and those who served alongside him. This verse is short, and it might slip past you if you are reading it in the midst of a passage. However, don't over look what it really means.
Paul is thankful for the Corinthians, because of Christ's grace given to them. I really loved how the Phillips translation puts it, grouping it together with verses 5-9.
"I am always thankful to God for what the gift of his grace in Jesus Christ has meant to you—how, as the Christian message has become established among you, he has enriched your whole lives, from the words on your lips to the understanding in your hearts. And you have been eager to receive his gifts during this time of waiting for his final appearance. He will keep you steadfast in the faith to the end, so that when his day comes you need fear no condemnation. God is utterly dependable, and it is he who has called you into fellowship with his Son Jesus Christ, our Lord." (PHILLIPS)He is being thankful for several things here. First, he is thankful for how God has used the grace of Christ to transform the Corinthians, and second, for how eager the Corinthians were to embrace that transformation.
Paul is thankful for who they are now-different because of the grace of Christ. Thankful for how much better their lives are because of His grace, His gifts. This verse is so sweet, so full of love. He is telling them how much he appreciates how Christ has changed them.
He isn't just thankful that Christ saved them, he is glad that Christ has made them new. He is thankful for God's grace that caused them to be someone that he was thankful for.
Christ changes people. That's the thing about salvation-Christ's sacrifice allows you to be someone to be thankful for, and makes those you love, well, more lovable. He takes thieves and makes them heroes, He takes scoundrels and makes them servants. He makes worthless into wonderful. For you, and anyone who accepts His grace.
And that is what thanksgiving is really about. We give thanks, today, and every day because Christ changes things. He gave us salvation, and He gives us grace that makes our lives into something worth being thankful for. He is the only reason for celebrating today, or any day.
Who in your life has been transformed by Christ's grace? Give thanks for who they are because of His gift. As you celebrate today, realize that anyone who has accepted Christ's free gift is changed. For the better. For eternity. And that is worth having a holiday. Happy Thanksgiving!
Looking for the printable scripture writing plan? Or another day of the "Thankfulness: From Hand to Heart" study? Find them here!