Sometimes God’s bounty towards us is described as “undeserved blessings.” One might wonder if implied in this terminology is the idea that some of the blessings flooding my way are deserved by me. You see, I’m capable of being easy on myself. But when you really think about it, “Are there any blessings in my life that I do deserve?” And yet, I sometimes slip into an entitlement mentality. I know on a certain level that God’s forgiveness of me is undeserved by me…but then again I think, without saying it, that God must be pleased by the magnificent way I repent. My repentance is more noble…more complete…more satisfying to God than that of others. It’s all so subtle, isn’t it? I am even capable of priding myself on my repentance. But what is repentance? It’s a God-directed, God-enabled change of my heart about my sin through the wonderful story of love…our Savior’s sacrifice of Himself for us. The very definition of repentance eliminates all claims that there is anything in us that in any way deserves what Jesus did and what God freely offers us through Him.
Repeatedly, God warned His people, Israel, not to be lifted up with pride over His choice of them or over His blessings to them. Listen to His reminder to them in Deuteronomy 7:7-8a…“The Lord did not set His affection on you and choose you because you were more numerous than other peoples, for you were the fewest of all peoples. But it was because the Lord loved you and kept the oath He swore to your forefathers that He brought you out with a mighty hand and redeemed you from the land of slavery. Later God speaks to them about their going into the promised land with all of its richness and driving out their enemies before them. He instructs them not to reason within themselves that it was because of their “righteousness” that they were getting this new home. No! It was because of the sins of the land’s previous occupants that this came about. He concludes by telling them, “Understand, then, that it is not because of your righteousness that the Lord your God is giving you this good land to possess, for you are a stiff-necked people (Deuteronomy 9:6). But though they were so undeserving, Great God still set His love upon them…still delivered them…still intended to bring them home.
What about us? Do we wish to compare ourselves favorably with Israel? Wouldn’t it be better by far to get away from that kind of thinking? Aren’t you glad He doesn’t treat us as we deserve? Listen, every good thought…every act of kindness…every unselfish deed…every noble sacrifice…every comforting, encouraging word…every strong promise…every loving relationship…every good thing we look forward to with joy…every Word from Him…every protection…every beautiful song…every precious memory…every chance to say or hear, “I love you”…it’s all of grace…it’s all of Him…it’s all so wonderful. Maybe that’s something for which to offer your gratitude to God this Thanksgiving season and beyond.
“Dear Father, Thank You for the reminder. Thank You for setting Your love on us and for delivering us because You are Who You are. And thank You, Father God for every good, perfect, and undeserved gift!”
A Blessed Thanksgiving To You And Yours!