II Corinthians 9:8-15: "And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work: (As it is written, He hath dispersed abroad; he hath given to the poor: his righteousness remaineth for ever. Now he that ministereth seed to the sower both minister bread for your food, and multiply your seed sown, and increase the fruits of your righteousness;) Being enriched in every thing to all bountifulness, which causeth through us thanksgiving to God. For the administration of this service not only supplieth the want of the saints, but is abundant also by many thanksgivings unto God; Whiles by the experiment of this ministration they glorify God for your professed subjection unto the gospel of Christ, and for your liberal distribution unto them, and unto all men; And by their prayer for you, which long after you for the exceeding grace of God in you. Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift."
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We have just come to the end of another long Thanksgiving weekend. I can tell you that I have enjoyed myself throughout this holiday, and I trust that you have as well. During this time of the year, our hearts and minds turn to the many things that we are grateful for. And I truly have a lot to be grateful for because God has blessed me immensely. My dad used to say "God has smiled on me." And the Lord has shown great favor, grace, and mercy down through the years to me, my family, and everyone living today. In fact, if you are alive, you have a lot to thank God for. Paul tells the Corinthians in verse 11 of our passage that they have been "enriched in every thing to all bountifulness, which causeth through us thanksgiving to God."
My life has indeed been enriched by the bountiful blessings of God. I have health and strength. I have many beautiful and healthy children. I have a beautiful wife and a son and daughter born on my birthday. I enjoy the blessings of good food to eat, clothes to wear and a place to stay. Since I first preached this devotional message, in a small church, in a little city called Apalachicola, Florida, nearly twenty five ago, I have been serving the Lord in the ministry full-time for over thirty years. God has taken care of me, my wife and our seven children by faith in Him. God has been good to me and it has been a joy serving Him.
However, the person I thank God for the most is His Holy Son, Jesus Christ, whom the Bible calls the "unspeakable gift." I feel that, particularly as we head into the Christmas season, and all of the commercialism that unfortunately goes along with it, it is good for us to do as that old hymn says and turn our eyes upon Jesus -- to put the focus on Him, the true reason for the season. And before you get back to your shopping and gift-buying and gift-giving, I want us to take this time together today to focus on God's "unspeakable gift" to us. That word "unspeakable" means something so wonderful that words cannot even describe it.
Today, I want to share with you three reasons why I thank God for Jesus Christ.
1. First of all, I thank God for Jesus Christ because He gave His Life that I might have Eternal Life. I know that this verse is quoted often, but it is a verse worth quoting: John 3:16 says, "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life."
In case you haven't realized it yet, we would not have eternal life if it had not been for Someone giving His life for us. Our sins stand in the way of eternal life. Our rebellion against God stands in the way of eternal life. A debt that we cannot pay stands in the way of eternal life. Eternal life costs something. But thanks be to God, He sent His Son Jesus Christ, to pay the price for our sin and our rebellion.
Ellis J. Crum wrote a poem that goes like this:
He paid a debt He did not owe;
I owed a debt I could not pay;
I needed someone to wash my sins away.
And, now, I sing a brand new song,
Christ Jesus paid a debt that I could never pay.
The only reason why we have eternal life and a home in Heaven is because Jesus Christ came down from glory to bear our sins on the cross and open the way for us to begin a real relationship with God. That's why I thank God for Jesus Christ!
2. Second, I thank God for Jesus Christ because He keeps me by His grace. Verse 8 of our passage says that, "God is able to make all grace abound toward you..." Our salvation is made secure because of the abundant grace of God in our lives. We are delivered from sin by the grace of God. We are saved by the grace of God. And we continue in the Christian walk because of the abundant grace of God in our lives. In the words of the prince of preachers, Charles Haddon Spurgeon, "It is all of grace."
John 10:27-30 says, "My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of My hand. My Father which gave them Me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of My Father's hand."
You can be confident knowing that your salvation is secure. No, it is not secure because of who you are or what you have done. If it was depending on you, you would not have any salvation to speak of. But by the grace of God, you have salvation and that salvation is secure. Benjamin B. Warfield said that "Grace is free sovereign favor to the ill-deserving."
I thank God for Jesus Christ because we have the assurance of salvation through Him.
3. Third, I thank God for Jesus Christ because He is able to keep me from falling. Verse 8 of our passage goes on to say: "that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work." When we give our lives to Jesus Christ, a change is made in our hearts, and we begin to do good works by the power of the Holy Spirit. However, the temptation to do evil does not end just because we are saved. The devil still tries to get us to sin and disobey God.
But I am thankful today for Jesus Christ who set the example of what we should do when we are faced with temptation. And by His power in our lives, we can resist the devil and keep from falling into sin. Jude 24 says, "Now unto Him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy."
Now, this does not mean that once we are saved, we are perfect. However, any sins that we do commit after salvation ought to be few and far between. And we should be quick to confess and repent of those sins and get back on the straight and narrow.
John Gill wrote in his commentary that Adam and Eve in their state of innocence could not keep themselves from falling into sin. The angels in their state of perfection could not keep themselves from falling into rebellion. And we, in our state of sinful imperfection, certainly cannot keep ourselves from falling into sin. But thanks be to God that Jesus Christ keeps us from falling into sin.
My friend, that's only three reasons why I thank God for Jesus Christ. There are many more reasons that I could get into. And, Lord willing, on next week, we will discuss three more reason why we all ought to be thankful for Jesus Christ. As you go into this holiday season, I want to encourage you to keep your eyes on Jesus. Yes, enjoy yourself. Yes, spend time with your family and friends. But keep the focus on Jesus Christ.
Now, if you are with us today, and you have never accepted the free gift of salvation through Jesus Christ, I hope that what you heard today placed a desire in your heart for you to have a real relationship with Jesus Christ.
If you want to give your heart and life to Jesus Christ today, Acts 16:31 says "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved." All you have to do is pray and ask Jesus Christ to save you today, and He will. And you can begin thanking God for Jesus Christ as well.
I mentioned to you John 3:16 earlier in this message. It says, "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life."
The phrase "For God so loved the world" means that if you are in this world, God loves you no matter what you have done.
The next phrase, "that He gave His only begotten Son" refers to Jesus Christ. He is God's son who suffered, bled, and died on the cross for your sins and for mine, and He was buried and rose again.
Our next phrase is "that whosoever believeth in Him". The word "whosoever" means anybody at anytime. The phrase "believeth in Him" means to trust in Him, to depend upon Him, to rely on Him, or to have faith in Him for your salvation.
Our next phrase, "should not perish", refers to eternal punishment in a place called hell.
And, lastly, the phrase "but have everlasting life" means to live eternally in Heaven with God.
The Bible also says in Romans 10:9 and 13: "That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.... For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved."
If you want to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ right now you can pray with me this simple prayer: Heavenly Father, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I now believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.
If you just trusted Jesus Christ as your Saviour, and you prayed that prayer and meant it from your heart, I declare to you that based upon the Word of God, you are now saved and you are on your way to Heaven. Welcome to the family of God! I want to congratulate you on doing the most important thing in life and that is receiving Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour. For more information to help you grow in your new found faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read "What To Do After You Enter Through the Door". Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, "I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture."
God loves you! We love you! God bless you!
Daniel Whyte III has spoken in meetings across the United States and in twenty-three foreign countries. He is the author of sixteen books. He is also the president of Gospel Light Society International, a worldwide evangelistic ministry that reaches thousands with the Gospel each week, as well as president of Torch Ministries International, a Christian literature ministry which publishes a monthly magazine called The Torch Leader. He is heard by thousands each week on his radio broadcasts, The Prayer Motivator Devotional and the Prayer Motivator Minute, as well as Gospel Light Minute X, the Gospel Light Minute, the Sunday Evening Evangelistic Message, the Prophet Daniel's Report and the Second Coming Watch Update. He holds a Bachelor's Degree in Theology from Bethany Divinity College, a Bachelor's degree in Religion from Texas Wesleyan University, and a Master's degree in Religion from Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary. He has been married to the former Meriqua Althea Dixon, of Christiana, Jamaica for twenty-five years. God has blessed their union with seven children. Find out more at www.danielwhyte3.com. Follow Daniel Whyte III on Twitter @prophetdaniel3.