The Blessing of Salvation
Series: Count Your Blessings
Psalm 68:19 ESV
Luke 9:51-56 ESV
Luke 9:28-36 ESV
As we look forward to a time we set aside to intentionally be thankful it is helpful to reflect and think about specific ways we are thankful.
After all, Thanksgiving is more than a day to eat turkey/ham and pumpkin pie.
It’s bigger than a time for families gather together.
It’s greater than remembering how the holiday started when Pilgrims and Native Americans gathered together.
Ultimately Thanksgiving is about really being THANKFUL so we’re going to begin to look at why and what we can and might be thankful. Today we’re looking and being thankful for our personal salvation.
I don’t recall reading or really even hearing grateful words related to salvation during the Thanksgiving season. I believe I know many many people who are grateful for their own personal salvation. I am personally ever so grateful for my salvation.
I am grateful for my family of faith, that my parents were (are) people of faith. I am grateful that they modeled and taught salvation.
I am grateful that my children and my grandchildren are people of faith.
Psalm 68:19 tells us, “Blessed be the Lord, who daily bears us up; God is our salvation. Selah”
I can say without ant doubt that every instant of every day God daily bears us up. God has never and will never fail to bear us up.
God IS our salvation. God is the ONE we look to daily.
Bless the Lord for saving us.
But here’s the rub…
Just when I think I have it all figured out I do something crazy. Today was a perfect example. I found my dog (who I adore) sitting next to a plastic bun sack. I bought buns that day. I am on a special diet and I can’t eat wheat buns, so I drove to the nearest Superstore that sells buns I can eat. Then one hour laterI find an empty sack very near where my dog was sitting.
First, I was very upset because I was afraid eating all those buns would make him really sick. I mean, I wanted the buns I bought and 8 was upset about that, but I was also upset that he might get really sick.
I did pray about it. The prayer was pretty lame, like “God please don’t let my dog die.”
A while later I went to my car to make sure I took all the groceries inside and I found the buns still in the car.
My dog did not eat the buns.
Because I was upset about the buns and my dog possibly getting really sick for eating 8 buns, my day got all messed up.
I forgot all about being grateful for my blessings.
Do you see where this is going?
It’s life. Real life. It’s hard and it’s messy.
That reminds me of the time Jesus took a few of His disciples up the mountain and he was transfigured before their eyes. Moses and Elijah appeared. It was a glorious moment.
Not long after in Luke 9:51-56 we read, “When the days drew near for him to be taken up, he set his face to go to Jerusalem. And he sent messengers ahead of him, who went and entered a village of the Samaritans, to make preparations for him. But the people did not receive him, because his face was set toward Jerusalem. And when his disciples James and John saw it, they said, “Lord, do you want us to tell fire to come down from heaven and consume them?”But he turned and rebuked them. And they went on to another village.”
James and John were there when Jesus changed into a heavenly being before their eyes. They saw His glory (Luke 9:28-36).
Then the same disciples who saw glory were offering to bring fire down from heaven to consume some people because they didn’t receive him. Jesus rebuked them and they walked on to another village.
My ‘moment’ when I got upset that my dog ate the buns was no different. I had been praying and thinking about being grateful and blessed then in the blink of an eye I was stressed out about hamburger buns.
Here’s the good news part to the story: because I chose God and God chose me, we’re in this together forever. God doesn’t turn away from me any more than Jesus did with James and John’s ridiculous moment about bringing fire down from heaven.
Jesus called them out on it, then He forgave them and they walked on like nothing had happened. Today, Jesus did the same thing with me. During my rant about the hamburger buns, I think Jesus shook His head, reminded me the whole ordeal was way out of line (especially since my dog did NOT eat the buns). Then when I relaxed and turned back to Jesus, I was overcome with gratitude that Jesus is there for me even when I went on a rant about my dog eating my hamburger buns.
That’s what salvation is. Even when we do really stupid or silly things, Jesus is right there. He reminds us that it was not okay then we walk on and I know Jesus loves me even though I do really ridiculous things.
The point is that salvation is real. We ARE forgiven even for stupid things.
Jesus paid the price so we could be saved.
I grew up singing the song, Jesus Paid it All, which was written in 1865 by Elvira Hall. He wrote, “I hear the savior say thy strength indeed is small, child of weakness watch and pray, find in me thine all in all. Jesus paid it all, all to him I owe sin had left a crimson stain, He washed it white as snow.”
Jesus knows my strength is small and He is my all in all.
Everyday. Life is a crazy journey. Even when I forget, Jesus picks me up and dusts me off and we walk on down the road. That’s because He is my savior and for that I am really grateful.
Spiritual Practice: Your story
Think of a time when you messed up and Jesus picked you up and dusted you off and the two of you walked on down the road. Be grateful.
In God, Deborah