As you know, the book of Hebrews is a favorite here at Basic Gospel. In this glorious book, we see Jesus as "the radiance of God's glory and the exact representation of his being." We learn that Jesus is superior to angels, to Moses, and to Abraham.
We also see Jesus as our high priest, the one who mediated a new and better covenant for us through his once-for-all sacrifice. In this new covenant Jesus makes better and lasting promises to us—promises that guarantee our future and provide everything we need today for life and godliness.
It is a book that lifts up the person and work of Jesus Christ like no other. It's no wonder that at the end, the writer encourages us with these words: "Through him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name." (Hebrews 13:15 ESV)
How else can we respond to the incredible grace that has been given to us in Christ? Throughout the Bible, the writers place great importance on a thankful heart.
We see this in the story of Jesus healing the ten lepers. Luke tells us that Jesus met ten lepers as he was traveling in the region of Samaria. These men cried out for mercy. And Jesus responded, “‘Go show yourselves to the priests.' As they went, they were healed." (Luke 17:14)
One of these men—a Samaritan—turned back, threw himself at Jesus's feet and thanked him. To this one, Jesus said, "Rise and go; your faith has made you well." (Luke 17:19)
In this story, Jesus teaches us that "grace-filled faith" leads to "heartfelt thanks."
We see the polar opposite in Romans 1 where Paul takes us inside the hearts of those who stand in rebellion towards God and live ungodly and unrighteous lives. Here is what he wrote: "For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened." (Romans 1:21 ESV)
According to Jeremiah, it is the heart that "is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick." (Jeremiah 17:9 ESV) Our hearts need to be cured, need to be changed. This change is only possible in the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The sign that our souls have been made well is a heart overflowing with gratitude.
Paul made this even more abundantly clear when he wrote these words: "In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus concerning you." (1 Thessalonians 5:19) We can carry out the will of God for us only as we respond in faith to His love and grace.
Thank you for standing with us to, as the writer of Hebrews does in his letter, lift up the name of Jesus, explain the completeness of His work and teach believers to walk in the fullness of the New Covenant.
Here is the good news. Your generosity, both through your prayers and your financial gifts, is encouraging people the world over to "continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God." Let Paul's words to the Corinthians encourage you: "This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of God's people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God." (2 Corinthians 9:12 NIV)
This is evident in the email our new friend Tom recently sent to us.
Hello Bob, I have prayed with you while listening to the radio... I want to thank you for your program. I listen every day. I learn and grow every day thanks to you and our Lord and Savior Jesus. You and your team have the greatest job on earth – helping people come to Christ. I thank you from my heart.
I am so grateful for you. You are part of the team Tom talked about in his email. You helped reach him with the message of God's love and he is forever changed. My goodness, is there anything better than that?! Your generosity is a tangible outpouring of thanks to God.
Last month, I told you that 40% of our annual contributions are given in the fourth quarter. So again, I ask that you give generously this month to help us continue to connect people to Jesus and to help them live daily in His love and grace.
Happy Thanksgiving to you from all of us at Basic Gospel. May the love of Jesus Christ continue to fill your hearts with gratitude.
The offer, The New Covenant Journey, associated with this letter has expired, however you may purchase it online here or request it by phone at 800.727.2828.