Why Thankfulness is Necessary

Everyone has been told at one time or another that they should be thankful. Of course, November is the month when we celebrate Thanksgiving.  This is a time when families come together to count the many blessings the Lord has bestowed on them.  It is also a time when many attend a Thanksgiving Service and join in with others to give God thanks for His faithfulness in their lives through the year. It becomes apparent that God has been good if we simply are alive to celebrate another Thanksgiving holiday. If the truth were told, all of us have a reason to celebrate and say thank you to the Lord of all life who continues to bless us—often in spite of us.
In 1Cor. 15 Paul is writing to the Church in celebration of the resurrection of the Lord, Jesus Christ. He begins by sharing the finished work on the cross.  He testifies that all are saved by the Gospel. He continues by communicating that Christ died for man’s sins according to the Scriptures and that He was raised on the third day. He then becomes venerable in that he confesses that he is the least of the apostles and does not even deserve to be called an apostle. But the fact is that God called him and used him in spite of himself.  This should be each of our testimonies because there is literally nothing that we have done of ourselves that qualifies us to be used by God. No man or woman is exempt from this revelation. There is nothing that anyone can do to merit the approval of the Lord on their own. In spite of how hard one may work, it is still grace that provides all the opportunity to be reconciled with the Father.
Pau then applies this concept to each of us.  The reality is that our salvation rests on the foundation of Christ’s resurrection from the dead. The point is made that if Christ has not been raised from the dead our faith is futile. In contrast, because Christ has been raised from the dead, we also have the assurance that we will also experience resurrection life. For those who believe, this will result in their experiencing a resurrected body. This body will definitely be different from the physical body that we have now. The physical body is limited in so many ways. Paul points out that the physical body, made up of flesh and blood, is not able to inherit the Kingdom of God.  Only a new body will be able to remain in the presence of God for all eternity.  Paul concludes that all of this is a reality because death has lost its victory and also its sting.
Paul does not stop here.  He draws this conclusion: “But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Cor. 15:57)  Be encouraged because this statement is comprehensive.  It implies that regardless of one’s situation or circumstance, the Lord has already given us the victory.  Paul reminds us that Jesus had to go through trial and temptation before He could reach this position. He also reminds us that we can also experience the victory because it has already been achieved for us by Christ. His work is completed and His battle has been won. We can be thankful as well because our victory has been achieved even though we may struggle.  If we can learn to celebrate the victory in advance this will bring God glory and strengthen our faith. Regardless of what we may be going through, we can be thankful that God will give us the victory somehow and someway. So let us always be thankful to our God who continuously gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.  I exhort you to be thankful in this moment, in this month, and in every day to come. “You already have the victory.”
​In His Service, 
Clarence V. Boyd, Jr. 
Senior Pastor

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