Because of sin, sacrifice became necessary. God could not ignore sin and still maintain His holiness. Through the cross of Christ, God could forgive and at the same time maintain His holiness. (Romans 3:26) The entire Bible sets forth the necessity of "blood" in connection with man's redemption. Jesus said, "For this is my blood of the new testament which is shed for many for the remission of sins." (Matthew 26:28) The writer of Hebrews wrote, "And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission." (Hebrews 9:22) The Bible is clear in showing us that Jesus Christ, "Loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood." (Revelation 1:5) Christ alone atoned for our sins. "Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place having obtained eternal redemption for us." (Hebrews 9:12) It is through the blood of Christ that man can enjoy complete forgiveness of sins. Appreciation for the sacrifice of Jesus should lead us to a life of thanksgiving.


          Appreciation for the sacrifice of Jesus leads to thanksgiving for life itself. Our life is a gift from God. God made you so that only you have your abilities, skills and potential. God has built these into you. If there is one sin that most prevalent today, it is the sin of ingratitude. Let us thank God for physical life. Human life began when God formed Adam and breathed into him the breath of life. “And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.” (Genesis 2:7) Sense God awoke you this morning thank Him and appreciate Jesus’ sacrificed for you.


          Appreciation for the sacrifice of Jesus leads to thanksgiving for daily blessings. At the heart of our relationship with God is gratitude. Our commitment to God and our communication with God must be marked with gratitude. All through our day our heart must be filled with gratitude for the many daily physical blessings God gives us. "Evening, and morning, and at noon, will I pray, and cry aloud: and he shall hear my voice." (Psalms 55:17) God's children must be thankful people. Our prayer life must be filled with thanksgiving. The attitude of thanksgiving characterized Paul's life. He wrote, "And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him." (Colossians 3:17) Gratitude grows in our life when we remember small blessings, health, natural things, sight, hearing or some small act of kindness. Gratitude grows in our life when we remember those who are less fortunate than we.


          Appreciation for the sacrifice of Jesus leads to thanksgiving which increases spiritual heath. Only the truly thankful person can enjoy strong spiritual health. Gratitude is a choice that affects your entire life, physically and spiritually. Gratitude is a major step of faith. Gratitude is a spiritual step that leads to generosity. Gratitude always releases God's power in our life. Gratitude is a step of faith that increases your capacity to be generous. Ungrateful people miss many blessing and they also fail to experience the generosity that they could develop in their life. Gratitude grows in our life when thanksgiving becomes important to us. "Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving." (Colossians 4:2) Gratitude grows in our life when we focus on important matters like, salvation, forgiveness, freedom from sin and eternity. In Christ we are freed from eternal misery. "And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away." (Revelation 21:4) Without Christ we go into eternal misery and that eternal misery is forced into our soul! Eternal misery is the necessary consequence of the rejection of God's grace. Give thanks unto the Lord for what you are freed from through our Lord Jesus Christ.


          "Sing unto the LORD, O ye saints of his, and give thanks at the remembrance of his holiness." (Psalm 30:4) Only those who are faithful in Christ are in a position to truly give thanks unto the Lord. To become a Christian hear the word (Romans 10:17), believe in Jesus (John 8:24), repent of sins (Acts 17:30-31), confess Jesus as Lord (Romans 10:9-10) and be baptized into Christ. (Galatians 3:26-27) Come to Jesus today if you are lost in your sins! All heaven is interested in your salvation from sin. God is love and He wants you saved! The blood of Jesus cleanses us from all sin. Having obeyed the gospel you should then live a faithful and thankful life. "It is a good thing to give thanks unto the LORD, and to sing praises unto thy name, O most High." (Psalm 92:1)


By Charles Box, Walnut Street Church of Christ, 306 Walnut Street,

Greenville, Alabama 36037