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The Foundation for Thanksgiving

Do you have a favorite coffee mug? I have a few that are special to me. Even though they are scratched and chipped, I still pick them first. They have always done their job of delivering my beloved morning coffee or tea.

Near the beginning of his letter to the Corinthians, Paul attempts to convince his readers that each one of them has extreme worth, dignity, and value even though they are going through hardship. He compares the earthly body to a jar of clay. Jars of clay were a basic household necessity in the first century, holding provisions such as water, wine, or food. Even if the jars were cracked or chipped, their value was based on the content they held. Paul wants his readers to know the same is true for believers in Jesus, that “this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us” (v. 7). Even though believers may appear broken and cracked, through the Holy Spirit’s indwelling we reveal the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ (v. 10).

What does it mean that Christ lives in us? Paul tells us that by the Holy Spirit, who indwells us, we have strength to speak boldly (v. 13). But more so, we can be confident that our broken lives will be made whole because of Jesus’ resurrection (v. 14a). When we are presented before the Father, He will not see us as cracked vessels, but instead, He’ll see the perfect life of Christ Jesus who dwells in us (v. 14b).

When we carry Jesus inside of us, not only will we live in confidence of our final standing with the Lord, but grace will pour out of our lives so that more and more people will be reached for His glory. This outpouring of grace that reaches others ought to cause “thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God” (v. 15).

Apply the Word

How is grace flowing out of your life today? As you go about your day, perhaps ask yourself, “What is the most gracious thing I can do in this situation?” If our broken lives overflow with grace because of the Lord’s resurrection power living inside of us, our thankfulness will be endless because grace is the foundation for thanksgiving.

BY Chris Rappazini

Chris Rappazini is the associate professor and program head of the BA and MA in Pastoral Studies at Moody Bible Institute and Moody Theological Seminary. He is the vice president of the Evangelical Homiletics Society and previously served as the associate minister of preaching and teaching at Southside Christian Church in Spokane, Washington. While currently on sabbatical from teaching at Moody, Chris and his wife, Ashley, and their three children reside in Texas.

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