The Apostle Paul writes:
And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.
But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
Because of our rebellion against God, we were dead, BUT GOD….
We were in bondage to evil powers and our own desires, BUT GOD….
We were objects of God’s wrath, BUT GOD….
But God, being rich in grace, mercy and love, made us alive, seated us in the heavenly realms, and has reversed the conditions of our sin. We have “been rescued,” writes Peter O’Brien. And this rescue is from “death, wrath, and bondage and [includes] a transfer into the new dominion with its manifold blessings.”
And so as many of us sit around a table this Thanksgiving season and enjoy family, friends, and fine food, we would do well to ponder “But God!” If not for His mercy, grace, and love, the greatest need we have would not have been met. And the greatest gift we could ever receive would not have been given.
Thanks be to God!