“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places. . . .” (Eph. 1:3)
One of the occasions I make a big deal about each year is my “spiritual birthday”—May 14, 1963—the day when as a young girl I first consciously trusted the Lord Jesus to save me. Over the years, I have compiled a list of “spiritual birthday gifts”—things God has given me in Christ, gifts He has given to all of His children, according to His Word.
That list includes such treasures as:
- peace with God,
- being adopted into His family,
- being saved from His eternal wrath, and
- having a purpose for living.
It catalogs how He has:
- restored my soul,
- given me an inheritance with the saints,
- empowers me to serve Him, and
- keeps me from stumbling before the finish line.
It reminds me that He has supplied an Advocate who defends me against Satan’s prosecution and accusation.
And the list goes on. I thank Him for:
- His nearness through His Spirit within me, who both equips and encourages me to stay faithful in the battle.
- His holiness, that even when I choose to sin, He can always be counted on to be holy and faithful.
- His mercy, His willingness to reach down and rescue me, not only from my sins but even from my best efforts to please Him, which are nowhere near good enough apart from Christ’s imputed righteousness.
Whenever you ponder what you’re grateful for, be sure to look beyond the animal, vegetable, and mineral variety of God’s gifts. Consider His spiritual blessings as well. Only Christian gratitude, framed and contextualized within the matchless grace of God, can help you wrap your arms around so big a package.
What would you add to this list of spiritual blessings? What are one or two of His gifts you haven’t opened up and enjoyed in a while?
Excerpted from Nancy's forthcoming book, The Quiet Place: Daily Devotional Readings, which releases October 1, 2012.