Thanksgiving presents us with countless opportunities to model God’s love and healing with family and friends. Right now, so many people are longing for restored relationships, extraordinary grace and peace. Could there be a more relevant season to be reminded of the incredible relationship between thanksgiving and grace? I hope you’ll watch this video and ponder with me the joys and challenges of being “all in” for God like Abraham, surrendering everything to Him.
Your financial support helps Living on the Edge equip parents like George and Deepa with tools to help their three children draw closer to the Lord Jesus. Keep reading below to see how this couple and two other families are getting support as moms and dads through our resources.
Our First and Most Important Small Group: Our Family
For believers who want to know Christ intimately and live in community with His people, our small groups are a lifeline. But here’s a critical reminder for Christian parents: God has sovereignly placed us in the most important “small group” of all—our families!Read More
The COVID lockdown turned many households upside down. Yet in the midst of the upheaval, God presented families with rare opportunities to renew their relationships. And Living on the Edge was ready with God-centered, relationship-building resources.
George and Deepa from Bangalore, India, write, “Mealtime Conversations was a tremendous hit at our home! Our three kids really enjoyed the discussions and activities. They worked together on a word hunt, discovering the words that make up Proverbs 3:5-6. The obstacle course established a helpful visual about trusting God when we cannot see the future. [Living on the Edge] is doing a phenomenal job, which only eternity will reveal.”
Brad from Kansas City, KS, said, “I’ve had some great conversations with my seven- and ten-year-old at bedtime since introducing the Discuss This! cards. The questions naturally prompt deeper conversation, and we talk about what God thinks, what the Bible says, and why things happen the way they do. These cards gave me an easy, age-appropriate conversation starter that is also a great springboard for heartfelt prayer.”
Marcia, a recent empty-nester from Ft. Myers, FL, shares, “Our youngest son had just turned 18 when he surprised us with a complete shift in life direction, moving away from the sound counsel he grew up with. My husband and I have struggled with empty-nest syndrome and how to process this sudden and unexpected turn of events with our son. This was when we found your recent series Navigating Life with Adult Children, which gave me hope for the future and practical ways to maintain our relationship with our son. We want to honor the Lord in our family, and now have peace that we are doing so and setting healthy boundaries. This came at the perfect time for us and was such an encouragement. Thank you.”
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The Amazing Link Between Thanksgiving and Grace
The last few years have found many families navigating tremendous stress and loss. Many are still longing for restoration with loved ones. Could there be a more relevant season to be reminded of the incredible relationship between thanksgiving and grace? As we prepare our hearts for Thanksgiving, I am reminded that for followers of Christ, thanksgiving is a daily way of life. This is not borne of obligation, but of the abundant grace we have been given!Read More
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast.
EPHESIANS 2:8-9 NIV
The last few years have found many families navigating tremendous stress and loss. Many are still longing for restoration with loved ones. Could there be a more relevant season to be reminded of the incredible relationship between thanksgiving and grace? As we prepare our hearts for Thanksgiving, I am reminded that for followers of Christ, thanksgiving is a daily way of life. This is not borne of obligation, but of the abundant grace we have been given!
THE CONNECTION BETWEEN THANKSGIVING & GRACE
It’s encouraging to realize that there’s an amazing scriptural connection between thankfulness and grace. While it’s obvious that we should be thankful for God’s grace, what’s not so obvious is how closely these two concepts are linked by the Greek language that God chose for the New Testament.
The Greek word charis is typically translated as “grace,” and we usually define it as “unmerited favor.” It also expresses the outcomes of grace: joy, favor, gratification, acceptance, and benefits. The Greek word eucharisteo means “thankfulness.”
As we note Bible verses where charis appears, an interesting pattern emerges. If charis is shown by God to man, we call it grace, “For from his fullness we have all received, grace (charis) upon grace. For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ” (John 1:16-17 ESV). If charis is shown by man toward God, we call it thanks: “But thanks (charis) be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 15:57 ESV).
Receiving the grace of God should make us respond with something so similar and closely connected that it can be labeled by the same word, charis. Thankfulness is what happens when we are rich in grace. As we deepen our relationship with God, this becomes our natural response to being blessed and highly favored by the King of the Universe.
GOD’S EXTRAVAGANT GRACE FOR US
Grasping the concept of God’s extravagant grace is desperately needed right now. In it, we find the supernatural power to forgive, to heal, right wrongs, and close the great chasms that divide families, churches, communities, and our world.
Throughout Scripture, we see that grace is the unmerited, unconditional love of God toward us. You can’t earn it. You have it when you’re bad—and you have it when you’re good. It’s not based on performance; it’s based exclusively on God’s desire to give you what you don’t deserve, solely because of His character.
Make no mistake, though. This grace that is freely available to us … is supremely costly to God. The Cross, God’s greatest act of grace, is where He allowed His Son—fully God and fully man—to die in our place to pay for all the things we have ever done, thought, or said that violated a holy God.
And the only way we can get it is through faith. It’s not something we can earn. “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9 NIV).
LIVING A GRACE-FILLED LIFE
Our high-demand world places a premium on performance: “There’s no free lunch; it’s a hard- knock life; if you achieve, you’ll receive.” Sadly, even Christian parents often unwittingly communicate to their kids that they must earn approval—through grades, behavior, and a long list of other “performance indicators” that can even carry over into adulthood.
The logical extension of this is that children (of all ages) may believe that they need to earn their Heavenly Father’s approval, too. When this thinking takes root, it yields a lifetime of distorted thinking and damage.
This Thanksgiving, I challenge you to seek out opportunities for “teachable moments”
with your family. Start by setting the record straight about God’s amazing grace!
• Make sure your kids know that you love them and approve of them no matter what.
• Drive home the fact that there’s nothing they could do to change your love for them.
• If necessary, ask for their forgiveness and pray together for a fresh start.
• Encourage your loved ones to reject a performance mindset in their relationship with God and reclaim a relationship with Him that is and always will be anchored in grace.
I’m so grateful for your ongoing support. Your partnership makes the difference.
Pressing ahead together,
CEO and Teaching Pastor, Living on the Edge
P.S. Visit LivingontheEdge.org/CoffeeBreak to watch my Monthly Coffee Break Update.Hide
Praise and Prayer
Every month, we'll share with you the top three prayer requests and praises from our team at Living on the Edge. This update is one of our favorite, as it's so clear the many ways that God is at work in our ministry. Chip and our entire team encourage you to celebrate and pray alongside us.Read More
We Thank God For…
- The chance to teach I Choose Peace and encourage attendees during our recent time at The Cove.
- The vision of our Board of Directors, and the godly wisdom they pour into our organization.
- Providing safe travels and fruitful connections for our VP of Global Ministry, Tim Innes, during his recent trip to the Middle East.
We ask God to…
- Strengthen families at all ages and stages to forge strong bonds and healthy communication.
- Continue to use the resources and tools Living on the Edge has created to encourage and support families.
- Prepare the hearts of those who will create the Year-End Match; that all the resources needed to fulfill all God wants us to do will be supplied.