November 27, 2023

“Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”

-1 Thessalonians 5:18

One thing that many people overlook about the motorcycle community is our inherent benevolence.  The vast majority of us have an innate desire to do good for others, which is evidenced by the countless benefit rides that take place in any given year.  We get to enjoy a day of riding with friends, making new friends, and supporting a worthy cause.  The Baptist Bikers, for example, have an annual ride to raise money for Sunrise Children’s Services, a faith-based organization in Kentucky that provides foster care services.  The purpose of the ride, known as The Ride to the Ranch, is to raise money for a facility that Sunrise wishes to build in Winchester, KY.  It was on this very ride, a few years ago, that I first met the men and women of the Baptist Bikers.  We had just over 40 bikes join us that day and raised over $10,000 for the project.  Last year, the ride was postponed several times due to poor weather and then it was eventually rescheduled for May of 2023.  The day of the ride came and the weather forecast showed rain for the entire day.  Eight or nine of us still rode our motorcycles and another dozen or so drove their cars and trucks, just to still be a part of the ride and to support this cause.  

Bikers ride for so many different causes and we give our money to ride in these rides, when we could go out and ride anywhere on our own without having to pay to do it.  We choose to do this for the fellowship, to help someone in need, and because, believe it or not, we have some very big hearts.  At the end of each of these rides there is always someone or some group giving thanks for the support that we have demonstrated, but we all leave there as the ones who are thankful and the recipients of a great blessing.  Truthfully, every single one of us has so much to be thankful for, even when it is hard to see what blessings we have received because tough circumstances sometimes become the focus of our lives.

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.”

-Phillipians 4:6

Prayer refocuses our lives, our hearts, and our minds. When we bring God our thoughts, praise, petitions, laments, and gratitude—we refocus ourselves to the reality of the many great blessings we have in our lives and we are acknowledging the One who grants those blessings, willingly and lovingly. God gives and we receive.  When we spend time in prayer, we find that the troubles of the world are still there, but our hearts and minds are not focused solely on those external events, we begin to see the graciousness of our Lord and we find that there is so much to be thankful for, so much we take for granted.  But what if you are truly struggling with finding a reason to be thankful?  What if the struggles of this life are so great that it just seems impossible to find those tremendous blessings that we are so intimately familiar with when everything seems to be going right?

Look to the cross.  It is that simple.

It is God who makes us His children, not us. We cannot earn that status. It is a gift of God’s great love. Because we are sinners, we don’t understand God’s love for us at first. We don’t even know we need Him until we realize we are stuck in sin and cannot save ourselves. We become God’s children when we receive Jesus as our Lord and Savior.

“And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful.”

-Colossians 3:15

Not one of us is worthy of God’s love. We cannot earn it. God just loves us.  Nothing we can say or do will earn our salvation, it is a gift, willingly given, that is only accepted by grace through faith.  At the very core of our thankfulness should be this singular thought.  We were born into sin and we would die in sin, if it were not for the incomprehensible sacrifice that Jesus made over 2,000 years ago.  He took my sin, and your sin, he put it on His shoulders, climbed that hill and willingly let those Roman soldiers drive the nails into His hands and His feet.  He suffered unimaginable pain, to the point of death.  His blood covered our sins and His blood restored us. Give thanks, because that is a price we could NEVER pay.  But the news gets even better, Jesus Christ rose on the third day and He lives today.  So, give thanks.  We serve a living God and that is more than enough to be thankful for, no matter what else the world throws at us, no matter how bleak things may seem, we are assured of that tremendous hope and truth.

It is not enough, however, just to be thankful, we should also give thanks and we do that by hitting our knees, humbling ourselves before God and thanking Him for everything in our lives; the breath in our lungs, the people in our lives, the trials He has brought us through, the love He has shown us, the sacrifice made on our behalf, and the eternal gift of salvation that is offered to anyone who is willing.

Life is hard, there is no question about that.  Salvation does not promise us an easy life, but it does offer a promise and that is one of an eternal life that exceeds our wildest imagination.  Surely you can give thanks for that!

“Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.”

-Colossians 2:6,7

Follow Biker Devtionals