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Thanksgiving

posted Dec 21, 2012, 7:24 PM by hbchurch org

11/18/2012

   The Thanksgiving holiday has become one of our great national events. Like other traditions, it means different things to different people. The retail world sees it as the beginning of the holiday shopping season. To the historian, it takes us back to Plymouth and our country’s beginning. Although there is no religious significance or Biblical directive to observe such a day, it can help us remember the place of thanksgiving in our lives.

   The words “thanks” and “thanksgiving” occur 140 times in the Bible. In the Old Testament, the Psalms contain the most references. In the New Testament, only thirteen are not found in the writings of Paul. Let’s reflect for a moment upon the men who spoke  frequently about thanksgiving.

   King David, noted for being a man “after God’s own heart” and who “served God’s purpose”, could easily have forgotten God. Men of power and prosperity often get so wrapped up in themselves, that they forget to acknowledge the place of God in their lives. Even though David lapsed on occasion, he also remembered to thank God for all his numerous blessings.

   Prosperity and affluency, like we have experienced in our lifetimes, can easily blind us to the fact that every good and perfect gift comes from God (James 1:17). Have you slowed down recently and taken the time to reflect upon all that God has done for you? Are you thankful for His many, many blessings?

   Sometimes people facing adversity don’t feel like they have much to be thankful for. Certainly, there were times in the life of Paul when he could have felt that way, but he did not. Even in the face of pain (2 Corinthians 11 and 12), unjustified imprisonment (Acts 16), disappointment (Acts 18), and distress (Acts 27) he maintained a thankful attitude. Do we let the cares of the world or our daily routines blind us to the spiritual blessings God promises His followers?

   Regardless of our social or economic station in life, we all have reason to be thankful. Our God is a loving and giving God. Paul reminded the Corinthian Christians that God provided them the way of victory over sin and death (1 Cor. 15:57). Then he spelled out the appropriate response in verse 58 -

“Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your toil is not in vain in the Lord.”

   Being thankful to the Lord for all He has given us is not just a matter of saying “thank you”, but we must also show that we are truly thankful by the way we live every day.   KD

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