Thanksgiving 2017


Mission Focus 1016


We are now about to celebrate another wonderful Thanksgiving week in the United States. It is a special time when Christians reflect on how much we have been blessed with to THANK GOD FOR. The scriptures are abundant with many wonderful expressions of this thankfulness. Psalm 9:1 says, “I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart; I will recount all of your wonderful deeds.” Thessalonians 5:18, for example, tells us, “Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” It is so significant to reflect again on several presidential Thanksgiving proclamations: the historical foundation of the event; God's sovereignty and goodness; the many blessings God has bestowed on America; the importance of national and individual repentance; a challenge to share our many blessings with other nations and the less fortunate at home; a call to honor the sacrifices of those, especially members of the armed forces, who have helped make America prosperous and powerful; and an exhortation to express our gratitude to God individually and collectively. The following is from George Washington:

On October 3, 1789, President George Washington gave these several reasons why there should be a day of Thanksgiving. “Whereas it is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore his protection and favor– and whereas both Houses of Congress have by their joint Committee requested me to recommend to the People of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many signal favors of Almighty God especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness.”

This was his Thanksgiving Prayer to God as he presented his proclamation: “Most gracious Lord God, from whom proceeded every good and perfect gift, I offer to Thy Divine Majesty my sincere praise and thanksgiving, for all Thy mercies toward me. Thou made me at first and hast ever since sustained the work of Thine own hand. Thou gave Thy Son to die for me, and hast given me assurance of salvation upon my repentance and sincerely endeavoring to conform my life to His holy precepts and example. Thou art pleased to lengthen out to me the time of repentance and to move me to it by Thy Spirit and by Thy Word, and by Thy mercies and by Thy judgments. Amen.” President James Madison, a Father of the Constitution said, "The future and success of America is not in this Constitution, but in the laws of God upon which this Constitution is founded.”

May we as Christians in America never forget this Thanksgiving that we have an Opportunity and we have an Obligation to show the light of God to the world. Hebrews 13:15 tell us, “By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name.” Jesus directed us, “You are the light of the world." PRAY we will be a “light of the world."

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