In 2Tim 3:1-5, the apostle Paul gives a list of characteristics that will describe how mankind will be in the last days. Of course men have always been like this to some degree, but it will increase to be the rule in the end times. If you will read that list, there should be no doubt that we are in that time. The reason I mention this, is to point to the fact, that sandwiched in between all of these obvious sins, is one that we may not think is really that bad: which is being unthankful. That’s right; right alongside being covetous, despisers of those that are good, traitors, loving pleasure more than God, etc., is being unthankful, ungrateful, unappreciative.
If you are always complaining about what you don’t have, instead of thanking God for what you do have, you are in bad company. Americans, and especially Christian Americans, should be the most grateful, thankful, God-praising people on the face of the earth. We are so blessed, it’s almost embarrassing. We have such an abundance; such freedoms; such safety; such choices; such peace; such opportunity. Most of us have no idea how the rest of the world lives. And more important than all of these material blessings, as Christians, we are blessed with God’s divine favor; our sins are washed away; we have eternal life; we are delivered, set free from bondages, victorious, more than conquerors! We are blessed with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places, in Christ Jesus (Eph 1:3)!
Giving thanks to God continually should be a trait of the child of God (Heb 13:15)! Surely the righteous shall give thanks unto God’s name (Ps 140:13)! We are to eat with thanksgiving (1Tim 4:3-4); we are to pray with thanksgiving (Col 4:2, Phi 4:6); we are to live out our faith with thanksgiving (Col 2:7). Thanksgiving is God’s will for our lives (1Thess 5:18), and should be a part of everything we do (Col 3:17).
Thanksgiving gets kind of snubbed now a days, because there is no money in it; except for the turkey farmers. If you’ve noticed, as soon as Halloween is over, we now go straight to Christmas. Not because people are so eager to celebrate the birth of Jesus; but because it’s a big money maker. We as Christians need to make Thanksgiving the important holiday that it is.
Thanksgiving is a time of celebration and proclamation. God tells us in His word that we should rejoice in our feast (Est 8:17, Duet 16:14), and that a feast is made for laughter (Ecc 10:19, Pro 15:15). God blesses the feast that is celebrated in thanksgiving to Him. It is also a time of proclaiming God’s goodness. As His children, we are to make known His deeds among the people (Ps 105:1); we are to give God thanks among the unsaved world (Ps 18:49). Jesus said if we His people would not praise Him, the rocks would cry out in our place (Lk 19:40)!
Fathers, I encourage you to tell the story of the first thanksgiving to your family. Remind them of the sacrifices made by the Pilgrims, and our Godly heritage that we are reaping the benefits of in our generation. We can worship God and Christ freely today, because of their efforts. If you want the true story and first hand account of how the first Thanksgiving came to be, I encourage you to read the book “Of Plymouth Plantation” by William Bradford. It will give you a whole new respect for the Pilgrims; for the Indians they held a fifty year peace treaty with; and for the freedoms that we enjoy today.
If we do not know where we have come from, we cannot know where we are going.
I pray all of you would have a blessed and happy Thanksgiving with your families and friends. Take time to meditate on God’s goodness and blessings, and be thankful to Him. Celebrate and enjoy the feast! Until next time, rejoice in the Lord!