Thursday, November 22, 2012

Weekly Devotion: Thanksgiving

"Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name." Psalm 100:4

Society today knows it as little more than “Turkey Day”, or the “day before the biggest shopping day of the year”, but in 1623, the notion of “Thanksgiving” was born as Gov. William Bradford declared: “Inasmuch as the great Father has given us this year an abundant harvest of Indian corn, wheat, peas, beans, squashes, and garden vegetables, and has made the forests to abound with game and the sea with fish and clams, and inasmuch as he has protected us from the ravages of the savages, has spared us from pestilence and disease, has granted us freedom to worship God according to the dictates of our own conscience.”

This man of faith proclaimed that November 29, 1623 (their third year on the new continent) serve as a day for “render[ing] thanksgiving to ye Almighty God for all His blessings.”  The colonists had actually celebrated with a feast in 1621, as Indian chiefs Massassoit, Squanto and Samoset and many of their men joined with the Pilgrims for a three-day event. Throughout the 1700s, individual colonies initiated individual days of thanksgiving each year. Informal Thanksgiving festivities were held in 1777 throughout the colonies as a form of celebrating the surrender of British General Burgoyne at Saratoga. But in 1789, military hero George Washington, who was serving as America’s first president, declared that America should officially honor God with a National Day of Thanksgiving. As we celebrate another Thanksgiving and Holiday season, may we reflect on our nation’s forefathers and their faith, knowing that in “the last days” men will be “unthankful”!

 “This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,” 2 Timothy 3:1, 2

It was true at Christ’s first coming; as he healed ten lepers, and only one returned “giving him thanks” (Luke 17:16), and it will be true at his second coming, “men shall be… unthankful”! The main reason that we are not thankful today, I believe, is because we have not learned to be “pilgrims on the earth” like our forefathers in America and our forefathers “in faith”!

“These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.” Hebrews 11:13

I believe that before “Thanksgiving” was a national holiday, it was a personal holiday. A holiday is just that, a holy-day. Have you experienced a holy day; a day in which you were made holy / set apart? Today could be your first true thanksgiving holy-day through salvation! The formula for “salvation” is explained below as equal parts of “sanctification of the Spirit” + “belief of the truth”. If you have not been saved and the Spirit is tugging at your heart, yield to him and believe his truth. Friend, starting your Christian pilgrimage is just a prayer away… you’ll be full of thanks that you did!

“But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth:” 2 Thessalonians 2:13

No comments:

Post a Comment