Thoughts for Thanksgiving
Petitions, Prayers, Intercession and Thanksgiving
God hears the petitions and prayers of his people. Whether we are in personal distress, or our nations are facing daunting foes, our prayers can make all the difference. Hezekiah, the King of Judah, knew this to be true when the Assyrians attacked Jerusalem. Earlier, Hezekiah had been on his death bed, but God had heard his prayers and seen his tears, and healed him of a fatal illness. So when Sennacharib’s army began to demolish the cities of Judah, Hezekiah knew where to turn for help. Do we?
Thankfulness in Tough Times
Some of the Separatists and Non-conformist Christians found refuge in the new world. Their’s is a story of thankfulness in tough times. One couple, Steven and Ann Mumford, sailed for Rhode Island in the hopes of escaping the religious discrimination in England that had made life increasingly difficult. Rhode Island’s governor had provided a safe haven for these religious refugees with the creation of a Charter in 1663 that guaranteed freedom of worship. Over time the Mumford’s and others established the first Sabbath-keeping congregation in the colonies. Their efforts created the legacy upon which the modern Churches of God have been built.
Thankfulness – More than Minding Your Manners
Good parents teach the value of being “thankful” and expressing gratitude. As toddlers we are taught to say, “Please” and “Thank you.” But the biblical concept of thankfulness encompasses much more than initially seems apparent.
The dictionary expands upon the topic, “a proper, fitting or called for response to a benefactor for something received.” And, in the developed nations we have an abundance of material benefits to appreciate. And we should be grateful for the wealth of physical things that we enjoy. Clean air, fresh water, good food are just the beginning of the good things available to us. And while scripture admonishes us to be thankful for these things, there is more to the picture.
Thankfulness – Showing Gratitude to God
Our gratitude to God, whether formal worship as the congregation of God, or living with a thankful heart for all of God’s blessings, is important to God. Are we among the meek, who express their appreciation to God, and who will inherit the promises? Do we have this dynamic relationship with God that will lead to eternal life? Are we living in a spirit of thanksgiving, listening to what we have heard from God, and submitting to God in obedience.
The Forgotten Message of Thanksgiving
When we examine the historic roots of Thanksgiving we move beyond visions of turkey with stuffing and cranberry sauce to grasp the deeper meaning of the day. George Washington and Abraham Lincoln both proclaimed national Thanksgiving Days, and they involved more than giving thanks to God for all His blessings. Jeff Patton explains the forgotten message of Thanksgiving and gives us pause to reflect on the thanksgiving sacrifice that pleases God.
Thankfulness in an Age of Covetousness
As people rush greedily to snatch up bargains on Black Friday, one is left to wonder whether Thanksgiving holds any meaning for most North Americans. Is thankfulness important? And if so, “Who should we thank, and why should we be thankful?” Jeff Patton rehearses the lessons that God wanted his people to know and that very few people seem to value to their detriment. Thankfulness has its rewards, as does ingratitude. We get to choose the outcome based on our attitudes.