A Happy and Blessed Thanksgiving to all from Bethany Primitive Baptist Church and may your day be filled with joy and peace. Thanksgiving is a National Holiday first declared by President Abraham Lincoln but this is not something to be observed one day out of the year. This is a continual action and attitude that should be observed by the Lord’s people. I say the Lord’s people because they are the only ones that can truly be thankful to the Lord as the wicked through the pride of his countenance will not seek after God. (Psalm 10:4).
It is one thing to be thankful but it is another thing to maintain that thankfulness each and every day of our lives. Paul writes, “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.” (Heb. 13:15). Notice that Paul admonishes us to be continually praising the Lord in the sacrifice of Thanksgiving. It is sad that there are some who never start on the journey of thanksgiving for what the Lord has done for them by denying themselves and taking up their cross and following the Lord. There were ten lepers that were cleansed by Jesus Christ but only one returned to show his gratitude. “And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, and with a loud voice glorified God, And fell down on his face at his feet, giving him thanks: and he was a Samaritan.” (Luke 17:15-16). Jesus knows the situation and asks the question concerning the other nine who went on their merry way. “Jesus answering said, Were there not ten cleansed? but where are the nine? There are not found that returned to give glory to God, save this stranger. (Luke 17:17-18).
There is much sickness and hurting, both physical and spiritual, in the lives of God’s children this Thanksgiving and our happiness is tempered with thoughts and prayers for those in such circumstances. However, we know and trust that God is still able to provide and deliver those to a better day. As long as there is life there is hope so don’t slacken in thankfulness to the Lord of glory because a true disciple is one who is continually pressing toward the mark of the prize of the high calling of God. Jesus said, “Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed;” (John 8:31). Even in the midst of his distress of his tribulations, Job still continued to maintain his integrity and was able to say, “Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him: but I will maintain mine own ways before him.” (Job 13:15).
Job was able to recognize from whence all his blessings came; thus when they were taken away he was enabled to say, “Naked came I out of my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return thither: the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.” (Job 1:21). Surely he was displaying a thankful heart as he continued to maintain the sacrifice of praise with the fruit of his lips whereas his wife had urged him to curse God and die.
Each day is a day of thanksgiving but especially the day of worship as we enter into the courts of the Lord. The Psalmist tells us how we are to enter such a glorious place: “Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name. ” (Psalm 100:4).
Does the peace of God abound in our hearts today? Have we allowed it to rule rather than the fear the terrorists try to instill in us? Paul urges us to, “And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.” (Col. 3:15). God bless!–November 26, 2015–Elder Larry Wise