I wanted to wish everyone a very Happy Thanksgiving and to share a few thoughts about our celebration today.
Today is the day that our nation has established for generations to thank Almighty God for His blessings and benefits. I am thankful for my family, friends, health and well-being, the activities I am able to enjoy, the ministry efforts the Lord has blessed me with, and I am thankful for You!
As we may have the opportunity to share a meal or a time of fellowship with others today, let us remember that 1 Chronicles 29:14 teaches us that all we have – and can ever give – has first been given to us by God. The LORD reminds us in Psalm 103, that everything we have comes from His gracious hand. We can reflect on this glorious Psalm to find a basis for our giving thanks by observing some of God's gracious benefits:
• Forgiveness of sins - the first blessing we receive and the means to receiving more
blessing (Psalm 103:3)
• Divine healing - the blessing that allows us to continue in this life and enjoy all of His
blessings (Psalm 103:3)
• Loyal love - that fills our lives with God's goodness so we can truly say that we are
blessed! (Psalm 103:4)
• Righteous defense - a blessing much needed in this world that is against the believer
• Eternal security - God has removed our sins from us as far as the east is from the
west (Psalm 103:11-12)
• Compassion toward us as weak mortals - God knows us and loves us all the same!
• Faithfulness from generation to generation for the family that fears the LORD
• The LORD on His throne - He rules our world from heaven and will one day return to
rule in Person (Psalm 103:19)
• God's angels - His heavenly helpers to His people on earth. (Psalm 103:20)
• God’s ministers -Those who fearlessly and faithfully proclaim His Word (Psalm
• Our Father's world and works - this beautiful Creation made for His children to richly
enjoy (Psalm 103:22)
I am sure that you could add so many more blessings for which to be thankful and I am confident that you will give Him praise and thanksgiving for all that He has done.
As an interesting historical note, before 1863 there was not an established day for our national Thanksgiving celebration, each state had its own Thanksgiving celebration that took place at different times. On October 3, 1863 President Abraham Lincoln established a recognized day for national celebration and made the first Thanksgiving proclamation. Notice his recognition of God throughout:
"The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added... No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy. It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and one voice by the whole American People.
I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens. And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquility and Union."
- Abraham Lincoln (emphasis added)
May you and yours rejoice in our LORD and His riches to us in our Lord Jesus today, tomorrow, and every day!
Dr. Ed Hindson