Sunday, November 22, 2015

Remember, Remember the 4th Thursday of November.

Remember, Remember the 4th Thursday of November.
By Daniel Shultz

            As we feast on turkey, cranberry sauce, stuffing, and sweet potatoes; as we sit down to watch the Lion and Cowboys lose and the Packers win; as we spend time with our families watching parades and reminiscing let us actually take time to honor the real meaning and purpose of a national day set aside for Thanksgiving. This Thankfulness should be directed toward God.  As the purpose of giving thanks is not merely a secular appreciation to one’s family but instead is an intrinsically religious action. Nothing in life is separated from the religious. For the Christian we should recognize that everything we do must be impacted and affected by our faith.

            Culture continues to spiral into rebellion against God and we begin to see the results of rebellion against God. We see people champion the murder of children and the profaning of marriage, we see people spend more time arguing about whether or not to allow refugees into the country than actually preaching the Gospel to sinners. These actions are resultant of the same type of heart that refuses to acknowledge the very God who gave them life and abundance and give thanks to God for the blessings that are given to them daily.
            We would do well to remember the attitude of thanksgiving that the apostle Paul had, especially in his time of suffering as recorded in Philippians: Even if I am to be poured out as a drink offering upon the sacrificial offering of your faith, I am glad and rejoice with you all. Likewise you also should be glad and rejoice with me.”
            And explicitly taught in 1st Thessalonians 5:18: “give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
            Daily prayer and thanksgiving should be the normal pattern of the Christian Life, but on this day when the world will be preoccupied by tradition and commercialism let us be focused on God. Let us spend as much time in remembrance and thanksgiving to God. Let us pray that he would change the hearts and minds of the people of this country (and world) and to turn it from its descent into secularism and idolatry. We must remember that this God who has for so long blessed this nation has given us the ultimate blessing in the incarnation of the Son, in Jesus’s obedient life, in his vicarious atoning death, in his resurrection and his role as high priest, mediator and advocate for us before the throne of God.
            Let us have the attitude of thanksgiving found in Psalm 118:

Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;
    for his steadfast love endures forever! 
Let Israel say,
    “His steadfast love endures forever.” 
Let the house of Aaron say,
    “His steadfast love endures forever.” 
Let those who fear the Lord say,
    “His steadfast love endures forever.” 
Out of my distress I called on the Lord;
    the Lord answered me and set me free.
The Lord is on my side; I will not fear.
    What can man do to me?
The Lord is on my side as my helper;
    I shall look in triumph on those who hate me. 
It is better to take refuge in the Lord
    than to trust in man.
It is better to take refuge in the Lord
    than to trust in princes.
All nations surrounded me;
    in the name of the Lord I cut them off!
They surrounded me, surrounded me on every side;
    in the name of the Lord I cut them off!
They surrounded me like bees;
    they went out like a fire among thorns;
    in the name of the Lord I cut them off!
I was pushed hard,[a] so that I was falling,
    but the Lord helped me.
The Lord is my strength and my song;
    he has become my salvation.
Glad songs of salvation
    are in the tents of the righteous:
“The right hand of the Lord does valiantly,
    the right hand of the Lord exalts,
    the right hand of the Lord does valiantly!”
I shall not die, but I shall live,
    and recount the deeds of the Lord.
The Lord has disciplined me severely,
    but he has not given me over to death.
Open to me the gates of righteousness,
    that I may enter through them
    and give thanks to the Lord. 
This is the gate of the Lord;
    the righteous shall enter through it. 
I thank you that you have answered me
    and have become my salvation. 
The stone that the builders rejected
    has become the cornerstone.[b]
This is the Lord's doing;
    it is marvelous in our eyes. 
This is the day that the Lord has made;
    let us rejoice and be glad in it. 
Save us, we pray, O Lord!
    O Lord, we pray, give us success!
Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!
    We bless you from the house of the Lord.
The Lord is God,
    and he has made his light to shine upon us.
Bind the festal sacrifice with cords,
    up to the horns of the altar!
You are my God, and I will give thanks to you;
    you are my God; I will extol you.
Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;

    for his steadfast love endures forever! 

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