Tag Archives: Thanksgiving

God First

March 27, 2013

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As the rebuilding of the wall is completed, Jerusalem is in a good mood. Their exile was over, their wall stood in full protection and the priesthood was functional. They began their service to God right away.

God has a way of blessing those who are thankful and focus their “day to day” around him first – worship isn’t just for Sunday. Philippians 4:6 says to ask for what we need but to do it with thankfulness for what we already have. From the beginning, God has expected us to credit him and depend on him – and in return, he takes care of the rest.

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Remaining Thankful

January 26, 2013

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When Jesus sent the ten lepers to report to the priests only one returned to give thanks (Luke 17:17-18). Only one and he wasn’t even a Jew. It is easy to fall into the habit of receiving our blessings and forgetting to return thanks. Paul said in Philippians 4:6 to make all of our requests with thanksgiving. Try leading off every prayer with a list of things you are thankful for and see if requests suddenly seem less important.

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Thanksgiving During the Tough Times

January 10, 2013

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In Psalm 9, David is at rest during some difficult times of war. He takes time out to reflect on a recent victory and return thanks to God. David had to fight a lot of battles and shed a lot of blood, but he was always mindful of God’s leadership.

Paul reminds us in Philippians 4:6 to temper all of our requests with thanksgiving. Even during the toughest times, there is much to be thankful for. Jesus makes plain the rewards of contentment even during lean times and the dangers we face during the good times. (Luke 6:20-26)

Today, make a special effort to forget about the things that are wrong and list some things to be thankful about. Offer prayers up. Repeat tomorrow.

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Matthew 6:25-26 – More Thanksgiving

November 25, 2011

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 25 “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?26 Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? – Matthew 6:25-26 ESV

Edward Winslow wrote the following in his book Mourt’s Relation the following account of the event where we trace the modern Thanksgiving:

Our harvest being gotten in, our governor sent four men on fowling, that so we might after a special manner rejoice together after we had gathered the fruits of our labor. They four in one day killed as much fowl as, with a little help beside, served the company almost a week. At which time, amongst other recreations, we exercised our arms, many of the Indians coming amongst us, and among the rest their greatest king Massasoit, with some ninety men, whom for three days we entertained and feasted, and they went out and killed five deer, which we brought to the plantation and bestowed on our governor, and upon the captain and others. And although it be not always so plentiful as it was at this time with us, yet by the goodness of God, we are so far from want that we often wish you partakers of our plenty.

We know the original settlers did not have an easy time. They needed help from the local natives, who “coincidentally” had an English speaker among them. People died from exposure and starvation, but the first thing they remembered was to be thankful. This is exactly what Paul meant in Philippians 4:6 when he said “do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.”

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Thanksgiving Proclamation – October 3, 1863

November 24, 2011

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LincolnThe 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, which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God. In the midst of a civil war of unequalled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign States to invite and to provoke their aggression, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere except in the theatre of military conflict; while that theatre has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union.

Needful diversions of wealth and of strength from the fields of peaceful industry to the national defence, have not arrested the plough, the shuttle, or the ship; the axe had enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well of iron and coal as of the precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than heretofore. Population has steadily increased, notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege and the battle-field; and the country, rejoicing in the consciousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of years, with large increase of freedom. 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 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.

In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand, and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed. Done at the city of Washington, this third day of October, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, and of the independence of the United States the eighty-eighth.”

– Proclamation of President Abraham Lincoln, October 3, 1863.

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