This is such a beautiful time of the year. I have always enjoyed Thanksgiving. It brings me wonderful excitement of family members I will soon see as well as fond memories of family that have passed on from this earth. I have so much to be thankful for as I celebrated this holiday with my loved ones. This is a day of thanksgiving that was first celebrated in 1621 as a Harvest Celebration. Those that first celebrated were thankful for a harvest food to eat. Blessings come in many different ways and it is good to remember and celebrate that which has been given. I reflect on this day about the things of this life that I am thankful for, but I do so not on this day only. For the Christian, every day should be a day of thanksgiving.
The Christian is thankful for the Father who is in Heaven. God loved all within the world and sent Jesus to die an incredibly painful death so that everlasting life could come to the sinner. “I thank my God always concerning you for the grace of God which was given to you by Christ Jesus, that you were enriched in everything by Him in all utterance and knowledge” (1 Corinthians1:4-5). The love of God is endless in the promise to save a repentant sinner. God is good, all things of Him are good, and He deserves praise, glory and honor. “I will give thanks to the Lord because of righteousness; I will sing praises of the name of the Lord Most High” (Psalm 7:17). Without God, man is separated eternally.
The Christian is thankful for Family. The Christian has a biological family and also a godly family. God’s desire is that there is love between all families. Fathers and mothers love their children. Children love their fathers and mothers. Each one should bring joy to the lives of the others. My Dad taught my brothers and me about the importance of needing one another. After fighting at the bus stop one morning, my father sat us down after supper and told us, “Boys, we do not have a lot of money. We do not have a lot of possessions. We have each other”. As tears welled up in my eyes, I understood that having two brothers was more important than any prestige, honor, money, possession, or my so called spot on the side of the road while waiting for the bus. God’s family should be the same way. We have each other. Jesus perfected love for the family—those that would enter the kingdom through Him. “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends” (John 15:13). What a friend we have in Jesus. He is our example in relationship with our brothers and sisters in Christ. “Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.” (Galatians 6:2). The Christian has a family to help in times of trouble and a family to rejoice with in times of gladness (Romans 12:15).
A Christian is thankful for the Future. That is because the Christian knows who holds the future. Life on earth is filled with uncertainty. As time passes, there is no certainty in what will remain or for how long. All things will come to pass. The Christian looks forward to the future in heaven. It is a pain-free, sorrow-free, death-free place where God resides. Jesus sits on the right hand of the throne. One day all those that have been faithful in Christ will be together with no worries or fear. It is eternal peace in the presence of all those that have obeyed God. The Christian can meet every day as the Apostle Paul did. He said, “For me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. But if I live on in the flesh, this will mean fruit from my labor: yet what I shall choose I cannot tell. For I am hard pressed between the two, having a desire to depart and be with Christ which is far better.”
On this Thanksgiving Day, please remember the great privileges and blessings that you have been given. Be thankful for the Father who loves us, the family who comforts us and the future that sustains us. Blessing come in so many ways. If you are not blessed in these three ways, please call that we may talk about your soul’s salvation.
Scott is the minister at the Elm Grove Church of Christ. Meeting times are Sunday at 9:30 a.m. for Bible class and 10:30 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. for worship. Mid-week Bible study is on Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. All are invited. Please visit our website at elmgrovechurchofchrist.org.