What you need to know about Thanksgiving
| by Dr. H. L. Willmington|
Imagine the following situation: You are in a church service listening to a sermon on the sin of pride. Soon the Holy Spirit convicts you regarding this very failure in your own life. Sitting there you inwardly confess this sin and determine to remedy it. But just how does one go about this? Are there certain steps to take in becoming humble?
Will you be like the man who wrote a book entitled, Humility and How I Attained It, which included a dozen pictures of the author with the final chapter boasting on how proud he now was of his humility?!
Actually, the antithesis of pride is not humility, but rather that of thanksgiving. This is simply to say a thankful person is automatically a humble person. Suppose a total stranger sees you in a shopping area carrying a large bundle of packages, attempting to open a door. He quickly runs over, picks up the packages you have dropped, and opens the door for you. Of course you thank him for this. Why? Well, because he was performing an act of kindness that you did not deserve or expect. In essence, you are saying, “I appreciate this so much. We’ve never met and you were under no obligation whatsoever to do what you did!”
In fact, thanklessness was the single one sin that caused the ancient world to degenerate into both idolatry and immorality. Note Paul’s sad commentary on this:
“. . . . since they knew God but did not honor Him as God, nor did they thank Him. Instead, their thoughts became total nonsense, and their ignorant hearts were darkened. While claiming to be wise, they became fools; they exchanged the glory of the immortal God for the likeness of an image of mortals, and of birds, and of four-footed animals, and of crawling creatures. And so, as they followed the lusts of their hearts, God handed them over to live immorally by dishonoring their bodies with one another. He did this because they traded the truth of God for this lie, namely, they worshiped and served what was created instead of the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen!
That is why God gave them up to shameful lusts. Their women have even exchanged natural relations for the unnatural. And men likewise have given up the natural relations with a woman and burned with lust for one another, men doing shameful acts with men and suffering in themselves the punishment they deserve for their perversion” (Rom. 1:21-27, New Evangelical Translation).
THINGS TO THANK GOD FOR
I have counted no less than seventeen!
“Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created” (Rev. 4:11).
How wonderful and comforting to know we have not evolved from some ancient muddy glob, but rather have been created by the hand of the Mighty God!
I believe every Christian should sing or pray the words of this little chorus at least once a week:
Thank you, Lord, for saving my soul,
Thank you, Lord, for making me whole.
Thank you, Lord, for giving to me,
Thy great salvation, so rich and free.
John 3:16 is universally regarded as both the most important and greatest verse in all the Bible!
A. It is the most important verse because it contains the gospel in a nutshell.
B. It is the greatest verse because it contains nine of the most profound truths ever recorded.
1. For God—The greatest Person
2. So loved the world—The greatest truth
3. That he gave—The greatest act
4. His only begotten Son—The greatest gift
5. That whosoever—The greatest number
6. Believeth in him—The greatest invitation
7. Should not perish—The greatest promise
8. But have—The greatest certainty
9. Everlasting life—The greatest destiny
(1 Kings 18:26-29).
“But he himself went a day's journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a juniper tree: and he requested for himself that he might die; and said, It is enough; now, O LORD, take away my life; for I am not better than my fathers” (1 Kings 19:4).
“At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes” (Matt. 11:25).
“Rejoice in the LORD, ye righteous; and give thanks at the remembrance of his holiness” (Psa. 97:12).
Unlike the cruel, immoral, bloody gods of the pagans, our God is holy!
This virtue is so important that the psalmist refers to it no less than 26 times in Psalm 136.
This would mean victory over the world, the flesh, the devil, temptation, lust, fear, and death itself.
“And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry” (1 Tim. 1:12).
“Offer unto God thanksgiving; and pray thy vows unto the most High” (Psa. 50:14).
In fact, this is one of the first things that wicked King Manasseh did following his conversion.
“And he repaired the altar of the LORD, and sacrificed thereon peace offerings and thank offerings, and commanded Judah to serve the LORD God of Israel”
(2 Chron. 33:16).
In other words, we are to thank God in advance for the story that will have a happy ending.
This is, undoubtedly on many occasions, the most difficult of all to do. How can we possibly thank God when financial losses come our way, or when the medical tests show cancer, or when our loved ones are involved in horrible auto accidents? During these critical moments we must ever remind ourselves that God often permits these tragedies—
Count Your Blessings
When upon life’s billows you are tempest-tossed,
When you’re discouraged, thinking all is lost,
Count your many blessings—name them one by one,
And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done.
Are you ever burdened with a load of care?
Does the cross seem heavy you are called to bear?
Count your many blessings—every doubt will fly,
And you will be singing as the days go by.
When you look at others with their lands and gold,
Think that Christ has promised you His wealth untold;
Count your many blessings—money cannot buy
Your reward in heaven nor your home on high.
So amid the conflict, whether great or small,
Do not be discouraged—God is over all;
Count your many blessings—angels will attend,
Help and comfort give you to your journey’s end.
Count your blessings—name them one by one;
Count your blessings—see what God hath done;
Count your blessings—name them one by one;
Count your many blessings—see what God hath done.
Copyright © 2007 by Dr. H. L. Willmington
Dr. H. L. Willmington
Willmington School of the Bible
Wednesday, November 23, 2011
What You Need to Know About Thanksgiving
Thanks to Dr. Willmington for permission to repost this wonderful article! Let it be part of your Thanksgiving meditation this year. Enjoy! Have a happy and blessed Thanksgiving!