November 1st, 2018

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” -Philippians 4:6
 
Thanksgiving time is slowly approaching. Many of us are preparing our homes in anticipation of friends and family coming. Some of us are cleaning and may do some baking in advance. Others are thinking about how big a turkey they will need to feed everyone or perhaps just want to relax and watch football all day. Whatever the case may be, you are making plans for Thanksgiving.
 
In all our planning we need to allow time for God. It is God who allows us all the blessings and gifts bestowed on us.
 
As I look back, we did not have a special celebration for Thanksgiving in India. I’m so grateful we do in the United States of America. It is an exclusively American Christian holiday that everyone celebrates.
 
First of all, we need to thank God for our gift of salvation. We should have praise on our lips. “Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise—the fruit of lips that openly profess his name” Hebrews 13:15.
 
Secondly, Psalm 30:4 reads, “Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise—the fruit of lips that openly profess his name.” We need to set aside a time to think of God’s attributes and His Holy Spirit living within us.
 
Thirdly, we need to thank God for His inspired word, and the truth it teaches us about Him, His son, and His plan for our salvation (2 Timothy 3:16).
 
The blessings of knowing and growing in God’s truth should be a source of unending thankfulness.
Fourthly, we can rejoice that God does not merely save us, but through His spirit and His scriptures, He refines and sharpens us to serve Him. “Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” Philippians 1:6
 
As we turn on the evening news, it seems like the world is gripped by chaos, moral, social and economic problems that dominate, but solutions are scarce. But, thank God we have an eternal and compassionate God we can depend on.
 
We also need to thank God for the churches that have stayed the course in proclaiming God’s truth in spite of pressures and many other struggles.
 
As we sit around our turkey/ham dinner surrounded by family, let us not forget His blessings. Maybe each of us can share and count our many blessings with each other in God’s presence.
 
Let me encourage you not to allow this Thanksgiving to come and go without taking inventory of our blessings, giving gratitude is not something that should pass from our minds with the passing of the season. It’s an attitude of a God focused response to circumstances that should continue each moment, of each day, of each year.
 
The Samuel family is thankful for all the many things which have transpired and are grateful to the church family as well.
 
Have a blessed Thanksgiving.
 
In Christ’s steps,
Pastor Shaker