There's just no place like home for Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving Articles
shared with you by
Kraig J. Rice

A Thankful Heart
by Muriel Larson

"It was Thanksgiving Day. But instead of thinking of the Lord and of all He had done for me, I was feeling sorry for myself. I was far from home and family and I kept remembering longingly the Thanksgiving Days of the past.

It was also Thursday. I usually visited various people at the hospital every Thursday evening. So I went. Furman would be expecting me.

Furman- what a special person he was! I had met him on my first visit to the hospital. I believed that God wanted me to visit patients there every week, so a nurse had given me the names of several I could see.

After I had read Scripture to one elderly woman and had prayed with her, a man in a wheelchair approached and begged me to read the Bible to him. He had difficulty holding up his large head, for his body was wasted and bent. How could I resist ministering to this imploring, hungering soul?

During the months that followed, I learned how much Furman loved the Lord Jesus and loved hearing the Word of God. How grateful Furman was for my visits!

That Thanksgiving evening I found Furman in a darkened visiting room off the foyer. As I peered through the darkness, I saw him sitting in his wheelchair, his head held up expectantly. "Hello, Furman," I said. "Happy Thanksgiving! What are you doing sitting here alone in this dark room?"

"I am counting my blessings, Mrs. Larson," he answered. "The Lord has been so good to me. I have so much to be thankful foró my sister who works hard so that I can stay in this fine hospital...for the wonderful nurses and doctors who are so kind and thoughtful...for friends like you. And for my Savior who loves me and will someday take me to heaven, where I will have a good, straight body like His!"

Tears filled my eyes. How ashamed I was! Not once did Furman mention the pain that his body had given him almost daily for the past forty years.

As I left the hospital that night, I knew why God had sent me there. It was to teach me the spirit of true thanksgiving.

Thus, I learned the power of I Thessalonians 5:18: "In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you."
Quoted from The Gospel Tract Harvester Newsletter, November 2000, page 15.

"This is the day the Lord has made.
We will rejoice and be glad in it."
Psalm 118:24 (Todays Living Bible)

Thanksgiving In Three Tenses
by Willard A. Scofield

"What a time to offer up thanks to Almighty God!

"Wars and rumors of wars abound, more crime, more violence, an uncertain economy, and the continuing breakdown of families, all discourage us. Some despairing souls might call for a moratorium of Thanksgiving observances.

But people have thanked God in times like ours before. One of them was the writer of Psalm 66, who thanked the Lord for the past, for the present, and for the future.

Thank You Lord for Yesterday

In verse six of Psalm 66 the psalmist recalls the mighty acts of God in the past: "He turned the sea into dry land: they went through the flood on foot: there did we rejoice in him."

Israel was grateful for its heritage- the patriarchs who took God at His word and stepped out on faith, the prophets who courageously spoke the Word of God, the psalmists who sang songs of praise on dark days.

Every Christian can thank God for the great events that have brought us hope for this life and for eternity- the coming of Christ, the Cross, the Resurrection, the great affirmations from the pen of Paul, such as "...God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them"
(2 Corinthians 5:19).

And, yes, we thank God for our Christian heritage which has permitted us ready access to faith. Think of some of the elements of that heritage:

  • Those who labored to faithfully transmit the text of the Bible.
  • The founders of our churches.
  • Grandparents and parents who were models of what a Christian should be.
  • Faithful pastors and Sunday school teachers.
  • A friend who told us about Christ.
  • And many more.
    We can say, "Thank You, Lord, for yesterday"

    Thank You Lord for Today

    The psalmist says in verses 8 and 9, "0 bless our God, ye people, and make the voice of his praise to be heard; which holdeth our soul in life, and suffereth not our feet to be moved."

    Let us thank God for life, as did a little girl who once prayed, "Thank You, Lord, for mommy and daddy, for grandma and grandpa. Thank You, Lord, for John and Joel, and thank You, Lord, for me."

    There never were any "good old days." The great leaders of the Christian church despaired over the conditions in their times. But they believed that God was alive and their actions and writings have blessed the church for centuries.

    Tremendous opportunities challenge the church today. Large parts of the world, including Eastern Europe, Africa, and Latin America are open to the Gospel as never before.

    God is love, and He is using His people to do good things.

    In Europe there are some bells strung across a mountain range, but no human hand ever rings them. Their sound is heard when the wind blows. In the fall, there may be a few tinkles as gentle winds move them. But they bring forth their most majestic music during the gales of winter.

    God brings out the best in us under the pressure of tough times. Let us thank Him that we are alive today.

    Thank You Lord for Tomorrow

    In the fourth verse of this psalm, the writer looks forward to a day ahead, "All the earth shall worship thee.and shall sing unto thee; they shall sing to thy name."

    The psalmist saw the day when God will reign and the world will respond to Him in worship.

    Though we may not be sure of all the details, we do know the end of the story. God's promises will be fulfilled and His purposes completed. God is working in history to bring about His ultimate victory.

    So, we work for the Lord because we are confident that He is in control. That was the attitude of a man who lived during days of great turmoil in England. In a chapel at Stanton Harold outside of London, these words are engraved on a plaque:

    "In the year 1653, when all things sacred throughout the nation were either demolished or profaned, Sir Robert Shirley Baronet founded this church, whose singular praise it is to have done the best things in the worst times and hoped them in the most calamitous."
    Quoted from The Gospel Tract Harvester Newsletter, November 2000, page 12.

    "...Rejoice in all the good things the Lord your God has given to you..."
    Deuteronomy 26:11 (New International Version)

    It Is Thanksgiving Time
    by Dr. A. B. Simpson

    "Then Israel sang this song, Spring up, 0 well; sing ye unto it"
    (Numbers 21:17).

    This was a strange song and a strange well. Israel had been traveling over the deserts barren sands. No water was in sight, and they were famished with thirst. Then God said to Moses, "Gather the people together, and I will give them water"
    (Numbers 21:16).

    They gathered in a circle on the sands. Taking their staves, the princes dug deep down into the burning earth while Israel sang, "Spring up, 0 well; sing ye unto it." Then there came a gurgling sound, a rush of waters and flowing stream which filled the well and ran along the ground.

    Speaking in Psalm 105:41 of God's provision, David said, "He opened the rock, and the waters gushed out; they ran in the dry places like a river." Where did this river in the desert come from?

    The original fountain of this water was the rock in Horeb, which had been smitten when the Israelites first began their journey. Doubtless, the stream that flowed from the smitten rock continued to follow them all through the wilderness. Not always did it appear upon the surface of the ground; it ran as a subterranean stream beneath the sand. When they dug the well in the desert, they touched the stream that was running beneath and reached the flowing tides that had been out of sight.

    How did the Israelites reach the waters of the well? By praise. They sang upon the sands their song of faith while with the staff of promise they dug the well.

    Our praise will still open fountains in the desert, while murmuring will only bring us judgment. Even prayer may fail to reach the fountains of blessing. There is nothing that so pleases and honors God as our praise. There is no test of faith so true as the grace of thanksgiving. "When I cannot pray, I always begin to sing," was the testimony of Martin Luther. The devil is a chronic grumbler; the Christian should be a living doxology.

    THANKS FOR DAILY BREAD

    Four times during His earthly life our blessed Lord gave thanks to the Father. The first was when He fed the multitude with the loaves and fishes, teaching us to give thanks for our daily bread: "And Jesus took the loaves; and when he had given thanks, he distributed to the disciples, and the disciples to them that were set down; and likewise of the fishes as much as they would"
    (John 6:11). Surely, at this Thanksgiving time, we may praise Him for full harvests, which are just as much from His hand as was the bread on the Galilean shore.

    THANKS FOR TRIALS

    The next time the Lord gave thanks was during an hour of perplexity and trial: "In that hour Jesus rejoiced in spirit, and said, I thank thee, 0 Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes: even so, Father; for so it seemed good in thy sight"
    (Luke 10:21). So some of us at this Thanksgiving time are looking up through our blinding tears and the thick clouds of mystery, but we are still saying, "I thank Thee, 0 Father, for so it seemed good in Thy sight."

    THANKS FOR PRAYER

    The third recorded time the Master gave thanks was when He prayed at Lazarus's open grave and, taking the answer by faith, spoke to our unbelieving hearts for all the coming ages the sublime lesson of confidence: "And Jesus lifted up his eyes, and said, Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me. And I knew that thou hearest me always"
    (John 11:41, 42).

    Is there anything for which we should be so thankful as the open gates of prayer and the year's wondrous record of answered prayer? Let us not forget that the best part of every prayer is praise for the answer when it comes.

    THANKS FOR SALVATION

    The fourth thanksgiving of our blessed Lord came when He took the cup, gave thanks for it and passed it on to His disciples to be handed down to the end of time. "And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it; For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins"
    (Matthew 26:27, 28). He was thanking God with His redeemed brethren for the great salvation which He Himself was about to accomplish and which He would share with us, His disciples. Surely, above all other themes, our songs today should join the chorus of the ransomed as we praise the Lamb that was slain, and thank God for the riches of His grace in Christ Jesus, and for the blessings of the past year.

    A SACRIFICE OF PRAISE

    Are you praising God? Are you thanking Him for your numberless blessings? Are you daring to praise Him for those trials which are but "blessings in disguise?"

    Have you learned to praise Him in advance for the things that have not yet come? It is when you can thank God for the blessings for which you have asked that you may be sure you are believing for them. And God has promised to hear your prayers when you believe.

    Someday we shall be able to thank Him for everything that came to us and to understand what now, through mists of tears, we try to believe- that all His ways are not only wisdom but perfect love.

    It is Thanksgiving time. Let it be more than a social holiday and a family reunion. Let it be an oblation of love, a sacrifice of praise to Him who "crownest the year with thy goodness"
    (Psalm 65:11).

    Quoted from The Gospel Tract Harvester Newsletter, November 2000, page 7.

    God wants spiritual fruits
    Not religious nuts

    Reasons to be Thankful
    by Dr. Muriel Larson, Counselor

    "How would it affect our lives if we stopped and thanked God every day (or several times a day) for all His blessings? It would lift our hearts and outlook above the things and problems of this world! So what shall we thank the Lord for? Here are some suggestions.

    His Beautiful Creation

    I grew up in a summer resort in New Jersey, where living close to nature was part of my life- pine trees, water, gorgeous sunsets. My early attention to the beauties of God's world gave me added appreciation of the amazing variety of plants, creatures, and scenery God has given us to enjoy. When I praise God for something He made, it increases my joy and appreciation for His creation. Jesus said,
    "Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these"
    (Matthew 6:28-29).

    The Provisions of Life

    Even though we say grace, we may take the food we eat for granted. We'd enjoy it much more if we were grateful! The next time you eat one of your favorite foods be thankful for its availability. Many people in the world only have plain rice to eat. When we think of our less-privileged, hungry brothers and sisters in Christ, let's pray
    "Lord, give us this day our daily bread."

    Everything we have comes from God. Ecclesiastes 5:19 says, "Every man also to whom God hath given riches and wealth, and hath given him power to eat thereof, and to take his portion, and to rejoice in his labor; this is the gift of God."
    We can enjoy even more our families, a nice home, warm clothing, and conveniences that make our lives easier by thanking God for them.

    Fellowship of the Saints

    Wherever we Christians go, we can find instant brothers and sisters in Christ. That is His fellowship, His church. When we grieve or feel depressed, our brothers and sisters comfort and pray for us. Their prayers help bring healing and wisdom and carry us through troubled waters on the wings of God's grace. Many of us Christians take for granted our church, pastor, and fellow Christians. Sad it is that we must be struck by some calamity before we realize the blessing our spiritual family can be to us.

    Our Lord has given us the fellowship of the saints for our enrichment and increase of joy.
    Colossians 3:16 says,
    "Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord."

    God's Promises

    The Bible is full of God's promises, especially Psalms. When troubles have assailed I have opened my Bible and up has popped a precious promise for me that has proven to be a great comfort. But we don't have to go through troubled times to appreciate God's promises. His blessings are new every morning.

    Thank God! The Lord has promised us freedom from anxiety, along with His peace that passes all understanding, if we simply trust Him with everything,
    "Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus"
    (Philippians 4:6-7).

    He promised to supply all our needs,
    "But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus"
    (Philippians 4:19);

    supernatural joy to His followers,
    "These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full"
    (John 15:11);

    an abundant life,
    "The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly"
    (John 10:10);

    and answered prayers,
    "If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it"
    (John 14:14).

    Let's not forget to thank Him!

    The Greatest Gift

    God gave mankind His only begotten Son, who gave His life to grant us forgiveness of sin and everlasting life,
    "For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord"
    (Romans 6:23).

    Through His Spirit, God gives us joy, peace, and victory.
    "Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory"
    (1 Peter 1:8); "Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee"
    (Isaiah 26:3); "For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith"
    (1 John 5:4).

    Let us rejoice in our Lord and give thanks to Him in all things!"
    Quoted from the Gospel Tract Harvester Newsletter, November 2002, page 8


    If you have not already invited Jesus Christ to come to live inside of your heart then click on the above banner if you want to learn how to have a relationship with Jesus Christ and receive spiritual encouragement in your heart and soul.

    In some small way I hope that you have been encouraged by this article.
    This article shared with you by:

    Kraig Josiah Rice
    www.breadonthewaters.com

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    As of July 4, 2007