If you were to look for the definition of the word “thankful” in any dictionary you may find something like this: “Glad that something has happened or not happened, that something or someone exists. Conscious of a benefit received.” The nation of Israel realized that their greatest mission was to praise the name of God and to proclaim that name to all the world. As such, a psalmist penned these words over 2500 years ago: “O give thanks unto the LORD; call upon his name: make known his deeds among the people…Remember his marvellous works that he hath done; his wonders, and the judgments of his mouth;” (Psalm 105:1, 5 KJV).
We as a church and a people are about to embark upon a special time of year we have entitled “Thanksgiving.” It is always amazing to me that God would bestow so many blessings on His creation, and all that He asks in return is for us to acknowledge His love and care for each one of us. Sybil and I have so much to be thankful for, and many of the biggest blessing come from the people we serve at South Middleburg Baptist Church! Perhaps the apostle Paul said it best; “I thank my God upon every remembrance of you” (Philippians 1:3 KJV). I am truly thankful for all of you and the privilege to be called “pastor.”
If I were to ask you, “What are you thankful for?” what would your response be? Would you thank God for life, liberty, home, spouse, children, prosperity…the list could go on and on. There are so many around us who are unthankful to God, and if we are not very careful, these negative feelings can be contagious. We have the God-given power within us to rise above the afflictions of life. I continue to be inspired by Helen Keller who said; ” For three things I thank God every day of my life: thanks that he has vouchsafed me knowledge of his works; deep thanks that he has set in my darkness the lamp of faith; deep, deepest thanks that I have another life to look forward to—a life joyous with light and flowers and heavenly song.”
I realize that there are many trials in our lives right now, but I submit that we, of all people on planet earth, and like Helen Keller, should not be found lacking in identifying plenty of blessings to be thankful for. We live in the greatest country in the world and enjoy a standard of living that millions of people will never realize. Moreover, the greatest blessing we have to thankful for is our Savior! “What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31 KJV).
From our family to your family, I pray a very blessed and happy Thanksgiving. We invite you to pause not only on Thanksgiving Day, but every day to give thanks to God for His many blessings in life and the certainty of eternal life with Him. If you have not experienced the blessing of salvation, the gift of eternal life, I would love share some Scripture with you to show you how you too can receive the greatest gift God has to offer: His Son.
God bless you all during this Thanksgiving season and may we all keep looking unto Him for His blessings!