VIDEO A Thanksgiving Medley

thanksgiving-brownscombe
Jan 13, 2008

Thanksgiving Medley

We gather together
to ask the Lord’s blessing;
He chastens and hastens
His will to make known;

The wicked oppressing
now cease from distressing,
Sing praises to His name;
He forgets not His own.

Beside us to guide us,
Our God with us joining,
Ordaining, maintaining
His kingdom devine;

So from the beginning
The fight we were winning;
Thou, Lord, wast at our side;
All glory be Thine!

For the beauty of the earth,
For the glory of the skies,
For the Love which from our birth
Over and around us lies,
Lord of all, to Thee we raise
This our hymn of grateful praise.

Come, ye thankful people come,
Raise the song of harvest home!
All is safely gathered in,
Ere the winter storms begin;

God, our Maker, doth provide
For our wants to be supplied;
Come to God’s own temple, come;
Raise the song of harvest home!

We all do extol Thee,
Thou Leader triumphant,
And pray that Thou still our
Defender wilt be.

Let Thy congregation
Escape tribulation;
Thy name be ever praised!
O Lord, make us free!

Thy name be ever praised!
O Lord, make us free!

Washington’s Thanksgiving Proclamation

washington thanksgiving
October 3, 1789

Introduction

Following a resolution of Congress, President George Washington proclaimed Thursday the 26th of November 1789 a day of “public thanksgiving and prayer” devoted to “the service of that great and glorious Being who is the beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be.” Reflecting American religious practice, Presidents and Congresses from the beginning of the republic have from time to time designated days of fasting and thanksgiving (the Thanksgiving holiday we continue to celebrate in November was established by Abraham Lincoln during the Civil War and made into law by Congress in 1941).

In setting aside a day for Thanksgiving, Washington established a non-sectarian tone for these devotions and stressed political, moral, and intellectual blessings that make self-government possible, in addition to personal and national repentance. Although the First Amendment prevents Congress from establishing a religion or prohibiting its free exercise, Presidents, as well as Congress, have always recognized the American regard for sacred practices and beliefs. Thus, throughout American history, Presidents have offered non-sectarian prayers for the victory of the military and in the wake of catastrophes. Transcending passionate quarrels over the proper role of religion in politics, the Thanksgiving Proclamation reminds us how natural their relationship has been. While church and state are separate, religion and politics, in their American refinement, prop each other up.

Thanksgiving Proclamation

Issued by President George Washington, at the request of Congress, on October 3, 1789

By the President of the United States of America, a Proclamation.

Whereas it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor; and—Whereas both Houses of Congress have, by their joint committee, requested me “to recommend to the people of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer, to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness:”

Now, therefore, I do recommend and assign Thursday, the 26th day of November next, to be devoted by the people of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being who is the beneficent author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be; that we may then all unite in rendering unto Him our sincere and humble thanks for His kind care and protection of the people of this country previous to their becoming a nation; for the signal and manifold mercies and the favor, able interpositions of His providence in the course and conclusion of the late war; for the great degree of tranquillity, union, and plenty which we have since enjoyed; for the peaceable and rational manner in which we have been enabled to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national one now lately instituted; for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed, and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and, in general, for all the great and various favors which He has been pleased to confer upon us.

And also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations, and beseech Him to pardon our national and other trangressions; to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually; to render our National Government a blessing to all the people by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed; to protect and guide all sovereigns and nations (especially such as have shown kindness to us), and to bless them with good governments, peace, and concord; to promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the increase of science among them and us; and, generally, to grant unto all mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as He alone knows to be best.

Given under my hand at the City of New York the third day of October in the year of our Lord 1789.

Go. Washington

 

http://www.heritage.org/initiatives/first-principles/primary-sources/washingtons-thanksgiving-proclamation

A Heart of Gratitude

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Today’s passage instructs us, “In everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (1 Thess. 5:18). That directive might seem easy when life is going well. But if painful situations arise, expressing gratitude can become difficult.

It’s interesting to note that this instruction to thank the Lord in all things was written by Paul—the apostle whose loyalty to Christ earned him severe persecution. You might wonder how he was able to be grateful to God.

While many situations weren’t to his liking, Paul knew that His riches in Christ Jesus far outweighed any earthly discomfort. Consider the blessings he so valued, which are available to all believers. First of all, we are invited to have a personal relationship with the one true God—the omniscient and omnipresent Lord of all creation. Second, our Creator loves us with an everlasting and unconditional love. Third, He sent His Son to die as payment for our sin debt so that we could spend eternity with Him. As a result, when we place our trust in Jesus, we are freed from the fear of death.

And the list of blessings keeps going: God adopts believers as His children and seals them with His Spirit (Eph. 4:30). He has a plan for every life—and bestows special gifts and empowerment to make it happen. He also promises to meet every need through His limitless resources (Phil. 4:19) and provides His Word and indwelling Spirit to guide us.

No wonder Paul was grateful! Today, make your own list of reasons to give thanks, and be sure to count Paul’s blessings as your own. Let God know how appreciative you are.

The Pilgrims

“Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the strangers scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia.” (1 Peter 1:1)

These “strangers” to whom Peter wrote his two epistles were actually “pilgrims.” He used the same Greek word (parepidemos) in 1 Peter 2:11: “Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts.” The word means a resident foreigner, and its only other New Testament usage is in Hebrews 11:13, speaking of the ancient patriarchs who “confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.”

We give honor today to the American “pilgrims,” as they called themselves (thinking of these very verses), who left their homelands in order better to serve God in a foreign land. The “pilgrims” to whom Peter was writing likewise had been “scattered abroad” for their faith (note Acts 8:4).

For that matter, every born-again believer in the Lord Jesus Christ is really just a pilgrim here on Earth, ambassadors for Christ in a foreign land. “For our conversation is in heaven” (Philippians 3:20). That is, we are citizens of heaven (the Greek word translated “conversation” in this verse is politeuma, meaning “a community” or “citizenship”), and are here only for a time to serve our Lord until He calls us home.

And while we are here, we may endure many trials and sorrows just as did those Massachusetts pilgrims. But He nevertheless supplies our needs—just as He did for them—and we ought to abound in thanksgiving, as they did.

Thus, Christians all over the world have cause for thanksgiving every day. Since we are “enriched in every thing,” through our Savior, this “causeth through us thanksgiving to God” (2 Corinthians 9:11), and we should be “abounding therein with thanksgiving” (Colossians 2:7). HMM

The Devil’s Taunts

back off devil
There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. —Romans 8:1

God knows that sin is a terrible thing—and the devil knows it, too. So he follows us around and as long as we will permit it, he will taunt us about our past sins.

As for myself, I have learned to talk back to him on this score. I say, “Yes, Devil, sin is terrible—but I remind you that I got it from you! And I remind you, Devil, that everything good—forgiveness and cleansing and blessing—everything that is good I have freely received from Jesus Christ!”

Everything that is bad and that is against me I got from the devil—so why should he have the effrontery and the brass to argue with me about it? Yet he will do it because he is the devil, and he is committed to keeping God’s children shut up in a little cage, their wings clipped so that they can never fly!

Thank You again this morning, Father, for Your marvelous “forgiveness and cleansing and blessing.” Thank You for Your grace that completely silences the devil. Amen.

The Church Must Look First to Christ

And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and the prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone… in whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit. Ephesians 2:20, 22

The first look of the Church is toward Christ, who is her Head, her Lord and her All!

After that she must be self-regarding and world-regarding, with a proper balance between the two.

By self-regarding I do not mean self-centered. I mean that the Church must examine herself constantly to see if she be in the faith; she must engage in severe self-criticism with a cheerful readiness to make amends; she must live in a state of perpetual penitence, seeking God with her whole heart; she must constantly check her life and conduct against the Holy Scriptures and bring her life into line with the will of God.

By world-regarding I mean that the Church must know why she is here on earth; that she must acknowledge her indebtedness to all mankind (Rom. 1:14, 15); that she must take seriously the words of her Lord, “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature” and “Ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.”

The task of the Church is twofold: to spread Christianity throughout the world and to make sure that the Christianity she spreads is the pure New Testament kind. To spread an effete, degenerate brand of Christianity to pagan lands is not to fulfill the commandment of Christ or discharge our obligation to the heathen!

Faithful Stewardship

Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him. 1 CORINTHIANS 16:2

God has been pleased to deal with us in a most remarkable way concerning our Christian stewardship and responsibility of honoring Him with the things He has entrusted to us.

The Bible teaching is plain: You have the right to keep what you have all to yourself— but it will then rust and decay, and ultimately ruin you!

This may hurt some of you but I am obliged to tell you that God does not need anything you have!

He does not need a dime of your money!

What you need to understand is that it is your own spiritual welfare at stake in such matters as this.

There is a beautiful and enriching principle involved in our offering to God what we are and what we have, but none of us is giving because there is a depression in heaven!

A long time ago God said: “If I had need of anything, would I tell you?” (see Psalm 50:12).

Brethren, if the living God had need of anything, He would no longer be God!

Lord, You area generous God, and I desire to be a faithful steward of the resources You have given me. Show me how to best manage my earthly resources for Your eternal glory.