Category Archives: Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving – first giving of – in Bible, Part III

We know that Paul wrote Ephesians 3:20-21 and Philippians 4:4 while a prisoner of Rome.  That in neither book did he waste ink and scroll space to regret his circumstances and thus reduce his praise of God.

We know that the Puritans in Massachusetts Bay lost nearly half of their 102 immigrants that first winter, 1620-21.  By the time the Mayflower returned to England April, 1621, not a single one of the 50 survivors chose to sail on her.  They chose not to blame God that half of them had died over the winter, but to thank God that half of them survived to continue their holy experiment.

Something of their spirit animated English preacher Matthew Henry, whose very fruitful life straddled the 17th and 18th centuries.  After being mugged and robbed, he told why he felt grateful to God.  First, because he had never had the experience previously.  Second, while they robbed him, they didn’t kill him.  Third, though they took everything in his purse, it wasn’t much.  Fourth, he praised God that he had been the victim, not the perpetrator, of the robbery.  Adapted from Jews for Jesus Newsletter, Fall, 2016

Those weren’t the words of a hopeless idealist speaking in wishful Pollyanna tones of “everything is beautiful.”  They did express the conviction of a Christian servant who discovered positives even in a negative experience.  It’s for sure it’s easy to count our complaints and discount our consolations; but only the latter accents whatever positives exist and minimizes any negatives in a situation.

From the 222 people in Virginia and Plymouth America has grown into a world power.  All because they chose to risk everything by starting over!  Let us, for a moment, regret that when we were few, we drew near to God; but now that we’re many, we’ve drawn from God to ourselves.  For what would America be today if in 1520 and 1607 our founders had begun with the atheism, humanism, egotism and immorality so pervasive everywhere in our country?  Would we even have a country?    Fini

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Thanksgiving – brings peace of mind

Nothing hassles the mind like bad news; or shackles the emotions inside strait-jacketed frustration like obstacles; burdens one’s relationship with God like unanswered or rejected direct, specific, persevering prayer.

And nothing, absolutely nothing keeps the mind clear, the emotions subdued and peace of mind intact like praising, thanking, lauding and glorifying God the Father, God the Son and God the Spirit, Three in One.

Praying in the spirit of thanksgiving to God automatically activates the peace of God in both mind and emotion, as Philippians 4:6-7 declares.  That peace garrisons—a military word proving the militance of the Peace God gives.  It silences the fear, the anger, the criticism unwanted circumstances provoke.  And in silencing, keeps them inert, muzzled and quiescent.

“Trust in the Lord…Delight yourself in the Lord…Commit your way to the Lord…Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him…Wait for the Lord and keep his way” Psalm 37.  “Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous fall” Psalm 55:22.

Happy Thanksgiving!

 

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Thanksgiving – first giving of – in Bible, Part II

Before ascending Mt. Nebo from the plains of Moab to die at God’s hand, and be buried at God’s behest in an unknown grave, Moses taught the Israelites a Song.  In it he Proclaimed God’s name; Praised God’s greatness; Declared God’s faithfulness; Extolled God’s provisions; Delighted in God’s Justice.

And in a moment of magnificent inspiration, sang the deathless words, “The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms.”

II Samuel 6:1-8, 12-15.  This praise came from a mistake King David made when he brought the Ark of God to Jerusalem from the house of Abinadab, where it had resided over 40 years.

They put the Ark on a cart pulled by oxen.  The Ark began slipping off when the oxen stumbled.  In good faith, Uzzah hurriedly reached out to steady it.  God struck him dead.

That obliterated the celebration that had swept the crowd:  the songs, the shouts, the harps, the cymbals, the tambourines.  It also eliminated David’s interest in conveying the Ark into Jerusalem.  He had it carried aside to a man called Obed-Edom, a foreigner.

Three months later David heard how Obed-Edom had prospered spiritually and financially by hosting the Ark.  In those three months David had searched his mind for the reason God had executed Uzzah for doing his duty.

He found the reason in Numbers 4:15.  He, and the ordained religious leadership, had failed to follow God’s instructions for the transport of the tabernacle’s holy treasures, including the Ark.  They were to run poles through the rings built into it and carry it on their shoulders.  That symbolized the intimacy mortals are to feel for everything holy.  And the respect everything about God is to receive, including his Name.

When they followed God’s instruction the procession began again.  In a whimsical note, after taking six steps they stopped and praised God with a sacrifice.  It was in essence a shout of praise that God had accepted their repentance and renewed effort.

Leading to the following truth.  One, we must consult God’s word to escape problems in life, be assured of benefits, not penalties from God.  The problem so many people have is the conviction that they can determine how God will accept them—and expect him to abide by their opinions.  What they find is that they break themselves on God’s unbreakable word.  Like a mountain stone, torn from its place, God’s word rolls down and over all it meets, crushing it, without being diminished.  God’s word doesn’t ever flex, let alone break.  God’s word doesn’t ever crack, let alone shatter.  End Part II

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Thanksgiving – first giving of – in Bible, Part 1

Genesis 2:18, 20c-23 – Adam on receiving Eve from God; Eve, the someone like Adam, since nothing else in creation was; Eve because, like Adam, was a human, not a creature.  Adam thanked God that he now had someone like him, seeing that God had made all the creatures male and female.  Adam had his Eve, the non-pariel male and female in all creation, the model of all sexual identify and marriage relationships.

Genesis 9:36-27 – Noah praising Jehovah, the God of Shem—because through Shem—the Semites, namely Israel, the specific Semites—God brought Jesus Christ to save the world from sin.  Because through Shem the descendants of Japeth—the white race—would rise to dominance in world affairs.

Genesis 14:18-20 – Melchizedek, the priest of God without any priestly lineage, with father or mother in his priestly line—heralding Jesus Christ’s own high priesthood from the tribe of Judah, not Levi.

God appointed Jesus Christ to a distinct, original priesthood none held before him, none but he holds now and only he will continue to hold as God’s Great Eternal High Priest endlessly representing God’s People before the Father—which the book of Hebrews recounts in numerous ways over its 13 chapters.

Exodus 14:29-15:18 – As Egyptian corpses washed the Eastern shore of the Sea of Reeds, formidable Hebrew women in leather-lunged adoration praised Jehovah as the highly exalted God Almighty who hurled Egyptian horse and rider into the Sea.  Repeating the refrain, they danced and rattled their tambourines, gloating…”Sing to the Lord, for he is highly exalted.  The horse and its rider he has hurled into the sea.”

Exodus 23:14-17 –Because Israel gathered all its men in central locations—when David conquered Jerusalem—there three times a year to:  celebrate; praise God; dance, eat and drink in remembrance of Israel’s delivery from Egypt and entrance into Canaan.     End Part 1

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New Apologetics book:  Their Own Best Defense, Volume 2, Part 1

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