By Dr. Foster H. Shannon
We give thanks to God for everything. He has given us our lives. He is the creator of everything: of the mountains, the oceans, the rivers, the lakes, the streams, planet Earth, the solar system, the entire universe. And he has created us in his image and called upon us to live lives that are worthy of him. He gives us home and family and friends.
He gives us the Bible so that we may understand his purposes and plans, so that we may know how to live healthy and happy lives. He warns us of the dangers that we face, how to avoid them, how to live through them. He does not give us his commandments and moral teachings to annoy us! Rather he seeks our well being, and we ignore him at our peril. We have all stumbled and fallen, disregarded his will, and taken our own course. We have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God, and need his favor. He has taken the consequences of our sin upon himself in the person of Jesus Christ, so that the Heavenly Father poured out his wrath on our sins in the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Jesus paid the penalty for the sins of all who will call upon and trust him.
We properly thank God for the food and clothing and many other things that he gives us. But above and beyond all of that, we have the atoning work of Jesus Christ that makes possible a living eternal relationship with our God.
“since all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, they are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus,” (Romans 3:23,24)
“He saved us, not by deeds done by us in righteous, but in virtue of his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and the renewal in the Holy Spirit.” (Titus 3:5)
“Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears my word and believes him who sent me, has eternal life; he does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life.” (John 5:24)
“My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me; and I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish, and no one shall snatch them out of my hand.” (John 10,27,28)
There is no greater gift, than the gift of salvation, which we have in Jesus Christ. May we thank him, and thank him, and thank him!
“I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens.” (Abraham Lincoln)