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Thursday, November 24, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving!

In numerous verses, God's word tells us that we should be thankful and that we should give Him thanks and praise. We are to give thanks for everything (Ephesians 5:20) and in all circumstances (1 Thessalonians 5:18). When we come before the presence of our God, we should do so with thanksgiving (Psalm 95:2).

Today is Thanksgiving Day in our nation. All across the United States, we gather with our families and celebrate with a wonderful Thanksgiving feast, following the example set by the Pilgrims in 1621. But, what are we celebrating? What are we thankful for? And, better yet, to whom are we thankful?

As we sit down to our Thanksgiving meals today, my prayer is that all Americans will take the time to remember who has provided for us, who has blessed us with all that we have. Thanksgiving is a day set apart to thank God and to give Him praise.

In 1863, in the midst of a great civil war, it was President Abraham Lincoln who first proclaimed that the last Thursday of November should be set apart as a "day of thanksgiving and praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the heavens." In his proclamation, Lincoln talked about the strife our nation was in, but also about the great things about our nation. He followed that by saying, "No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy." Lincoln went on to say that we should "fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty hand to heal the wounds of our nation and to restore it, as soon as may be consistent with the divine purposes, to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquility, and union."

Those words sound as pertinent today as they did when Lincoln wrote them!

May we all take the time, not just on this Thanksgiving Day but every day, to seek the face of the One who has provided all that we have and to give Him thanks and praise. His love for us endures forever and for that we should be truly thankful.

Happy Thanksgiving to all, and God bless you!

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