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By: Ted Camp, Silent Word Ministries

 

George Washington proclaimed the first nationwide Thanks-giving celebration in America marking Nov. 26, 1789. “It was a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and simple favours of an Almighty God.” –Wikipedia.

It seems that in fullness America has forgotten God. Last year the annual day of prayer was ignored. Thanksgiving means give thanks. It is impossible to grumble and be grateful at the same time. Are you thankful?

First, how many complaining Christians do you know? Some remind me of the Tottler’s Rules... “If I like it, it’s mine. If I want it, it’s mine. If it’s in my hand, it’s mine. If I can take it away from you, it’s mine. If I had it a little while ago, it’s mine. If it’s mine, it must never appear to be yours. If we do it together, it becomes mine. If it just looks like mine, it’s mine. If I saw it first, it’s mine. If I think it’s mine, it’s mine. If I give it to you but change my mind, it’s mine. Once it’s mine it will never belong to you. If it’s broken, it’s yours!” (Unknown).

Next, how many contented Christians do you really know?

The story is told of a complaining farmer who grew tired of his mundane farm life. Finally, he decided to sell his farm. He listed it with a real estate broker who prepared an ad that emphasized all the farm’s advantages: ideal location, modern equipment, healthy stock, acres of fertile ground, beautiful scenery, privacy, restful, beautiful lake, and peaceful. When the farmer saw the ad he cried out, “Hold everything! I’ve changed my mind. I’ve been looking for a place like that all my life.”

It seems that most people just do not consider how they have been greatly blessed. Most of the world, especially at this time in the Philippines, would be very content to have what we in America have. We need to learn that the best things in life are not things. Money will buy... a bed, but not rest; books but not brains; food but not an appetite; cosmetics but not beauty; house but not a home; medicine but not health; luxuries but not culture; amusement but not happiness.

Count your many blessings and name them one by one and it will surprise you what the Lord has done. In your fullness don’t forget God (Deut.8:11-14). It is possible for people and also a nation to forget God. I named “unthankful” and “unholy” the ungodly twins (II Timothy 3:2). It seems that unthankfulness leads to unholiness.

As the farmer, let’s look and learn to be more content with what we do have. “But godliness with contentment is great gain...And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.” (I Timothy 6:6-8). Complaining is natural, but contentment is un-natural and must be learned. “For I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content” (Philippians 4:11).

This Thanksgiving season is a time we should all pause to think and thank God for his many benefits. “Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits” (Psalms 103:2). Again, the best things in life are not things. Don’t love things, but love people.

This Thanksgiving let’s pause and in our fullness not forget the Lord and all His many benefits. Thanksgiving is giving thanks! A time to pause, to think, and to thank! Happy Thanksgiving y’all!

Ted Camp is director of Silent Word Ministries, a worldwide ministry based in Trenton. E-mail him at TC@silentword.org.


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