Thanksgiving Blessings

  Thanksgiving Blessings  
Giving thanks is mentioned in the Bible at least 140 times. The word praise, which is similar in meaning to thanksgiving, is used many more times in Scripture. Praise means to appreciate, to prize—to consider precious, worthy of honor and/or thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving is a holiday celebrated by Americans on the fourth Thursday of November. It celebrates the story of the Pilgrim’s meal with the Native Americans and is reserved as a day to spend with loved ones and for giving thanks and a joyous outpouring of gratitude.

America‘s first president George Washington proclaimed Thanksgiving Day in 1789; and the sixteenth U.S. President, Abraham Lincoln reaffirmed it in 1863. Since then it has been an official U.S. holiday.

The insightful words of Abraham Lincoln should resonate with all nations today:
“The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God”

Perhaps Mr. Lincoln drew on the scriptural passage:

“Be careful that you do not forget the Lord your God, failing to observe his commands, his laws and his decrees that I am giving you this day. Otherwise, when you eat and are satisfied, when you build fine houses and settle down, and when your herds and flocks grow large and your silver and gold increase and all you have is multiplied, then your heart will become proud and you will forget the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. He led you through the vast and dreadful desert, that thirsty and waterless land, with its venomous snakes and scorpions. He brought you water out of hard rock. He gave you manna to eat in the desert, something your fathers had never known, to humble and to test you so that in the end it might go well with you.

“You may say to yourself, ‘My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me.’ But remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms his covenant, which he swore to your forefathers, as it is today. If you ever forget the Lord your God and follow other gods and worship and bow down to them, I testify against you today that you will surely be destroyed. Like the nations the Lord destroyed before you, so you will be destroyed for not obeying the Lord your God”
(
Deuteronomy 8:11-20 NIV)

There’s an old hymn that reminds me of our many blessings & it is worthy of writing out the chorus:

Count your blessings;
Name them one by one.
Count your blessings;
See what God hath done.
Count your blessings;
Name them one by one.
Count your many blessings;
See what God hath done.

 
This Thanksgiving, remember God created and sustains life on earth and provides the abundance of resources that most people now tend to take for granted.  Do not take credit for producing all you have. Give God the glory for all that he has provided & count your blessings.

Thanks be to God!  Happy Thanksgiving!