Listen to this morning’s Scripture Song – 1 Timothy 1:17
Read the “1125 Evening and Morning“ devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.
18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; 19 Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed [it] unto them. 20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, [even] his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: 21 Because that, when they knew God, they glorified [him] not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. 22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, 23 And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things. (Romans 1:18-23)
America has just celebrated the Thanksgiving holiday, which originated as a time where gratitude was expressed for all that God has blessed us with. Contrary to what you may have heard by those who are revising our history, the first Thanksgiving was established here on American soil by Governor William Bradford and the Pilgrims:
“To All Ye Pilgrims: Inasmuch as the great Father has given us this year an abundant harvest of Indian corn, wheat, beans, squashes, and garden vegetables, and has made the forests to abound with game and the sea with fish and clams, and inasmuch as He has protected us from the ravages of the savages, has spared us from pestilence and disease, has granted us freedom to worship God according to the dictates of our own conscience; now, I, your magistrate, do proclaim that all ye Pilgrims, with your wives and little ones, do gather at ye meeting house, on ye hill, between the hours of 9 and 12 in the day time, on Thursday, November ye 29th of the year of our Lord one thousand six hundred and twenty-three, and third year since ye Pilgrims landed on ye Pilgrim Rock, there to listen to ye pastor, and render thanksgiving to ye Almighty God for all His blessings.” (William Bradford, the governor of Plymouth Colony.)
The holiday of Thanksgiving has been a tradition in just about every culture thought throughout history. It originated as a celebration of the fall harvest, but before the civil war it was celebrated on various dates depending upon which state you lived in. In 1863, Abraham Lincoln made Thanksgiving a national holiday, and affixed a permanent date – the final Thursday in November. Franklin Roosevelt changed the date to the fourth Thursday in November.
Thanksgiving for the Christian should not be just a one day remembrance; it should be an everyday occurrence. Our lives should be continual expressions of a heart of thanksgiving for the gift of salvation as well as for all of the other bonus blessings that God has bestowed on us. The Thanksgiving holiday for Christians should be the time that we remind ourselves to be thankful all the time, not only to the Lord, but also to the many people in our lives who have been a help to us.
Mankind, by nature, does not tend to be thankful, however. When we consider our reading from Romans 1 – 3, we see the Apostle Paul proving exhaustively the depravity of mankind, which seems to be increasing every day. Our world is becoming more and more evil as time moves forward. But notice how it all started. Way back in the beginning of the process mankind became unappreciative of all that God had done for them. “They glorified him not as God, neither were thankful.” To give glory to God means to shine light upon His goodness; it literally has the idea of making Him look good. He is always good, but we often fail to represent or manifest His goodness in our lives. And because we fail to see God as the Source of all goodness and blessing, we fail to appreciate Him for all that He is and all that He has done. We begin to take credit for things that were given to us. We are quick to complain when things are not going the way we want them to and we are quick to blame God for every tragedy that takes place in our lives, but when something good happens to us, we want to steal God’s glory, and claim it for ourselves. Once God is off the throne and man has replaced Him, it only goes downhill from there. Men become fools, and begin to do very foolish and wicked things.
I know that Thanksgiving, as a holiday, has passed, but let me encourage you to remember where your bread is buttered. Give credit where it is due. Thank God today, after the holiday, and be sure to continue to be thankful everyday.
Posted in Devotions by Phil Erickson with 2 comments.