I was in Walmart last week and was surprised to see all the Christmas decorations. I turned to Sarah, my wife, to see her reaction. She said, “What happened to Thanksgiving?” I replied, “I guess it’s gone.”
I get a little upset over the huge emphasis on Halloween and nothing on Thanksgiving. That troubles me, because the whole consideration is making money. Now, I am not naïve to believe that retail is all about making money, but our nation, as a whole, has forgotten about truly giving thanks to God for our creation as a nation.
I am so old that I remember class plays about Pilgrims and the kindness of Indians. It was a story of salvation. If we had continued to walk in the path of giving thanks, our nation and world would be different today. The Word says, “In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” (1 Thessalonians 5:18). There is a light and warmth that comes from giving. It is an automatic and immediate gratification when you give.
In scripture, there are many IF you do this, THEN I will do this. For example, “Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over. . .” (Luke 6:38). This will change your perspective from wanting or needing for yourself to the empowerment of being able to give.
God will recognize your giving and bless you in return. It doesn’t matter how much you have to give. The widow in Jesus’ day only had the smallest amount of money, roughly 2 cents, but she gave it with appreciation of who God was. It was all she had. Jesus said, “For whosoever shall give you a cup of water to drink in my name, . . . he shall not lose his reward.” (Mark 9:41).
Today most people are so affluent that we do not suffer real needs. We do not need to be thankful; we have it, borrow it, or wait on the government to supply all of our needs. There is a saying that, “Those who forget the past are condemned to repeat it.” I was born after World Ward II in 1948, so I vividly remember my mother talking about the Great Depression. It left many emotional scars on that generation, and I was told to appreciate all that I had, to throw nothing away, and eat everything on my plate. I was even reminded that some poor child in China would appreciate my plate of food. It seemed scary to me, and I did not live through it.
Hard times come again and again to unthankful people. I do not know your station in life, but that is not important. Your importance in this world and the Kingdom of God is to give God thanks for His love first and give of yourself to others second.
Even though Walmart, and almost all other retailers, are passing over Thanksgiving, you and I can stop, ponder our past, and be grateful for God’s love, provision, and protection in Christ.
Heads of families, this Thanksgiving Day, stop and remind your family that the greatest gift to each other is God’s love through Jesus Christ.
Have a great Thanksgiving Day,
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