Of course, so long as you recognize that the holiday is not a Holy Day. The traditional celebration is a national reminder of the need to thank God for the many blessings he has poured out on our nation, but its spiritual significance has long been diminished by materialism and a focus on food, family and football.
The traditional First Thanksgiving was an acknowledgement by Pilgrims who arrived on the Mayflower that through God’s grace some of those travelers survived the first terrible winter of freezing and starvation and were able to plant and harvest grains and vegetables that allowed the community to fluorish. They also expressed thanks to God for the help they received from nearby native communities.
Through the years, more and more English settlers arrived in the New World and harvest celebrations, like ones they celebrated in the old country, became part of their annual rituals. Throughout New England, especially, an annual Thanksgiving was proclaimed. It wasn’t until 1789 that then President George Washington, at the request of Congress called for Thursday, November 26th to be set aside as a day for prayer and giving thanks to God. Subsequent presidents, except for Thomas Jefferson, continued the tradition. Almost 75 years later, President Lincoln proclaimed Thursday, Nov. 26, 1863 as a National Thanksgiving Day. The 4th Thursday in November became the official date of Thanksgiving during the Presidency of Franklin Roosevelt.
So where does that leave Christians? Pagan harvest festivals predated and seem to form the basis for our Thanksgiving holiday. Christians don’t need a special day to thank God for his provisions, that is an everyday occurance. They also shouldn’t give the day anymore spiritual significance than any other day. But Thanksgiving does offer Christians an opportunity to reflect on God’s goodness to them in the death and resurrection of Jesus, their lord and savior. Likewise, it provides Christian moms and dads to retell the story of the first thanksgiving and how God spared the Pilgrims and allowed them to enter a long period of friendship with natives who lived nearby.
So what are you thankful for? You don’t need to have a great job, or perfect family, or new car or a big turkey dinner on Thanksgiving to realize that you probably have many reasons to be thankful. You might start by being thankful for what you have, instead of dwelling on what you don’t have.
Millions of people walk this earth with much less than you have, yet many of them enjoy contentment and are thankful for what they do have. Think about this. If you live in America, you are already among the most blessed people on earth. And those blessings come directly or indirectly from God–the God who created everything, even you. So take stock of your blessings and thank the God who has made them possible. Objects of your desire may fail you. People may let you down. But even if some things are not going your way right now, God still loves you, and He wants you to know contentment even in your suffering.
All that is required for true joy is a relationship with our Creator (Ps. 37:14), who does want for us to be happy and blesses us with everything we need (Phil. 4:19), even though we may not think so. When we have a good relationship with God (Prov. 10:3), like Paul, an apostle of Jesus, we will learn in whatever situation to be content (Phil. 4:11-12). We will find that the most important thing that God can give us is Himself (Eph. 2:8-9). Once we have our eyes set on God, everything else falls into place (Matt. 6:33). Thank God with your whole heart this week!
If you would like to learn more about how you can enter into a relationship with the eternal God to whom we give thanks, we encourage you to read our blogpost: How does one become a Christian?
God has always existed. He is omnipresent, meaning he has no beginning or end. God is known as the Great I Am! That means always was, is now and always will be. Eternal. It is very difficult for us to comprehend, because we live within “time” and are constrained by it limits. God existed before the creation of the universe and mankind and even the angels. This is one of those mysteries where we come to trust God.
In time, through experience, we can see how God has worked in lives in the past and see how He is moving in lives today. It is also exciting to think that for those that trust in Jesus as Savior that one day they will see God face-to-face and enjoy his presence forever on the new earth he has promised.( Revelation 21:1 and Isaiah 65:17)
If you would like to learm more about how you can enter into a relationship with the eternal God, we encourage you to read our blogpost: How does one become a Christian?
The Apostle Paul in Philippians 4:8 says, “whatever is true, whatever is right whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable, if anything is excellent or praiseworthy, think about such things. Certainly, by any reasonable measure, pornography is not any of these things! Looking at pornographic material can lead to sins of the flesh, lust for desires and despicable abhorrent behavior. The Bible repeatedly warns us against such activity. First Corinthians 6:18-19 urges us to flee from sexual immorality and tells us that our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit. Our bodies and our minds are to be kept clean for a dwelling place of God’s Spirit.
It is a fact that pornography messes up one’s mind and becomes an addiction so powerful that can impact the lives of everyone around you. It ultimately prevents you from having normal intimate relationships as God designed in a marriage. Pornography is a temptation of Satan whose objective is to destroy you and your Christian faith. The good news is that God always provides a way out to flee from any temptation.
No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.1 Corinthians 10:13
So, if you are struggling with pornography, ask God to free you from your addiction to these impure images in the name of Jesus. Christ death on the cross and his resurrection provides forgiveness from sin, freedom from addiction and the promise of eternal life! Seek Jesus and live!
The Word of God proclaims that Jesus was sinless, the perfect sacrifice. When we trust in God’s Word, we must make a decision to trust it completely, and not pick and choose what we think is right.
In Jesus’ time, Pharisees and Sadducees were devoted followers of God’s law laid down more than 1500 years earlier. These religious leaders, who fastidiously followed a strict legal system, followed Jesus everywhere trying to find some fault in him so that they could discredit him as the Messiah. In 3+ years of spying to find fault with Jesus, often posing difficult questions designed to trip him up, they could find no sin in Jesus.
Eventually, Jesus was brought by these same religious leaders to Pilate, the Roman governor of Judea in what is present day Israel. They accused Jesus of blaspheming God by inferring that he was God, and implied that he was a threat to Roman rule. After conducting a trial of Jesus, Pilate concluded, “I find no fault in this man.” (Luke 23)
The Bible clearly explains that Jesus was Emmanuel which means “God with us.” While he was fully man he was still God who is holy and in him there is no sin whatsoever. Even when Jesus was directly tempted by the devil , we read that he did not sin. (Matthew 4:1-11) We must therefore conclude that Jesus led a sinless life. How else would he have been able to give himself up on a Roman cross, to die for all the sins committed by men and women past, present and future? If you would like to learn more about how the death and resurrection of Jesus provides a way for you to know peace in this world and assurance of a sin-free life after death, please read our blog post: How does one become a Christian?