November 26, 2017

Giving Thanks – Don R. Patton

Posted in Uncategorized at 6:00 am by sranderson0103

Around the world, those who profess Christ are suffering in horrible ways. Earlier this year, 28 Coptic “Christians” going to worship, were executed in Egypt, 120 miles south of Cairo. The murderers told the men to recite the shahada, the Islamic declaration of faith. When the men refused, the gunmen opened fire. About one month earlier, 45 were bombed to death while worshiping, in Alexandria.

We are tormented by powerful, devious anti-Christian influences in our country, but thankfully nothing like what we see elsewhere…yet.

We have so much for which we should be thankful. We should remind ourselves that our daily bread is a gift from the Father above, and give thanks, whether in private, at a family meal, or in public at a fine restaurant. The prayer sanctifies what we eat.

“For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with gratitude; for it is sanctified by means of the word of God and prayer.” (I Timothy 4:5)

Jesus demonstrated the appropriate attitude when He fed the multitude by the Sea of Galilee, He began with a prayer of thanksgiving:

“and He took the seven loaves and the fish; and giving thanks, He broke them and started giving them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the people. And they all ate and were satisfied, and they picked up what was left over of the broken pieces, seven large baskets full. And those who ate were four thousand men, besides women and children.” (Matthew 15:36-38).

Certainly we should give thanks for our food and homes and clothing, and the blessing of having Christian friends should produce constant thanksgiving. The first letter to the Thessalonians is possibly the earliest of Paul’s divinely inspired letters to Christian friends. Paul begins with an expression of thankfulness to God for them.

“We give thanks to God always for all of you, making mention of you in our prayers;” (I Thessalonians 1:2)

When Paul wrote to the Philippians, he began in a similar way: “I thank my God in all my remembrance of you” (Philippians 1:3). Likewise, to the Colossians, he started the same way: “We give thanks to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you,” (Colossians 1:3). When he wrote his epistle to the church at Corinth he began: “I thank my God always concerning you for the grace of God which was given you in Christ Jesus,” (I Corinthians 1:40).

Paul wrote to the Christians in Rome even before he met them saying: “First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all…” (Romans 1:8). He also thanked God for his personal friends Timothy and Philemon ((II Timothy 1:3-4).

We deeply appreciate and are continually thankful for the encouragement and admonition of faithful Christians on whom we can depend and with whom we worship regularly. One of the greatest blessings enjoyed by those who can look back over years of service to our Lord is the precious friendships that persist through the years and across the miles, that call to memory accomplishments together in the cause of Christ. What a blessing to have such friends, and how fitting it is to give God special thanks for them always.

Adapted from an article by Henry M. Morris




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