Madeline Crabb
Thanksgiving, gratitude, God
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By Madeline Crabb
November 25, 2015

"And give thanks for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ." (Eph. 5:20 NLT)

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving, so I feel led to ask: Do we really understand why we celebrate this holiday? So many people seem to think it's about getting a paid day off from work, since it's a national holiday, and involves eating far too much food and enjoying football on television. But in our individual hearts, don't we all know that it goes much deeper than these things? Or have we, as a nation, become so shallow that we can only grasp concepts that involve our own personal pleasure?

We all have been taught about the origins of Thanksgiving. With the Internet, those with specific questions regarding the holiday can find their answers in minutes. The purpose of this discussion is to understand why and to whom we should be thankful: God Almighty and His Son, Jesus Christ.

Dear friends, anyone who's awake must be disturbed by events occurring around the world – events that can only be described as tumultuous. A few days ago I watched several hours of news podcasts on YouTube stations to which I subscribe, and had one overwhelming thought: the whole world has gone insane! America, in general, has been somewhat insane for at least a decade, but now the whole world is afflicted. So, why are we in such a state of becoming undone? Could it be our ingratitude and thanklessness?

Focusing just on America, the answer to this question is overwhelmingly yes. As God is forced out of our society by evil rulers and judges – ones that we have allowed to rule and judge over us – we begin to think that we alone are still in control of our personal successes and futures. Ha! The joke is on us. These same rulers are dictating who wins, and who loses...who succeeds, who fails...who will have, and who will have not. And yet, we still allow these tyrants to minimalize and mock God. Worse, we have allowed our chosen tyrants to take God's place – to be our provider, protector, and the answer to all our needs, wants, and desires. Oh that all Americans would stop thinking that government can take the place of God in our lives. Oh how sad our Father in heaven must be.

Scripture is replete with accounts of how His chosen people, the Israelites, fell into the same snare that we Americans have made for ourselves. How many times God fed, protected, healed, and blessed them, only to be mocked or rejected. God's chosen! While America is not a "chosen" nation, we are a nation under covenant with God. Our founders indeed made covenants with God. Since we are discussing Thanksgiving, and Pilgrims are part of the original Thanksgiving, it is appropriate to consider their covenant with God – the Mayflower Compact. It reads:
    Mayflower Compact: 1620

    Agreement Between the Settlers at New Plymouth: 1620

    IN THE NAME OF GOD, AMEN
    . We, whose names are underwritten, the Loyal Subjects of our dread Sovereign Lord King James, by the Grace of God, of Great Britain, France, and Ireland, King, Defender of the Faith, &c. Having undertaken for the Glory of God, and Advancement of the Christian Faith, and the Honour of our King and Country, a Voyage to plant the first Colony in the northern Parts of Virginia; Do by these Presents, solemnly and mutually, in the Presence of God and one another, covenant and combine ourselves together into a civil Body Politick, for our better Ordering and Preservation, and Furtherance of the Ends aforesaid: And by Virtue hereof do enact, constitute, and frame, such just and equal Laws, Ordinances, Acts, Constitutions, and Officers, from time to time, as shall be thought most meet and convenient for the general Good of the Colony; unto which we promise all due Submission and Obedience.

    IN WITNESS whereof we have hereunto subscribed our names at Cape-Cod the eleventh of November, in the Reign of our Sovereign Lord King James, of England, France, and Ireland, the eighteenth, and of Scotland the fifty-fourth, Anno Domini; 1620.
While "enlightened" Americans may pooh-pooh the intent of this document, God still considers it valid. Merriam-Webster.com defines covenant as: "a usually formal, solemn, and binding agreement : COMPACT." What the Pilgrims did was a binding, never-ending agreement with God. And considering how God repeatedly pronounced judgment on Israel for breaking "covenant" with Him, it isn't surprising that He would hold us accountable as well. Most "practicing" Christians are not surprised at the state of our society. We indeed know from studying Scripture that we reap what we sow. (Gal. 6:7)

In today's America, the prevalent attitude promoted by culture through our godless media is one of haughtiness, selfishness, and narcissism. It's a "me" generation that will lead us into our ultimate destruction unless voices of reason begin speaking truth. Reality-check time! And the voices of reason must come from Bible-believing, Bible-practicing Christians – those who walk the talk. It's time for those of us who have actually tasted God's mercy and salvation through Jesus Christ to act like it, and then spread the word. We also need to begin giving thanks in everything.

The Bible says, "For by Him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by Him, and for Him." (Col. 1:16 KJV) In the first chapter of Genesis we read: "In the beginning, God created... In John 1:3 we read that through Jesus, "all things were made; without Him, nothing was made that has been made." (NLT)

All that we are, all that we have, all that we ever will be is ALL in the hands of God. Apart from God we have and are nothing. We can't even take a breath without God supplying the air we need; he is the supplier of everything that pertains to us. He calls us to do various things to "support" ourselves and families while in this world, but He gives us the wisdom and strength to do those things. All talents and abilities are gifts from Him. Yes, we may have varying degrees of education and training, but God is the One who allowed us to accomplish these feats. Again, without God, we are nothing. With Him, all things are possible! Because of all these things, we should be in a constant attitude of gratitude, which causes us to thank our Father and praise Him. And yes, celebrate Thanksgiving. But I submit that EVERY DAY should be a day of thanksgiving.

While there is much teaching that could be done on this topic, I would rather leave you with one of the most beautiful of scriptures from Psalms.
    Praise the LORD!

    Praise the LORD from the heavens!
    Praise him from the skies!
    Praise him, all his angels!
    Praise him, all the armies of heaven!
    Praise him, sun and moon!
    Praise him, all you twinkling stars!
    Praise him, skies above!
    Praise him, vapors high above the clouds!
    Let every created thing give praise to the LORD,
    for he issued his command, and they came into being.
    He set them in place forever and ever.
    His decree will never be revoked.

    Praise the LORD from the earth,
    you creatures of the ocean depths,
    fire and hail, snow and clouds,
    wind and weather that obey him,
    mountains and all hills,
    fruit trees and all cedars,
    wild animals and all livestock,
    small scurrying animals and birds,
    kings of the earth and all people,
    rulers and judges of the earth,
    young men and young women,
    old men and children.

    (Ps. 148:1-12 NLT)

Since All of God's creation is called to praise Him, isn't this Thanksgiving the perfect time for our nation, individually and collectively, to turn back to God and give Him thanks for all the wonderful things He has done for us? How do we do it? What does He require of us? He wants us to honor Him, to abide by His statutes, and to glorify Him for His marvelous deeds. One way of giving thanks is to praise Him, as He calls all of creation to do.

Only God the Father knows how long He will allow us to mock, marginalize, or even outright reject Him before He judges us as He repeatedly did with His chosen people, Israel. I pray that as a nation we choose to once again honor our covenant with God. In our individual lives, I pray we start to honor Him by giving thanks, with grateful hearts. And as the psalmist says, "Let everything that has breath praise the Lord." (Ps. 150:6 NIV) Fellow citizens, Praise the Lord!!! To anyone willing to hear....

© Madeline Crabb

 

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Madeline Crabb

Madeline Crabb is a Christian, a Constitutional Conservative, and a patriot. Holding a degree in journalism and public relations, and training from the Leadership Institute, she has been a columnist since 2000, and has written for various Christian newspapers around the country. As a “watchwoman” on the wall (Is.62:67), Madeline calls all citizens to awaken, arise, and act in restoring one nation under God.

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