November 22, 2020
“Oh come, let us sing to the Lord; let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation! Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving; let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise!” (Psalm 95:1–2, ESV)
What will Thursday this week be for you? Is it a day of Thanksgiving, a day of family celebration or just another paid holiday? First, it can and should be a day of Thanksgiving and then a day of family celebration. The day is not a religious holiday although God should be the first one that we thank on that day and every day.
Thanksgiving Day dates all the way back to the beginnings of our country. It has been celebrated almost every year but not necessarily on the same day. For many years, the federal government left it up to the states to decide. It was not until 1942 that the day was set as the fourth Thursday in November.
Over the years the day has changed for me in many ways. As a child it was a time when three families gathered together for a day of feasting. I do remember the day started with watching the Macy’s Parade on a black and white TV. Sometime around 10:30 we would either travel to one of my relatives' homes or we would begin to welcome our relatives as they arrived at our house. I don’t recall watching any football on TV but, I vividly remember playing with my cousins and I remember the tables piled high with wonderful food as my family was blessed with great cooks.
Today the holiday is less and less about the food and more about being thankful to God. I have so much to be thankful for. This morning I woke up in a warm bed that is in my own home. I have gas and electric service and between the two of them our home stays comfortable year-round. We also have an abundance of food. Recently Ava and I were surrounded by family and friends as we celebrated our Fiftieth Wedding Anniversary. What a blessing this lady has been in my life, it is beyond measure. I have two sisters, many cousins, nieces and nephews and a host of friends. All of them have added to my life. I am so thankful for them. Ava and I have three daughters. Each of them is different and alike and they have and continue to bring joy to us every day. Our youngest daughter and her husband have given us two of the most wonderful grandchildren ever. We just can’t get enough of them. More than anything, I thank God for His love and for sending His son to rescue me, and all who are willing, from our own selfishness and disobedience.
As we gather for this day of thankfulness, what is on your list of giving thanks?
“give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” (1 Thessalonians 5:18, ESV)
Thanks for listening and keep on shining.
It’s not just the doctrine, it’s the examples! While in the midst of the study of Daniel, we have been deep into the prophecies of chapters 7-12 for the last several weeks. The whole book reminds us of the chief doctrine, “God rules in the kingdoms of men” (4:17), but Daniel’s life (and the lives of his friends) are examples of what a steadfast confidence of that fundamental truth looks like. Said another way, Daniel is exhibit A for this: “we know God’s in control, how then do we live?”
Scott's Thoughts, previous issues
11/08/2020 "Go therefore and make...
10/18/2020 "How beautiful upon the...
10/11/2020 "But be doers of the word...
10/4/2020 "Your way was through the...
We live without compromise. Daniel and company are again and again pitted against the godless, hedonistic and immoral practices of culture versus the things of holiness and godly living. Compromise was lurking around every corner. What do we say when tempted by our own immoral culture to let holy behavior and thinking slide (see 1 Pet. 1:13-16)?
We live with out-loud convictions. Daniel and his friends did not compromise. But they did not compromise because they had settled convictions, namely, “God alone is great and worthy of our worship and service” (see Dan. 3:16-18) How often do we speak our convictions? If we did speak them aloud more often, would we be less cavalier about things like missing Bible classes or worship for personal pursuits? Would we be more serious about pleasing God with our time and habits?
We live with citizenship. Daniel, in predictive prophecy, comes back to the sovereignty of God in establishing and ruling over a kingdom that will transcend all other earthly kingdoms (Dan. 2:44). It is the kingdom which we, as spiritual Israel now occupy (Col. 1:13). We may have American passports, but our citizenship is not subject to change based on the system of government of America. Our King is still, and will remain, on His throne!
We live with counsel. How Daniel ministered to those around him was by being and showing the kindness of God to people who desperately needed guidance (see 2:27-29; 3:16-18; 4:19-27; 5:17-28). We live in a world and interact with people everyday who are desperately needing someone, like Daniel, to offer godly counsel and guidance. People want to know, like Darius, “has your God, whom you serve continually, been able to deliver you” (6:20)? If God is, and He has, and He still rules, shouldn’t we effectively counsel those seeking to seek Him while He may be found?
It’s not just the doctrine, it’s the examples!
Graeber Road church of Christ