Thanksgiving is Peace

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Philippians 4:4-7 ** Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

In 1620, the Pilgrims sailed to the new world seeking the peace only our God can give. Religious discrimination had built up so strongly in Europe, these people had no other choice but to migrate to a new world where they could build a just and equal society based on the word of God. This new world became a place where they could worship God in peace. This holy attitude endured through the generations with a beacon of hope for many seeking a new start (A “new birth” stated years later by Abraham Lincoln).

This “new birth” has turned sour in this generation which has fallen away from the guidance and peace of God by focusing on material abundance. The now generation has a closed heart and our God opens His heart and His peace only to those obedient children which express there love for Him as well as for brethren. The now generation think only of food and football with a brief encounter with family. Petitioning the Lord in thankful prayer will not even be mentioned in many homes this Thanksgiving Day.

Giving thanks and praise is mentioned in the Bible at least 140 times from Moses to the epistles of John. Our Creator has given instructions in His word to give thanks and the instructions apply to all mankind, beginning with ancient Israel. The Psalmist in 100:4-5 said, “Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise; give thanks to Him and praise His name. For the Lord is good and His love endures forever; His faithfulness continues through all generations.

Mankind is helpless and dependant upon the Master for all things such as food, clothing and shelter. We are totally dependant upon Him just as sheep depend on their shepherd for pasture, protection and shelter in bad weather. When we enter His courts with praise and thanksgiving, His love and care flow into our hearts and souls and He remembers each gesture of gratitude and will faithfully reward all that keep His commandments. Our sixteenth president, Abraham Lincoln frequently drew on scripture and said, “Be careful that you do not forget the Lord your God, failing to observe his commands, his laws and his decrees that I am giving you this day.” (Deuteronomy 8:11). Verse 18 says, “But remember the Lord your God, for it is He who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms his covenant, which He swore to your forefathers as it is today.” **We must remember that our God blesses those who humbly acknowledge and serve Him. For the grand prize is victory with eternal life. John 1:12 advice “Yet, to all who received Him (Christ), to those who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God. Believe now and win the prize of eternal life!