“In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”
I Thessalonians 5:18
It is important to remember on this Thanksgiving Day the purpose for our dearest of national holidays. It is the only holiday truly unique to America. The whole world celebrates New Year’s, many countries around the world have an Independence Day of some sort, and the rest of the holidays are religious with people celebrating them globally. Unfortunately Thanksgiving is only a segway to Christmas for most Americans. Today is a day to thank God for everything He has done for us, especially for Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection (the gospel according to I Corinthians 15:1-4).
William Bradford wrote about it in his book Of Plymouth Plantation, a book every American needs to read. The Mayflower landed at Cape Cod on November 11, 1620. (Only 9 years after the publishing of the King James Bible) They stayed on the boat until spring came. During that winter 50 0f the 100 people who left England had died on the boat never reaching their destination. That year God brought them into the favor of the natives. The pilgrims were able to build homes, farm, and hunt with the aid of the natives. All this was done so they might worship God and promote the gospel of Jesus Christ without religious or governmental harassment. This is a far cry from the America we know today! Here is a quote from his book taken from the first chapter:
“It is well known to the godly and judicious, how ever since the first breaking out of the light of the gospel in our Honourable Nation of England, (which was the first of nations whom the Lord adorned therewith, after the gross darkness of poperywhich had covered and overspread the Christian world,) what wars and oppositions ever since, Satan hath raised, maintained, and continued against the saints, from time to time, in one sort or other. Sometimes by bloody death and cruel torments; other whiles imprisonments, banishments, and other hard usages; as being loath his kingdom should go down, the truth prevail, and the churches of God revert to their ancient purity, and recover their primitive order, liberty, and beauty. But when he could not prevail by these means, against the main truths of the gospel, but that they began to take root in many places, being watered with the blood of the martyrs, and blessed from heaven with a gracious increase; He then began to take him to ancient stratagems, used of old against the first Christians.”
“The one side labored to have the right worship of God and discipline of Christ established in the church, according to the simplicity of the gospel, without the mixture of men’s inventions, and to have and to be ruled by the laws of God’s Word, dispensed in those offices, and by those officers of Pastors, Teachers, and Elders according to the Scriptures. The other party, though under many colors and pretenses, endeavored to have the episcopal dignity (after the popish manner) with their large power and jurisdiction still retained; with all those courts, cannons, and ceremonies, together with all such livings, revenues, and subordinate officers, with other such means as formerly upheld their antichristian greatness, and enabled them with lordly and tyrannous power to persecute the poor servants of God.”
In September of 1621: “They began now to gather in the small harvest they had, and to fit up their houses and dwellings against winter, being all well recovered in health and strength, and had all things in good plenty; for as some were thus employed in affairs abroad, others were exercised in fishing, about cod, bass, and other fish, of which they took good store, of which every family had their portion. All the summer their was no want. And now began to come in store of fowl, as winter approached, of which this place did abound when they came first (but afterward decreased by degrees). And besides water fowl, their was a great store of wild turkeys, of which they took many, besides venison. Besides they had about a peck of meal a week to a person, or now since harvest, Indian corn to that proportion. Which made many afterwards write so largely of their plenty here to their friends in England, which were not feigned, but true reports.”
Remember to thank God for all you have, all your abilities, all your accomplishments, and all your Christian liberties. Have a HAPPY THANKSGIVING, and tell someone about Jesus.