November 18, 2016 Brethren Letter
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:6-7)
In a few days our nation will be observing a national Day of Thanksgiving. Sadly, far too many Americans think of Thanksgiving Day as just being a day of parades, turkey dinners and football games, rather than expressing gratitude toward God for their many blessings. God has truly bestowed abundant (yet, undeserved) blessings upon this nation, and God’s people should NEVER take those blessings for granted!
Earlier today, I was listening to the recorded sermonette that will be played during tomorrow’s Sabbath services. The title of the sermonette is “Thanksgiving,” by Mr. John Bawiec. One of the examples he gives, is of an individual who gave THANKS to God for his healing, as shown in the book of Luke.
(11) Now it happened as He [Jesus] went to Jerusalem that He passed through the midst of Samaria and Galilee.
(12) Then as He entered a certain village, there met Him ten men who were lepers, who stood afar off.
(13) And they lifted up their voices and said, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!”
(14) So when He saw them, He said to them, “Go, show yourselves to the priests.” And so it was that as they went, they were cleansed.
(15) And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, returned, and with a loud voice glorified God,
(16) and fell down on his face at His feet, giving Him thanks. And he was a Samaritan.
(17) So Jesus answered and said, “Were there not ten cleansed? But where are the nine?
(18) Were there not any found who returned to give glory to God except this foreigner?” (Luke 17:11-18)
Only one of the ten expressed gratitude for being healed of Leprosy.
In Psalm 100:4 we read “Enter His gates with thanksgiving, and His courts with praise! Give thanks to Him, bless His name!” (RSV). God also tells us in I Thessalonians 5:18, “ in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” God’s people should always be grateful to God for all that they have!
We know that the giving of thanks isn’t limited to one day of the year. We should always be grateful to our Father in heaven as we consider His power and might, His mercy, patience and kindness, along with His TRUTH, and way of life.
I will end with a short paragraph written by Mr. Herbert W. Armstrong in the Plain Truth magazine, “Personal,” dated August, 1967, showing his approach to thankful prayers.
Nearly always I do begin a prayer with exaltation of God, which brings to my mind HOW GREAT — HOW WONDERFUL — is the ALL-Mighty One to whom I am speaking! So immediately I broke off the thanksgiving and the gratitude temporarily, to praise and exalt and extol the Supreme CREATOR GOD! Yet I just naturally continued my giving thanks — now thanking God FOR HIMSELF — and realizing HOW GRATEFUL I am that God IS — that there IS the Great GOD — that He is the LIVING God!
Have a wonderful Sabbath, brethren!
Your Brother in Christ,