November 24, 2017 Brethren Letter
I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving Day! As many of you know, my dad died in his sleep yesterday morning at the age of ninety years. I loved my dad, and learned many positive things from him through the years. He will be missed by his family, but he now awaits his resurrection and the GLORIOUS Kingdom of God. It won’t be long now, dad!
Tonight, I’m resending part of a letter I wrote in 2011. The series on “God’s Positive Answers” will be resumed next week.
As always, please have a wonderful Sabbath.
Your Brother in Christ,
We hope that everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving Day yesterday. For all of us, Thanksgiving should be a day of giving THANKS, and not just be “turkey day” and football. Hopefully, we took the time in our prayers to deeply thank God for the many blessings He so mercifully and lovingly pours out upon us.
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.”
I was looking at a small cartoon sketch this morning that depicted one individual speaking to another about “Black Friday.” To state the facts, America’s retailers view this day as a beginning point for selling merchandise and strengthening their bottom-line (profits), for the year. American consumers on the other hand, view this day as a day of “SALES” and discounts. Truthfully, there’s a high level of GET on both sides of the issue!
I believe the point of the sketch comes across well. It says, “BLACK FRIDAY – Don’t you think it’s ironic that Americans spend the most money on new things the day after they say they’re grateful for what they already have?”
Brethren, God’s people should always be grateful for what they have rather than concentrating on what they don’t have. I was reading President Lincoln’s proclamation regarding the giving of thanks to God. Here are a few of the president’s words written on October 3, 1863, while in the midst of our civil war.
The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God.
…It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and one voice by the whole American People. I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens. And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquillity and Union.
In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Seal of the United States to be affixed…
By the President: Abraham Lincoln
Though President Lincoln didn’t have an understanding of God’s Master Plan in the way we do, he sure recognized the blessings the nation had received from the Great God!
We know that the giving of thanks to God isn’t limited to just one day of the year. We should express our gratitude in prayer every single day and consider His power, mercy, patience and kindness, along with His TRUTH and way of life. I would suggest that each of us take time to make a list of every blessing you can think of. Once you finish your list, go to God in prayer, and give thanks for those very blessings!
Have a good Sabbath day, brethren! We look forward to fellowshipping with you tomorrow!
Your Brother in Christ,