by Pastor Tim Burt
Have you noticed the flood of software and tools that are available to help us remember things? I take advantage of many of them because they help me remember birthdays, anniversaries, important events, and even my day-to-day schedule. Can we all admit we need help remembering things?
The Apostle Peter knew we forgot things—even things we’ve known or done over and over. Sometimes reminding wasn’t just about putting back in mind something we forgot. Sometimes reminding was about stirring up something important in the same way you stir up hot coals of a campfire to get the flames re-ignited. Peter wrote, “So I will always remind you of these things, even though you know them and are firmly established in the truth you now have.” 2 Peter 1:12 The Lord gave us rainbows so that we’d remember the covenant He established with Noah—the sign of the promise that He would never flood the entire Earth again. When you see a rainbow, does it remind you of the grace of God and His covenant with you?
God also gave His people special days and events to remind them of His love, His mercy, and His hand of deliverance from dire circumstances and enemies. We see this in Deuteronomy 16:1-3 “In honor of the Lord your God, always celebrate the Passover at the proper time in early spring, for that was when the Lord your God brought you out of Egypt by night… Eat it with bread made without yeast. For seven days eat only bread made without yeast, as you did when you escaped from Egypt in such a hurry. Eat this bread—the bread of suffering—so that you will remember the day you departed from Egypt as long as you live.”
Thursday we celebrate Thanksgiving. It is not a day of celebration that God created or asked man to set aside to thank Him. It was a day that the leaders of our nation established. Do you have any idea how miraculous that this actually happened is? Can you imagine a day being set aside today by the leaders of our nation to thank the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob; to thank our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ for the freedom we have and to worship Him freely? Today it would not happen. The fact that we can still celebrate Thanksgiving despite the attacks upon Christianity is nothing short of miraculous. It also helps us understand how deeply the people of that day loved and honored God.
May we please, on this Thanksgiving, remember one of our past great leaders who had no reservations about speaking of the thanks and prayer due to Almighty God who has blessed our nation.
These are the words of President Abraham Lincoln, April 30, 1863
“We have been the recipients of the choicest bounties of heaven. We have been preserved, the many years, in peace and prosperity. We have grown in numbers, wealth and power, as no other nation has ever grown. But we have forgotten God. We have forgotten the gracious hand which preserved us in peace and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us; and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own.
Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to God that made us! It behooves us, then to humble ourselves before the offended Power, to confess our national sins, and to pray for clemency and forgiveness.
With this attitude, may we plan something with those we love, to give bold repentance and thanksgiving to our God who has blessed our great nation and is the only one who can put it back on track!” – President Abraham Lincoln, April 30, 1863
So how can we make Thanksgiving more special unto God? Can you plan a time within your Thanksgiving Day, even if just for a couple of minutes and even if there are those present who don’t think like you, to read a verse and maybe something from history to remind those with you how miraculous the creation of this day was? And to acknowledge that it couldn’t have happened without the hand of God moving upon the hearts of men? Can you take a minute to pray giving God sincere thanks and asking Him to help us return to Him? Pray about it. Prepare for it. You can keep it short. But make it sincere. It counts and will reach the heart of God and affect the hearts of those you are with.
1 Chron. 16:35 (NLT) “Cry out, “Save us, O God of our salvation! Gather and rescue us from among the nations, so we can thank your holy name and rejoice and praise you.”
In His love,
Pastor Tim Burt
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