Jon Taylor – Lead Pastor
In our Thanksgiving service yesterday, we read and sang our way through Psalm 103. David wrote a wonderful piece on praising God and remembering His goodness to us. We broke the Psalm into 4 parts and did some reflecting after reading each section together.
1. Vs. 1-5 – God’s Goodness – Take some time to write down some benefits and blessings from God. What do you need to remember and be thankful for? Remember 1 Thessalonians 5:18, “…give thanks in all circumstances…”
2. Vs. 6-12 – God’s Grace – List all the descriptions of God’s grace from this section and spend some time thanking Him for His amazing grace – for not treating us as our sins deserve.
3. Vs. 13-18 – Our Response – Gratitude is not a feeling, but an action. In at least 162 places in the Bible, God references His desire for us to show gratitude. One of the best ways to show gratitude to God is to obey His word. In John 14:23, John records Jesus’ words, “If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching.” Ask Him, “Father, how to you want me to demonstrate my gratitude?” Then let the Holy Spirit convict, challenge, and encourage you.
4. Vs. 19-22 – Our Worship – The chapter ends with calls for angels, heavenly hosts, and all creation to praise Him! Live each day before the face of God “offer bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God – this is your true and proper worship.” Romans 12:1
We also read Abraham Lincoln’s Thanksgiving Proclamation.
October 3, 1863
By the President of the United States of America.
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. In the midst of a civil war of unequaled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign States to invite and to provoke their aggression, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere except in the theatre of military conflict; while that theatre has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union. Needful diversions of wealth and of strength from the fields of peaceful industry to the national defence, have not arrested the plough, the shuttle or the ship; the axe has enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well of iron and coal as of the precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than heretofore. Population has steadily increased, notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege and the battle-field; and the country, rejoicing in the consiousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of years with large increase of freedom. No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy. 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.
Done at the City of Washington, this Third day of October, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, and of the Independence of the Unites States the Eighty-eighth.
By the President: Abraham Lincoln
Let’s follow the example and encouragement of David and praise God and be thankful. Happy Thanksgiving!