First Posted: 12/3/2009
As we settle down from all the food and family gatherings from Thanksgiving, let us truly remember what this occasion is about. Our ancestors started a journey of faith across the Atlantic Ocean in search of freedom. By the grace of God, they made it to a land that we call America. Through many hardships they began to settle in this country and God blessed them. Prosperity began to reign in this land of abundance and all seemed perfect. I look around today and see that things dont appear perfect. Our areas economy is struggling, jobs are hard to find, and families are trying to make ends meet.
Im reminded of a story in the Bible of the children of Israel who were in bondage in the land of Egypt. They cried out to God and He heard them! He remembered His covenant with their forefather, Abraham, and delivered them out of their afflictions. He had promised them a land flowing with milk and honey. He told them to go and possess the land, but because of their lack of faith they wandered in a wilderness for 40 years. God provided for all their needs. When they were thirsty, He gave them water to drink. When they were hungry, He provided them food. Their clothes never wore out, and their feet never swelled. They entered the land of Canaan and began, by Gods grace, to expel the heathen nations that occupied the land. Nevertheless, they did not expel all the heathen people before them and they became thorns in their side. The children of Israel were satisfied and forgot their God. They began to worship the idols of the heathen people. God, through His prophets, warned His people to turn back to Him or they would be taken into captivity. In bondage again, they sought the Lord and were allowed to return to their land.
I am afraid our nation has forgotten God. Even in troublesome times, we focus more attention on the retail side of Thanksgiving and Christmas. Let us not forget our heritage or the reason why our forefathers came to this land. We need to turn back to God! Second Chronicles chapter 7 verse 14 says If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. Thanksgiving Day has past, but it is not the only day that we should be thankful.
Let us remember that we are still One Nation under God. As we enter the Christmas season, we need to renew our thoughts about what this time of year is really about. Jesus was born over two thousand years ago, and He came to seek and save the lost. We become so busy with parties and buying gifts for those on our list that we forget to rejoice for the greatest gift that mankind will ever know. Share the gift of Jesus with someone this year. Just as Jeremiah the prophet said in chapter 6 verse 16 of the Bible, Ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. Let us celebrate Christmas with a renewed mind this year! Even in difficult times like these, we still have much to be thankful for. Dont forget the reason for this season. God loves you and gave His best for you, Jesus. Do you know Him as your Savior? If not, I beg you to receive your free gift right now!
The Rev. Joey Jessup is pastor of Copeland Baptist Church.