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November 22, 2013

TISCIONE: Happy Thanksgiving!

By LOU TISCIONE

We are blessed to live in a country that sets a day aside for giving God thanks. As you know, George Washington set one day apart to thank God for His providence.

Many of us have many things for which to be thankful: our spouse, our children, our church, our homes and our nation. Yet our tendency as sinful human beings is to see the glass half empty rather than half full.

We look at those things that are not to our liking, or are less than desirable, and complain about them. It seems distasteful, even contrary, to thank God for everything, even those “bad” things.

But, that’s exactly what God’s will is for us. He said to give thanks in all circumstances (Philippians 4:6; 1 Thessalonians 5:18). Believers know that all things work together for those who love God, those who are called according to His purpose. (Romans 8:28)

Giving thanks to God is a response of one who has been changed by Him. It is informative to look back at one of the greatest celebrations in the Bible. It was a thanksgiving service! 1 Chronicles 16 records King David’s preparation and implementation of a thanksgiving worship service. His motivation was the return of the Ark of the Covenant. David organized this great worship service to, “invoke, to thank and to praise the Lord.” (1 Chr. 16:4) The ark was a visible sign of God’s faithfulness to His covenantal promise made to His people.

The ark contained the stone tablets upon which God wrote the Ten Commandments. There was also with the ark in the Holy of Holies, the golden urn containing the manna from heaven and the budded staff of Aaron.

King David knew that the people of God needed a visible reminder of His providence. As a man of God, David knew that God’s people were commanded to thank Him. The Ark of the Covenant was a constant reminder that God would be faithful to His promise made to Abraham and his seed. (Genesis 17:7) God demonstrated His faithful providence by providing food for Israel in the wilderness. Jesus confirmed God’s faithfulness. He declared that the Father will provide the needs of His people. (Matthew 6:25-32)

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