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November 30, 2021

THE GEORGIA CAPITOL DEVOTIONAL - 30 November 2021

The settlers who founded the New England colonies experienced many difficulties and hardships. As their inclinations were thoroughly Christian, they fasted before God and prayed to Him as those who were utterly dependent upon Him. The early settlers declared their supplications to God alone for only He could assuage their anguish. Continual thought upon their difficulties and hardships fixated their minds in distress and restlessness, and the settlers even thought about returning to their homeland with all its religious persecution of them. The settlers convened to decide upon a community response.

When someone recommended another day to be designated for fasting and prayer, an ordinary man with some sanctified sense stated his thoughts that they had agonized sufficiently regarding their difficulties and hardships, and recommended that it was the opportune time to contemplate upon the mercies of God. For instance, the colonies were developing in sufficiency, which was evident by the delightfulness of the atmosphere, the increased harvest of the fields, the plentiful supply of fish in the rivers, and abundance of game in the woods. Additionally, the wives of the settlers were healthy, the children were dutiful, and the colonies now experienced civil and religious liberty, which was the reason they came to the New World.

The recommendation was an amendment to the resolution for a day of fasting, and to instead celebrate a day of thanksgiving. As all should know, that Thanksgiving Day was to become an integral competent of the express culture and life of the American people. Of course, for believers, one day a year to give thanksgiving to God for all His blessings is far from satisfactory.

Scripture exhorts every believer to make melody in his or her heart, “always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father” (Eph 5:19-20). “Always giving thanks” is a distinctly biblical standard for living. The reason is that the word “thanksgiving” is literally the idea of the good grace (Gk. eucharistia) of God.

Having experienced the free and sovereign regenerating work of the Holy Spirit, the believer expresses faith in Christ and repentance to God, and lives as one enraptured with a life of gratitude and humility by “always giving thanks” to God. A life of thanksgiving is truly exalting to God, or literally “giving thanks . . . to God, even the Father.” The Christian life is that of thinking and thanking. “To think” in the old Anglo-Saxon language was seen also in thanks; literally, thinkfulness is thankfulness.

A life of thanksgiving is always a witness to the salvific work of Christ. Thanks to God is given “in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Believers alone are able to approach God boldly because of the redemptive work of Christ on their behalf. The Lord Jesus Christ is the crowning thought of thanksgiving. Genuine thanksgiving is confession and living with Jesus Christ as Lord of one’s life.

Living a life “always giving thanks” demands that saints of God are to “be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil” (Eph 5:15-16). The believer’s life is living with thanksgiving; one is not a good steward of time when agonizing with regard to difficulties and hardships. Scripture exhorts believers to give thanks “for all things” (a solemn thought considering the man inspired to write those words was frequently imprisoned on behalf of his Lord Jesus Christ).

Whatever experiences life may bring, the grace of God compels believers to express hearts and minds filled with thanksgiving. As the old hymn teaches: “Count your blessings, name them one by one; Count your blessings, see what God hath done; Count your blessings, name them one by one, and it will surprise you what the Lord hath done.”

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