Summary: A message on the subject of "Thanksgiving" with the annual Thanksgiving day on the anvil!!!
Thanksgiving…all the way!!!
Of atheists it is said…a bad moment for an atheist is when he feels grateful, and has no one to thank. Here is a tragi-comic “atheistic” story echoing the same sentiments even while reiterating a point about thanksgiving…
An atheist was walking through the woods, admiring all the “accidents” that evolution had created. “What majestic trees! What powerful rivers! What beautiful animals!” he said to himself. As he was walking alongside the river, he heard a rustling in the bushes behind him. Turning to look, he saw a 7-foot grizzly bear charging towards him. He ran away as fast as he could up the path. He looked over his shoulder and saw the grizzly was closing. Somehow he ran even faster, so scared that tears came to his eyes. He looked again, and the bear was even closer. His heart was pounding, and he tried to run faster. He tripped and fell to the ground. He rolled over to pick himself up, but the bear was right over him, reaching for him with its left paw and raising its right paw to strike him.
At that instant the atheist cried, “Oh God help!” Time stopped. The bear froze. The forest was silent. Even the river stopped moving. As a bright light shone upon the man, a voice came out of the sky, “You deny My existence for all these years, teach others that I don't exist, and even credit creation to a cosmic accident. However I am willing to forgive you now and give you a new start. Now Am I to count you as a believer?”
The atheist looked directly into the light, hardening his heart said slyly “No…no…however… do me just a little favor …perhaps you could make the bear a Christian?”
“Very well,” said the voice.
The light went out. The river ran. The sounds of the forest resumed. Then the bear dropped his right paw, brought both paws together, bowed its head, and spoke: “Lord, for this food which I am about to receive, I am truly thankful.”
Now no prizes for guessing what transpired next (sic)!!! While on the topic of thanksgiving, Yours Truly is inspired to share a message on the same using the following Scriptural portions…
“…give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”-1 Thess 5:18
It is a Biblical mandate that we ought to have a thankful disposition at all times even when we are going through adverse circumstances’ for the Bible tells us elsewhere that the infinitely wise Sovereign God would use all circumstances (good or bad) for our eventual welfare (Rom 8:28).
Take the example of our beloved Saviour. Christ did not become the Saviour of the World by virtue of His extraordinary sermons or miracles (astounding as they were) but by virtue of His God-ordained atoning death on the Cross which entailed maximal suffering borne out of obedience (Heb 2:10, 5:8-9).
No wonder our Lord well aware of God’s redemption plan even while breaking the “bread” that signified His own body (which was going to be broken beyond recognition -Isa 52:14) thought it fit to give “thanks”!!! For He knew very well that this imminent suffering of His would usher Him into eternal glory (1 Cor 11:23-24/Rev 3:21)!!!
Then Jesus answered, “Were not ten cleansed? Where are the nine?-Luke 17:17
Some Christians’ whilst reflecting on Genesis 1:27 of God making man “in His own image” inadvertently limit their understanding to the physical dimension of it all…which ought not to be the case (God also may have 2 ears, eyes etc etc)!!! Rather it would serve us all well to ponder on the spiritual and the emotional similarities between our unique Creator (Rom 11:33-36) and His most unique creation (us).
Imagine a person going his own way thanklessly after we have gone out of the way to help Him. It would break our hearts. Ditto with our emotionally similar Creator when we take His blessings for granted…
A discerning Bible reader would be able to detect Jesus’ voice getting slightly choked with sadness in the afore-referred Scripture when the ingratitude of the nine healed lepers registers on Him.
A spiritually healthy Christian is one who constantly renews His gratitude for God meditating often on all the benefits the good Lord had graciously bestowed upon him (chief of them being salvation) whereby his love for His Creator is also constantly renewed. Greater the gratitude, greater the love (Luke 7:47)…greater the love…greater the obedience…greater the obedience…greater the sacrificial witness…greater the sacrificial witness…greater the impact on the viewing public!!!
Let the Scripture take over at this stage…
“…and a considerable number of those who had engaged in occult practices threw their scrolls in a pile and burned them in public. When they calculated the value of the scrolls, it came to fifty thousand drachmas. Thus the message about the Lord continued in a powerful way to grow in influence.-Acts 19:19-20 (CJB)