Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Thanksgiving And Spiritual Blessings

Dr. David R. ReaganPDFBy Dr. David R. Reagan

I want to take this opportunity to wish all of you a very blessed season of Thanksgiving!

During this Thanksgiving season are you counting your blessings? I hope so. We all need to be doing that. What do you consider to be your greatest blessing? Is it your health, your job, your family? What about spiritual blessings? Are you counting them? If so, what are they?

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite times of the year — a time of family, fellowship, and good food. I have many wonderful memories of family gatherings at Thanksgiving and I am sure you do, too. Personally, I believe that for a Christian every day of the year should be a day of thanksgiving. I have found over the years that a heart filled with thanksgiving is one of the best medicines for emotional and physical health.

I make it a point at least once a month if not more frequently to sit down and make a list of things in my prayer journal that I am thankful for. I sometimes spend as much as 30-45 minutes working on the list. And, in the process, I try to think about things that we tend to take for granted — things like pure water, electricity, air conditioning, a house to live in and a car to drive.

Did you know that 80% of all sickness in the world is attributable to unsafe drinking water? Did you know that if you keep food in a refrigerator, clothes in a closet, and sleep in a bed with a roof over your head, you are richer than 75% of the entire population of the world? Did you know that out of every 100 people in this world 18 struggle to live on less than one dollar a day and 53 struggle to live on two dollars a day?

We have so much to be thankful for in this country, and we tend to be so unthankful. We fret over the fact that we don't have a color TV set in every room, when most of the world lives without access to electricity. It's one of the reasons that I believe that every American teenager should be sent to live a couple of weeks in a third world country like Mexico just to see how most people in the world are involved in a daily struggle to merely survive. All of us in the United States should be living with an attitude of gratitude.

One of my favorite passages of Scripture is Psalm 100 which is labeled with a superscription that says, "A Psalm of Thanksgiving." It is the only Psalm that bears such a label. And it says in part, "Shout joyfully to the Lord all the Earth, serve the Lord with gladness. Enter His gates with thanksgiving, and His courts with praise." That is the attitude we should live with, even in tough times when things are not going smoothly for us.

The thing we should be most grateful for is the salvation that Jesus provided for us through His sacrifice on the cross for our sins. What a glorious gift! And, it is precisely that — a gift. The Bible teaches very clearly that the forgiveness of our sins is something that cannot be earned. It is a free gift of God through faith in Jesus as our Lord and Savior.

Have you ever thought about the fact that salvation by grace through faith is one of the things that sets Christianity apart from all other religions?

Every other religion in the world teaches the satanic concept of salvation through good works. Christianity alone teaches that one cannot be saved by good works. Our only hope is the righteousness of Jesus which is applied to us when we put our faith in Him. Pastor Robert Jeffress of First Baptist Church in Dallas has a wonderful way of putting it. He says, "Every religion in the world except Christianity is spelled 'D-O,' only Christianity is spelled 'D-O-N-E.'" In other words, Jesus did it all for us by sacrificing His perfect life for our sins.

A second spiritual blessing I want to thank God for is one that is yet to take place. It is based upon a promise of God that can be found in John 14, 1 Corinthians 15, and 1 Thessalonians 4. It is called the Rapture of the Church. The apostle Paul describes the Rapture in detail in 1 Thessalonians 4 beginning with verse 13. When Paul finishes his explanation of it, he writes in verse 18, "Comfort one another with these words." The promise of the Rapture is supposed to be a source of great comfort to those of us who are believers in Jesus Christ.

Don't pass up this Thanksgiving season without accepting Jesus as your Savior. Remember to thank Him for His loving sacrifice on your behalf. Give praise for the great hope Jesus has given us, for we know that those who love Him will soon be gathered home to Heaven.


Laura said...

Hey, here's an idea: Let's be thankful because we WANT TO BE and not because we HAVE TO BE!!!

If you're not sure what you're thankful for, just look to Jesus and what He has done for us. You might want to do a study on the words "life," "alive," and "in Christ" in the N.T. Meditate on the fact that when Christ died, YOU died; when Christ was resurrected, YOU were resurrected. Then, ask God to help you understand WHY He did that to you.

After that, you can take a look at your current seating arrangement (see Eph. 2:6), which gives us plenty to rejoice about.

And then, if that's not enough to get your thankful juices flowing, consider that NOTHING can separate you from the personal, relational, practical, and very real love of God (Rom. 38-39)--not even SIN! Because Christ has dealt with all your sins. They have been nailed to the cross and God remembers them NO MORE! As far as God is concerned, we are always CLOSE and we are always CLEAN! So let's renew our minds with these truths (i.e., think like God thinks), and then we'll have plenty to be thankful for!

hartdawg said...

and plus you can prolly make a peanut butter sandwhich whenever you want to. be thankful for that

hartdawg said...

o.k maybe being thankful you can make a peanut butter sandwhich anytime sounds stupid, but when i went on a mission trip to honduras with a youth group we were out in 100 degree heat with 100 percent humidity and didnt even have a water cooler. we drank lukewarm water. (its what the honduran workers always drank) the last 3 days we were there at the end of each day we were treated to an ice cold coke (tho i prefer pepsi) so next time you grab a coke (or pepsi since thats way better)outta the fridge thank God you aint drinking lukewarm water out in the sun

hartdawg said...

oh by the way, we were mixing concrete and building a switchback trail up a hill in the jungle. (the area was devastated by hurricane mitch sevral years ago.

Billy said...

Excellent article. It is easy to think of the obvious major things in our life to be thankful for (our Lord, our freedom, our family, our friends, our health, our jobs, our homes, etc.).

But I love that Dr. Reagan made me think of the less obvious but still major things (pure water, electricity, a/c, etc.). and Dawg's peanut butter sandwiches.

But I also can't help but be mournful at the same time that I can't include thanksfulness for our country (for it is becoming socialist and anti-Judeo-Christian), our society (for it is materialistic, vulgar, rude), and our leaders (votes for sale, no integrity, no sense of what our nation was founded on), and our president (hostile to Israel and Christians, sympathetic to terrorists, extreme leftist socialist policies).

Yes, I focused on some negative but who can blame me in the state of the world in which we live.

So I guess I'm thankful on a personal basis.

But on a larger, worldly basis I want this horrible world man has created to end and the reign of Jesus to begin.

chaz32048 said...

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite times of the year — a time of family, fellowship, and good food. I have many wonderful memories of family gatherings at Thanksgiving and I am sure you do, too. These are Dr. Reagan's words from his post. If he had just said most of you I'd have let it pass. I grew up in arguably the most dysfunctional family on earth. Holidays meant the unhappiness would only be increased. And as an adult, I carried on the family tradition, infecting a new generation. I'm 61 and neither of my 2 offspring are saved. One is currently in a crisis situation. My Christ and His sacrifice for me is what is holding me together. I ran from Him until I was 59. Now I run to Him. And for that I'll be eternally thankful.

Laura said...


Sorry to hear about your unhappy situation, but I'm also thankful to hear that it has (perhaps) persuaded you to run into the arms of your loving Savior. I pray that He will be your Joy this holiday season!

Anonymous said...

Excellent article!!!! Will say a prayer for you and your family, Chaz!

Donald Dolmus said...

I give thanks to the Lord for men like Dr. David Reagan and Nathan Jones.

I also give Him thanks for Christian Ministries like Lamb and Lion.

VeniSheckChicolte said...

This is an E-Mail I got from a friend...

> I dreamt that I went to Heaven and an angel was showing me around. We
> walked side-by-side inside a large workroom filled with angels. My angel
> guide stopped in front of the first section and said, 'This is the
> Receiving Section.
> Here, all petitions to God said in prayer are received.'
> I looked around in this area, and it was terribly busy with so many angels
> sorting out petitions written on voluminous paper sheets and scraps from
> people all over the world.
> Then we moved on down a long corridor until we reached the second section..
> The angel then said to me, 'This is the Packaging and Delivery Section.
> Here, the graces and blessings the people asked for are processed and
> delivered to the living persons who asked for them.. 'I noticed again how
> busy it was there. There were many angels working hard at that station,
> since so many blessings had been requested and were being packaged for
> delivery to Earth.
> Finally at the farthest end of the long corridor we stopped at the door of
> a very small station. To my great surprise, only one angel was seated
> there, idly doing nothing. 'This is the Acknowledgment Section,' my angel
> friend quietly admitted to me. He seemed embarrassed 'How is it that there
> is no work going on here?' I asked.
> 'So sad,' the angel sighed.. 'After people receive the blessings that they
> asked for, very few send back acknowledgments .'
> 'How does one acknowledge God's blessings?' I asked.
> 'Simple,' the angel answered. Just say, 'Thank you, Lord.'
> 'What blessings should they acknowledge?' I asked.
> 'If you have food in the refrigerator, clothes on your back, a roof
> overhead and a place to sleep you are richer than 75% of this world. If you
> have money in the bank, in your wallet, and spare change in a dish, you are
> among the top 8% of the world's wealthy .'
> 'And if you get this on your own computer, you are part of the 1% in the
> world who has that opportunity.'
> 'If you woke up this morning with more health than illness .... you are
> more blessed than the many who will not even survive this day .'
> 'If you have never experienced the fear in battle, the loneliness of
> imprisonment, the agony of torture, or the pangs of starvation ... you are
> ahead of 700 million people in the world.'
> 'If you can attend a church without the fear of harassment, arrest, torture
> or death you are envied by, and more blessed than, three billion people in
> the world. '
> 'If your parents are still alive and still married are very rare .'
> 'If you can hold your head up and smile, you are not the norm, you're
> unique to all those in doubt and despair.'
> Ok, what now? How can I start? If you can read this message, you just
> received a double blessing in that someone was thinking of you as very
> special and you are more blessed than over two billion people in the world
> who cannot read at all.
> Have a good day, count your blessings, and if you want, pass this along to
> remind everyone else how blessed we all are.

VeniSheckChicolte said...

To Hartdawg...

I'm sorry buddy, but Coke beats all, including Pepsi.

VeniSheckChicolte said...


I'm sorry to hear about the crisis situation. I don't know what it is, but family member crisis seems to be my middle name. I can't say I understand what's going on for you, because each crisis is different, so I can't sympathize completely, but Jesus knows. Talk it over with him.

And I'm very glad to hear that you came to him!

I'm praying!

son of thunder said...

You know, I sometimes have trouble being thankful. My job has went to Mexico (although I'm still employed doing something I really don't like, but I suppose I should be thankful I'm still employed), and, like Billy, I look at the state the nation I love is in and I feel a cynicism towards the world and everything in it.

I know I should be thankful that I have electricity, food, and cold Coke Zero (I don't buy Pepsi as they support the homosexual agenda).

But, like Billy, I look at the world and its cares and it gets me. I look at my homeland (the USA) and wonder what's happened and how it happened so fast.

hartdawg said...

pepsi tastes better. sorry. i also find it difficult to be thankful specially since i hate my job (not the job bu the stuff that goes on and in a church of all places) and i really hate whats happening to this country. i never really been a happy person tho but i look forward to the rapture and as laura pointed out look at where we sit

hartdawg said...

by the way, did i say pepsi taste better? oh i did

Nathan Jones said...

Dr. Pepper's king of the colas!

son of thunder said...

Mmmmm. Dr. Pepper. I am thankful for Dr. Pepper :)

Seriously, though, I think a big reason Christians in the US aren't more thankful is because we are so spoiled. We don't know hardship the way the Puritans did when they came to N. America. We haven't had to scrape and fight the way they did. Their sacrifice made our lives easier in the long run.

hartdawg said...

hey, noone mentioned being thankful for a 4DAY WEEKEND! If you prefer dr pepper or coke to pepsi thats alright. i wont let those denominational differences get to me. God will forgive you;)

son of thunder said...

Gee, that's great of you hartdawg.

Hopefully, when we get to heaven we can sit down over a Dr. Pepper and discuss this, huh?

One thing I am thankful for is this website and the people on it.

Nathan Jones said...

I am thankful for each and every one of you who come and share your enthusiasm for Bible prophecy and love for Jesus Christ. God bless you all!