24th November 2016

Thanksgiving

“Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good. His love endures forever.”
Psalm 136:1 (NIV)

Every year Americans celebrate Thanksgiving. It’s not something we do in the UK, however it has an interesting history and it reminds us that we should be thankful for the blessings we have. It started in 1621 when British pilgrims were saved by the native Americans bringing them food and showing them how to plant in the new world after their provisions ran out. So they were thankful for the harvest and for the help. They celebrated their first harvest with a three-day feast. It then became a tradition and now Americans see Thanksgiving as a secular non-religious feast at the start of the holiday season.

Centuries earlier, King David had plenty to be thankful about. In Psalm 136:1 he wrote, “Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good. His love endures forever.” David then lists a whole raft of things to be thankful for and at the end of each verse says “His love endures forever.” In the western world we are blessed even though life is still hard, but when we think of what we have compared to many other places around the world we can take heart and be thankful. Whatever we go through in life we should always remember that God is with us. It does not always feel like it when we’re in the depth of despair; however the same God that kept Daniel safe in the Lion’s den and his mates safe in the fiery furnace is with us here and now, and is with us through whatever we go through, both good and bad.

The Bible has many stories of grace. In Psalm 136 David was talking about Israel being delivered from Egypt and various Kings—they didn’t deserve it, as the Bible says they were constantly going astray, however God loved them and saved them. The same God loves and saves us, and gives us hope of a better Kingdom to come. A Kingdom which is here in part and we’ll see the fullness of in the future. He’s already done all that’s necessary for our salvation and offers us the gift of life. We don’t have to be good enough, as it’s a gift of grace, freely given. Accepting the gift of life won’t give us a promise of health and wealth as some churches will promise, however God will always be with us and see us through our difficulty even though we question why we are going through it in the first place. What we do receive is the greatest gift imaginable. Our journey with God is a rollercoaster adventure, but we can be thankful for the gift of life and draw comfort that He’s holding our hand at every turn.

So as we go about our daily lives, not just once a year like American Thanksgiving, let’s give thanks to God for his love and grace every day.

Prayer
Dear God, thank you for the gift of life given to us freely through your grace.
Amen

Study by Gary Glenister

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garyglenisterAbout the Author:
Gary Glenister is an Elder for the Cardiff & Llanelli congregations of Grace Communion International in South Wales (known locally as Welcome Christian Fellowship), mainly serving the Llanelli church plant.

Gary also posts the Day by Day studies on Facebook and Twitter. If you would like to support the social media ministry please “Like” the page on Facebook GCIdaybyday https://www.facebook.com/GCIdaybyday or “Follow” on Twitter @GCIdaybyday https://twitter.com/gcidaybyday and check out the posts daily. If you think the post would help others, please like and share it so that it is more visible to others.

Local Congregation:
Welcome Christian Fellowship – Llanelli
Y Lle 9
Old Castle Road
Llanelli SA15 2SL

Meeting Time:
Sunday 5pm

Local Congregational Contact:
Gary Glenister
Phone: 07811-71028207811-710282
Local congregations website: www.llanelli.church
Email: gary_llanelli@hotmail.com

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