Give Thanks to the Lord!
By Art Dmytriyev
“Let us give thanks unto the Lord; for he is good, and his mercy endureth forever.” Very many Bible verses speak about it. What kind of a Thanksgiving shall we keep — one to ourselves, bestowing all our benefits upon ourselves and receiving the attentions of others, but bringing no thanksgiving offering to God? This is idolatry of the most offensive character in the sight of a jealous God. Everything should be avoided that would tend to draw our hearts’ worship from God. Let not any more Thanksgiving days be observed to please and gratify the appetite, and glorify the self. We have a reason for coming into the courts of the Lord with offerings of gratitude that he has preserved our lives for another year.
God has spared our lives till this day; now how shall we keep it, with feasting and gluttony? Is this a true thanksgiving to God? No; we are to render thanks and thank offerings for the mercies bestowed upon us every day during the past year. How should we keep Thanksgiving? “When thou makest a dinner or a supper, call not thy friends, nor thy brethren, neither thy kinsmen, nor thy rich neighbors; lest they also bid thee again, and a recompense be made thee. But when thou makest a feast, call the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind; and thou shalt be blessed, for they cannot recompense thee; for thou shalt be recompensed at the resurrection of the just.” (Luke 14:12-14 JKV). This is the kind of feast God instructs us to give. How many will follow these specific directions of God’s word by calling the poor to their homes with words of sympathy and the spirit of beneficence, and thus make such a feast as will be pleasing to God? Satan has sought to destroy the true purpose and design of Thanksgiving, to turn away from God the honor due him, and to center it upon ourselves.
Now is the time when God should be praised for his goodness and bountiful gifts to the children of men. You may say, “What has the Lord done for us?”—Much in every way. Here are your children. They are clothed, and they have fuel, food, and shelter. You should not only praise God, but you should come into his courts with a thank-offering. How many of us have trained ourselves to bring an offering to him? God help you to open your hearts to suffering humanity; for they are the purchase of high heaven. Christ identifies his interests with those of his needy, suffering children; and the neglect has done to them is registered in the books of heaven as done to Christ in the person of his saints. (Please, read Matthew 25:31-46).
When you take heed to the word of God and follow its instructions to the letter, you will enjoy blessings from the God of Jacob. Hear what Isaiah says: “… deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy house? when thou seest the naked, that thou cover him; and that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh? Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thine health shall spring forth speedily: and thy righteousness shall go before thee; the glory of the LORD shall be thy reward.” (Isaiah 58:7-8 KJV). Your souls shall be like a watered garden, whose waters fail not. “Then shalt thou call, and the Lord shall answer; thou shalt cry, and he shall say, Here I am.” (Isaiah 58:9 KJV). Do you want to hear that voice respond to your call, saying, “Here I am?” Then go to work in God’s way. Get rid of your selfishness and heartlessness, and pray to God to give you a loving, tender, sympathizing heart. Then when you call you may hear his voice answer, “Here I am.”
Pr. Art Dmytriyev is originally from Siberia. He has traveled the world in Evangelism and pastoral ministry. He serves as a pastor in North Carolina, holds a Master of Divinity degree, and is currently a Doctor of Ministry candidate. More information at: https://burnsvillenc.adventistchurch.org/pastors-blog
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