Allegheny Valley Church Of God
It's November 27, 2013. Tomorrow the United States of America celebrates Thanksgiving Day, a day proclaimed to be a time of showing of gratitude. In our current state of affairs, the movers and shakers of our culture have tried to eliminate the identity of the one to whom we should give thanks. But they can't take it out of the hearts of those who know. I am thanking my creator and great God who sent His son to die for my sins and give me the blessed hope of forever being with Him.
Speaking for myself and my family, it has not been an easy year. My wife had another bout with Non-Hodkin's lymphoma, which she has overcome through prayer and faith and a good doctor. My step-daughter, Patty, had her own battle with breast cancer, which she seemingly has overcome through prayer, faith and the same good doctor. There have been other challenges for us. Of course, we are witnessing the demise of our free market system and the assault on our constitution. Next March the Supreme Court of this land will hear arguments concerning the forced support of the killing of unborn children in the guise of "healthcare." In all likelihood they will find for the adversary. Just another affront to the Giver of life. We also live in a nation that has, in effect, sold Israel down the river for Iran's promise that it won't use it's nuclear facilities for anything other than peace. "When they shall say 'Peace and safety' then comes sudden destruction." So be it. I'm not wringing my hands or losing any sleep. We are told to be thankful in all things, not necessarily for all things. That was written by a guy who was being persecuted by his own people and who had to live under the regime of a madman named Nero. If he could be thankful so can we.
I am thankful today. I am thankful that God has been gracious and has allowed my wife Rose to still be here after 15 years of battling this disease. I'm thankful that Patty is still here and recovering. I'm thankful that I pastor a church where the people have stepped up to the plate and have blessed us beyond what we would have expected. I'm thankful that there are people who are coming to Christ. I'm thankful that we have a God who told us what things would be like at the end, and that every day this world is looking more and more like the Bible said it would at Christ's return. I'm thankful I have food, clothing and a roof over my head. I'm thankful I have a mind to think. I'm thankful for stuff, guitars, cars, and the rest. The thing is, some day I'm going to die and I won't be able to take one stick of it with me.
Most of all I'm thankful that, about 30 years ago, in spite of all my stubbornness, stupidity and general being a jerk, a loving God reached down and let me know that the only way He could accept me was through faith in His son Jesus. I'm thankful He didn't let me die before knowing Him and end up in an eternal godless hell. I'm thankful that when I was His enemy, He showed me His love on an old rugged bloody cross. I'm thankful that, regardless of what happens in this world, this nation, this city, my church or my household, He is still King of kings and Lord of lords and He's promised me he'll never leave me or forsake me.
What can be better than that?
If you know Christ as your Savior, then be thankful you are accepted by God through faith in His son. If you don't know him, then you ought to consider his plea: "Come unto me all ye that are heavy laden and I'll give you rest." (Matt. 11:28)
Call on the name of the Lord and you will be saved.
Be blessed this year, and have a great Thanksgiving day.