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Thanksgiving

(6 posts)

Thanksgiving with Calvin (1)

Tuesday··2012·11·20
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. —Philippians 4:6 As many often pray to God amiss, full of complaints or of murmurings, as though they had just ground for accusing him, while others cannot brook delay, if he does not immediately gratify their desires, Paul on this account conjoins thanksgiving with prayers. It is as though he had said, that those things which are necessary for us ought to be desired by us from the Lord in such a way, that we, nevertheless, subject our affections to his good pleasure, and give thanks while presenting petitions. And, unquestionably, gratitude will have this effect upon us—that the will of God will be the grand sum of our desires. —John Calvin, Commentary on The Epistle of Paul to the Philippians.

Thanksgiving with Calvin (2)

Wednesday··2012·11·21
Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it with an attitude of thanksgiving; —Colossians 4:2 He [Paul] adds, thanksgiving, because God must be solicited for present necessity in such a way that, in the mean time, we do not forget favors already received. Farther, we ought not to be so importunate as to murmur, and feel offended if God does not immediately gratify our wishes, but must receive contentedly whatever he gives. Thus a twofold giving of thanks is necessary. —John Calvin, Commentary on The Epistle of Paul to the Colossians.

Thanksgiving Day, 2012

Thursday··2012·11·22
As most of you know, The American Thanksgiving Day tradition began in New England, at Plymouth Plantation, in 1622. It’s a great tradition, and I’m thankful for it. It’s a great thing to join with my fellow citizens to give thanks for the blessings of God on our land. We Christians, however, enjoy a greater privilege of joining with God’s people around the world in thanksgiving. Our tradition goes much farther back than 1622, to (at least) Leviticus 20, in which God commanded a sacrifice of thanksgiving. As far as I can remember (corrections welcome), the first official day of thanksgiving is recorded in 1 Chronicles: Then on that day David first assigned Asaph and his relatives to give thanks to the Lord. Oh give thanks to the Lord, call upon His name; Make known His deeds among the peoples. Sing to Him, sing praises to Him; Speak of all His wonders. Glory in His holy name; Let the heart of those who seek the Lord be glad. Seek the Lord and His strength; Seek His face continually. Remember His wonderful deeds which He has done, His marvels and the judgments from His mouth, O seed of Israel His servant, Sons of Jacob, His chosen ones! He is the Lord our God; His judgments are in all the earth. Remember His covenant forever, The word which He commanded to a thousand generations, The covenant which He made with Abraham, And His oath to Isaac. He also confirmed it to Jacob for a statute, To Israel as an everlasting covenant, Saying, “To you I will give the land of Canaan, As the portion of your inheritance.” When they were only a few in number, Very few, and strangers in it, And they wandered about from nation to nation, And from one kingdom to another people, He permitted no man to oppress them, And He reproved kings for their sakes, saying, “Do not touch My anointed ones, And do My prophets no harm.” Sing to the Lord, all the earth; Proclaim good tidings of His salvation from day to day. Tell of His glory among the nations, His wonderful deeds among all the peoples. For great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised; He also is to be feared above all gods. For all the gods of the peoples are idols, But the Lord made the heavens. Splendor and majesty are before Him, Strength and joy are in His place. Ascribe to the Lord, O families of the peoples, Ascribe to the Lord glory and strength. Ascribe to the Lord the glory due His name; Bring an offering, and come before Him; Worship the Lord in holy array. Tremble before Him, all the earth; Indeed, the world is firmly established, it will not be moved. Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice; And let them say among the nations, “The Lord reigns.” Let the sea roar, and all it contains; Let the field exult, and all that is in it. Then the trees of the forest will sing for joy before the Lord; For He is coming to judge the earth. O give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; For His lovingkindness is everlasting. Then say, “Save us, O God of our salvation, And gather us and deliver us from the nations, To give thanks to Your holy name, And glory in Your praise.” Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel, From everlasting even to everlasting. Then all the people said, “Amen,” and praised the Lord. —1 Chronicles 16:7–36

Thanksgiving with Spurgeon

Friday··2012·11·23
Continuing the Thanksgiving theme: Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever! —Psalm 107:1 It is all we can give him, and the least we can give; therefore let us diligently render to him our thanksgiving. The psalmist is in earnest in the exhortation, hence the use of the interjection “O,” to intensify his words: let us be at all times thoroughly fervent in the praises of the Lord, both with our lips and with our lives, by thanksgiving and thanks living. Jehovah, for that is the name here used, is not to be worshipped with groans and cries, but with thanks, for he is good; and these thanks should be heartily rendered, for his is no common goodness: he is good by nature, and essence, and proven to be good in all the acts of his eternity. Compared with him there is none good, no, not one: but he is essentially, perpetually, superlatively, infinitely good. We are the perpetual partakers of his goodness, and therefore ought above all his creatures to magnify his name. Our praise should be increased by the fact that the divine goodness is not a transient thing, but in the attribute of mercy abides for ever the same, for his mercy endureth for ever. The word endureth has been properly supplied by the translators, but yet it somewhat restricts the sense, which will be better seen if we read it, “for his mercy forever.” That mercy had no beginning, and shall never know an end. Our sin required that goodness should display itself to us in the form of mercy, and it has done so, and will do so evermore; let us not be slack in praising the goodness which thus adapts itself to our fallen nature. —Charles Spurgeon, The Treasury of David [Read the full commentary on Psalm 107 at the Spurgeon Archive].

It Is Good to Give Thanks

Thursday··2013·11·28
It is good to give thanks to the Lord And to sing praises to Your name, O Most High; To declare Your lovingkindness in the morning And Your faithfulness by night, With the ten-stringed lute and with the harp, With resounding music upon the lyre. For You, O Lord, have made me glad by what You have done, I will sing for joy at the works of Your hands. How great are Your works, O Lord! Your thoughts are very deep. A senseless man has no knowledge, Nor does a stupid man understand this: That when the wicked sprouted up like grass And all who did iniquity flourished, It was only that they might be destroyed forevermore. But You, O Lord, are on high forever. For, behold, Your enemies, O Lord, For, behold, Your enemies will perish; All who do iniquity will be scattered. But You have exalted my horn like that of the wild ox; I have been anointed with fresh oil. And my eye has looked exultantly upon my foes, My ears hear of the evildoers who rise up against me. The righteous man will flourish like the palm tree, He will grow like a cedar in Lebanon. Planted in the house of the Lord, They will flourish in the courts of our God. They will still yield fruit in old age; They shall be full of sap and very green, To declare that the Lord is upright; He is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in Him. —Psalm 92 For Thanksgiving, Charles Spurgeon’s exposition of Psalm 92:2: “To shew forth thy loving kindness in the morning.” The day should begin with praise: no hour is too early for holy song. Loving-kindness is a most appropriate theme for those dewy hours when morn is sowing all the earth with orient pearl. Eagerly and promptly should we magnify the Lord; we leave unpleasant tasks as long as we can, but our hearts are so engrossed with the adoration of God that we would rise betimes to attend to it. There is a peculiar freshness and charm about early morning praises; the day is loveliest when it first opens its eyelids, and God himself seems then to make distribution of the day’s manna, which tastes most sweetly if gathered ere the sun is hot. It seems most meet that if our hearts and harps have been silent through the shades of night we should be eager again to take our place among the chosen choir who ceaselessly hymn the Eternal One. “And thy faithfulness every night.” No hour is too late for praise, the end of the day must not be the end of gratitude. When nature seems in silent contemplation to adore its Maker, it ill becomes the children of God to refrain their thanksgiving. Evening is the time for retrospect, memory is busy with the experience of the day, hence the appropriate theme for song is the divine faithfulness, of which another day has furnished fresh evidences. When darkness has settled down over all things, “a shade immense,” then there comes over wise men a congenial, meditative spirit, and it is most fitting that they should take an expanded view of the truth and goodness of Jehovah— “This sacred shade and solitude, what is it? ’Tis the felt presence of the Deity.” “Every night,” clouded or clear, moonlit or dark, calm or tempestuous, is alike suitable for a song upon the faithfulness of God, since in all seasons, and under all circumstances, it abides the same, and is the mainstay of the believer’s consolation. Shame on us that we are so backward in magnifying the Lord, who in the daytime scatters bounteous love, and in the night season walks his rounds of watching care. —Charles Spurgeon, The Treasury of David (Passmore and Alabaster, 1883), 4:264. [Read entire exposition at spurgeon.org]

Thanksgiving, 2017

Thursday··2017·11·23
I will give thanks to the Lord with all my heart; I will tell of all Your wonders. I will be glad and exult in You; I will sing praise to Your name, O Most High. —Psalm 9:1–2

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