"In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you."
— 1 Thessalonians 5:18
We live in a society where people feel like you owe them something. A privileged, catered-to culture that puts their noses in the air.
Do you know someone who gets upset about assistance? They’ll complain because you gave them a turkey and not a ham, you didn’t give them enough financial aid, you gave them a ride, but couldn’t pick them up, and you won’t let them rest while you watch their baby. All without uttering a word of thanks.
Assistance is not guaranteed, help is not permanent, and your personal issues or tragedies do not obligate me to help you. But in everything that you do receive, never forget to say thank you.
Users will pull all the resources they can out of you, won’t say thank you and move on to the next person they can take advantage of. They’ll say, "I thought you were a Christian," "I thought you were like Christ" or "The Bible says ‘give’."
Well, it also says, be a good steward, be careful for nothing and to watch and pray.
Jesus, while traveling to Jerusalem, passed through a village where ten lepers were. Because they were unclean from their disease, they stood away from the crowd but still yelled to Jesus asking, Him to have mercy on them. They knew who he was and that he had the power to heal them from their disease.
Jesus told them that they should go to the priest. When they arrived at the priest they were made clean of their leprosy. However, of the ten that went, only one returned to thank Jesus for what He had done. He came to Jesus’ feet and bowed down to him to show his thankfulness. Jesus asked if there were indeed ten who were healed and why only one returned to thank him? Though many people will be touched by lives, only a few will return to say thanks.
— Luke 17:11-19:
As we step into this week, I want you to remember that Thanksgiving is more than school being out, football games, shopping and food.
On Oct. 3, 1863, Abraham Lincoln proclaimed, by act of Congress, an annual national day of thanksgiving "on the last Thursday of November, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the heavens." In this Thanksgiving proclamation, our 16th president says:
"…announced in the Holy Scriptures and proven by all history, that those nations are blessed whose God is the Lord… But we have forgotten God. We have forgotten the gracious hand which preserved us in peace and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us, and we have vainly imagined, by the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own… It has seemed to me fit and proper that God should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged, as with one heart and one voice, by the whole American people…"
So it is that on Thanksgiving Day, we give thanks to Almighty God for all his blessings and mercies toward us throughout the year.
I invite each and everyone of you to join us this evening for the Mayor’s Thanksgiving Service, hosted by Hinesville Mayor Allen Brown, at Hinesville First United Methodist Church at 6.
Hayes is the pastor of New Day Community Church and the president of the United Ministerial Alliance of Liberty County.