The day set aside as Thanksgiving became a federal holiday in 1863 during the Civil War. President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed a day of "Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens."
The holiday has become a day of feast, football, family and friends. Most will take time to be thankful of the blessings they enjoy, feasting on turkey and ham (along with all the side dishes) with family and friends and then watching football for the rest of the day.
If is a good time that should be enjoyed, but it is also a day when one’s blessings should be shared with others.
It is good to be thankful for all the blessings one has. Having family to love is a great blessing. Adam in the beginning was not complete until God gave him Eve (Gen. 1,2).
When one reads the Bible, they can see all through God’s word that family is important. One should never take family for granted. All during the year, one should take time to thank God for their family.
There are those who are alone in the world, either because they have failed to appreciate their family, or they have lost their family in death. Blessings are not forever. Everyone should take time to show love toward their family every day.
God blesses mankind with life itself. Paul wrote, “For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring” (Acts 17:28).
Without God man would not exist. God blesses man with a universe in which to live, health to go about daily life, jobs, family, friends, etc. – all blessings from God. Yet some fail to thank God for all he does.
On one occasion, Jesus came upon some men who had a terrible disease – leprosy. Jesus had been traveling through Samaria and Galilee. He was going through a village and 10 men who were lepers called out for him to heal them.
Imagine having a disease that caused you to have to stay away from people, even your family. When Jesus saw them, he told them to go and show themselves to the priest. As they were going, they were healed.
What a great blessing they experienced. Surely, they all would want to thank Jesus for this blessing. But the Bible records something almost unbelievable.
“And it came to pass, that, as they went, they were cleansed. And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, and with a loud voice glorified God, And fell down on his face at his feet, giving him thanks: and he was a Samaritan. And Jesus answering said, Were there not ten cleansed? but where are the nine?” (Luke 17:14-18).
Only one individual thought to give thanks. What an ungrateful attitude the others had. Most think this very thing, yet how many times does this same thing happen?
God cares for every person on the face of the earth. He has blessed man in so many ways with physical things. People forget from where all these blessings come. They call for God to help them when they are having problems but forget to thank God when things are good.
Many examples of this type of thinking are found in the Bible. In fact, the book of Judges would be an example. In that book there were seven oppressions (enemies who came against God’s people).
Each time they would cry out to God and he would send a Judge to show them the way back. However, when things got good again, they would forget God was the one giving all the blessings and they would turn away from him.
They were only thankful for a time, not all the time. That still seems to be man’s problem today. They forget to be thankful every day.
Today, mankind is a lot like these people. While Thanksgiving is a great day, all should remember to be thankful every day.