By Pastor Bruce K. Oyen and Henry G. Bosch
First Baptist Church
It is November, 2014. During this month each year, many of us Americans celebrate Thanksgiving. It is a time when we not only get together with family and friends to eat good foods and visit, but also to reflect upon and give thanks for our many blessings. The Bible has many statements about the importance of what has come to be called “the attitude of gratitude.” The Old Testament’s Book Of Psalms emphasizes this theme. For example, here is what we read in Psalm 100:
Make a joyful shout to the Lord, all you lands!
2 Serve the Lord with gladness;
Come before His presence with singing.
3 Know that the Lord, He is God;
It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves;
We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.
4 Enter into His gates with thanksgiving,
And into His courts with praise.
Be thankful to Him, and bless His name.
5 For the Lord is good;
His mercy is everlasting,
And His truth endures to all generations.
(Psalm 100 was quoted from the New King James Version, and was taken from this website: http://www.biblegateway.com. “Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.”)
What follows is taken from what was, perhaps, the original book of daily readings called “Our Daily Bread,” authored by two now-deceased men, M. R. DeHaan and Henry G. Bosch. The Thanksgiving reading was authored by Bosch. He quoted the 18th verse of the 5th chapter of apostle Paul’s 1st letter to the Thessalonian Christians. That verse says, “In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” After giving some important historical information about the first Thanksgiving, Bosch shared these good thoughts about the subject. He wrote: “God does not want us to be continually dwelling upon our sorrows and trials, but rather to be meditating on our blessings. Thanksgiving is one of the most delightful blossoms in the garden of sanctification. Few recognize that ingratitude is a grievous sin in the sight of heaven. If our words of complaint and bitterness of the past year were placed alongside of our expressions of gratitude, how truly thankful would we appear?” Bosch then quoted part of a song by J. Oatman, Jr. It says: “Count your many blessings, name them one by one; count your many blessings, and see what God has done.” Bosch then quoted the famous preacher, H. W. Beecher, who said: “Pride slays thanksgiving. A proud man never thinks he gets as much as he deserves.”