Today America celebrates Thanksgiving – one of the most powerful forces in the universe. When we live with an attitude of gratitude we unleash hidden power to change and impact everything and everyone around us.
Everyone knows the Pilgrims held the first Thanksgiving feast in the newly discovered America. What many people don’t know is just why they were so thankful. It’s because God brought them about so many miracles to keep them alive. Today, we can all be thankful for the life God has given us and learn from the Pilgrims that built America. Let’s discuss how the Settlers can be relevant to our lives today.
The Pilgrims had a vision. The New World gave them a place to live out their faith unfettered and free of persecution. They were dedicated to the belief that every person could communicate one on one with God and that He would answer and lead them. It took that leading and divine intervention over and over again for them to survive their first, harsh winter of 1620 - 1921 in what would later become Massachusetts. Today, it will serve us well to have a vision for our own personal growth, family, community and country. Without a vision we perish. Where there is a vision, there will be a provision.
The Pilgrims knew how to sacrifice. Nearly out of food, they were living on a ration of just five kernels of corn a day. Of the eighteen married women, fourteen died that first winter, sacrificing themselves for the next generation. Desperate Capt. Jones said, “I’m going back to England. I want you all back on my ship. I can’t leave you here.” Not one Pilgrim went back. How easily we give up on ourselves, our marriages and our family today! Instead of having an entitlement mentality, we should learn to make sacrifices like the Pilgrims. Anything worth having will eventually require a fight. Don’t give up. Don’t give in. What you sacrifice and fight for will eventually fall in the hands of your decedents.
Squanto saved the Pilgrims. One of the natives named Squanto was captured and taken to England. There he learned to read and write English. When Squanto returned to America, he was immense help to the Pilgrims. He taught them how to grow the native maize, or corn. He also taught them how to use the plentiful fish in the river as fertilizer to make the corn grow well. Squanto was the providential instrument used by God. Likewise, God has the right people, right connection and the right doors ready to be opened for you and your destiny. If you put you hope and trust in God, He will bring it all together. There’s a healing waiting for you. There’s provision waiting for you. There’s companionship waiting for you. Will you trust God for your Squanto?
Celebrate the goodness of God. The first Thanksgiving went on for three days as English settlers and natives feasted and celebrated side by side. They brought much bounty to the feast, like venison and wild turkey. In the Old Testament the children of Israel built memorial by piling up rocks to remember the goodness of God. Today, we will do good to roundup our family and take some time to vocalize the goodness of God. Thanksgiving is not thanksgiving until we give thanks audibly.
The secret of miracle is to give thanks. The size of our Thanksgiving will determine the size of our miracle. Gov. Bradford put five kernels of corn on everybody’s plate and asked everyone there to share five things they were thankful for that first year. Gratefulness was deeply ingrained value of the Pilgrims. They believed that God was the Provider of everything. We owe everything to our Creator and our Redeemer Jesus Christ. The biggest miracle of Thanksgiving is to remember how a small hardy band of Christians set the stage for what would become the freest, most prosperous and only nation on earth founded on biblical principles. How we live our life, our attitude and our faith in God will determine what world our children and grandchildren will live in. Let us give thanks for this is the will of God.
“Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever” (Psalm 107:1 NIV).
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