As we enter this Thanksgiving season, General Overseer of the Church of God, Cleveland, Tennessee, Dr. Timothy M. Hill offers the following message and greeting:
“As believers, washed in the blood of our Lord and Savior, every day should be a day of thanksgiving to us. We need to develop a lifestyle of thanksgiving. You might say that we need to turn Thanksgiving into Thanks-living – and make it a year-long celebration.
Psalms 100:4 (KJV) should be ever on our minds as we are directed to ‘enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise: be thankful unto Him, and bless His name.’ While we certainly want to set aside a special time like Thanksgiving Day to be thankful, every day should be a day of Thanks-living for those of us who are looking forward to making Heaven our eternal home.
I encourage you to make Thanksgiving Day a time where you especially show your thanks to your family, your friends, and to our Lord – and not just a time to eat and maybe do a little early Christmas shopping.
I am amazed when I read some of the purported facts about Thanksgiving. Some 280 million turkeys, weighing over 7 billion pounds, will be sold for consumption on Thanksgiving Day. More than 20% of all cranberries that are eaten in the U.S. each year will be consumed on Thanksgiving. And it is estimated that more than 40 million green bean casseroles and 50 million pumpkin pies will be served on Thanksgiving – and on average, every adult in the U.S. will consume more than 3,000 calories on that one day.
While most of us concentrate on the food that will be served – and how we look forward to eating until our hearts and stomachs are content, I want to challenge you that while you are Thanks-living to never forget those who are less fortunate than we are. It is estimated that 795 million people, about one out of every nine people on earth, will go to bed hungry tonight. Another 100 million people are homeless worldwide, with a million or so of those in the United States. In addition, while you are enjoying a lifestyle of Thanks-living, say a prayer for your ‘neighbor’ that may be struggling.
During this special season of the year where we stop to give thanks, it might even help to make a list of things you want to express thanks for this year. My list includes my wonderful wife and partner in ministry, my daughters and sons-in-law, my incredible and precious grandchildren, the great family that I have in the Church of God, as well as a wealth of friends around the world – and the list could go on and on.
Again, while you enjoy your turkey and all the fixings this Thanksgiving, I encourage you to take a few minutes and give God thanks for all the blessings He has given to you. Most importantly, give thanks that ‘God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.’ John 3:16 (KJV).
Finally, let us all be thankful that as the body of Christ, we can participate in laboring together to help Finish the Great Commission as we await the coming of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.”