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A SEASON OF THANKING AND GIVING

We have all come to learn that Thanksgiving Day is a national holiday celebrated primarily in the United States and Canada as a day of giving thanks for the blessing of the harvest and of the preceding year.  The way it is celebrated here in the United States is with families coming together and mostly around different types of meals that often include Turkey.  Since we joined in the celebrations my family and I are always looking forward to this day where we get to eat so much food.  Come to think about it, the celebration should probably be called “Thanks Eating” since that seems to be all we do during this time.  We seem to emphasize the eating part.  I am thinking, if there is something that really must be emphasized during this period shouldn’t it be the “thanks” and the “giving”?  I know in my house we do some round robins about what each person is thankful for, but everyone kind of zips through it very quickly so that we can get to the eating part.

I just want to use this opportunity to encourage us to use this festive period as a time to emphasize thanking and giving.  I have observed that many of us of the Christian stock don’t like playing the Christianity game with our money unless, of course, the Lord is providing it.  I am not trying to make anyone feel guilty with this, I just want to encourage that we put things in the right perspective, because often the reason we do not do some important things is because we lose our perspective.  I want to ask us to have the right perspective during this thanksgiving period and the coming Christmas celebrations.

Since thanksgiving is a period of thanking God for the harvest of the preceding year, I believe we should be applying the principles of harvest. “Honor the Lord with your wealth, with the first fruits of all your crops” – Proverbs 3:9.  So, our harvest thanksgiving must also include some giving.  We can also use the principle of harvest to illustrate what happens when we give and when we don’t.  This is a principle that Apostle Paul made very clear in his letters to the Corinthians in 2 Corinthians 9:6, “Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously.”  And also, the letter to the Galatians in Galatians 6:7, “Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.”  Four principles are evident from these two passages – 1) You cannot reap if you do not sow; 2) You cannot reap something different from what you sow; 3) You cannot reap earlier than you sow; and 4) You reap in proportion to what you sow.

Many of us do not understand this principle.  As it pertains to giving in the Church of God it is not possible to reap what you did not sow.  There is not much that we are able to give God to show our appreciation for all he does for us.  The only thing that costs us is to give out of our sweat, and that is from our harvest.  Our motivation for giving should be because we are thankful for what God has done in our lives. This thanksgiving season if you are wondering whether you have things to be thankful for, consider the following statistics: If you have food in your refrigerator and clothes on your back, a roof over your head and a place to sleep, you are richer than 75% of those who live in the world; If you woke up this morning with more health than illness, you are more blessed than the million who will not survive this week.  If you have money in the bank and in your wallet and spare change in a dish somewhere in your house, you are among the top 8% of the world’s wealthiest. If you can read and write, you are more blessed than 2 billion people on earth who cannot. 

A Season Of Thanking And Giving

We have all come to learn that Thanksgiving Day is a national holiday celebrated primarily in the United States and Canada as a day of giving thanks for the blessing of the harvest and of the preceding year.  The way it is celebrated here in the United States is with families coming together and mostly around different types of meals that often include Turkey.  Since we joined in the celebrations my family and I are always looking forward to this day where we get to eat so much food.  Come to think about it, the celebration should probably be called “Thanks Eating” since that seems to be all we do during this time.  We seem to emphasize the eating part.  I am thinking, if there is something that really must be emphasized during this period shouldn’t it be the “thanks” and the “giving”?  I know in my house we do some round robins about what each person is thankful for, but everyone kind of zips through it very quickly so that we can get to the eating part.

I just want to use this opportunity to encourage us to use this festive period as a time to emphasize thanking and giving.  I have observed that many of us of the Christian stock don’t like playing the Christianity game with our money unless, of course, the Lord is providing it.  I am not trying to make anyone feel guilty with this, I just want to encourage that we put things in the right perspective, because often the reason we do not do some important things is because we lose our perspective.  I want to ask us to have the right perspective during this thanksgiving period and the coming Christmas celebrations.

Since thanksgiving is a period of thanking God for the harvest of the preceding year, I believe we should be applying the principles of harvest. “Honor the Lord with your wealth, with the first fruits of all your crops” – Proverbs 3:9.  So, our harvest thanksgiving must also include some giving.  We can also use the principle of harvest to illustrate what happens when we give and when we don’t.  This is a principle that Apostle Paul made very clear in his letters to the Corinthians in 2 Corinthians 9:6, “Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously.”  And also, the letter to the Galatians in Galatians 6:7, “Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.”  Four principles are evident from these two passages – 1) You cannot reap if you do not sow; 2) You cannot reap something different from what you sow; 3) You cannot reap earlier than you sow; and 4) You reap in proportion to what you sow.

Many of us do not understand this principle.  As it pertains to giving in the Church of God it is not possible to reap what you did not sow.  There is not much that we are able to give God to show our appreciation for all he does for us.  The only thing that costs us is to give out of our sweat, and that is from our harvest.  Our motivation for giving should be because we are thankful for what God has done in our lives. This thanksgiving season if you are wondering whether you have things to be thankful for, consider the following statistics: If you have food in your refrigerator and clothes on your back, a roof over your head and a place to sleep, you are richer than 75% of those who live in the world; If you woke up this morning with more health than illness, you are more blessed than the million who will not survive this week.  If you have money in the bank and in your wallet and spare change in a dish somewhere in your house, you are among the top 8% of the world’s wealthiest. If you can read and write, you are more blessed than 2 billion people on earth who cannot. 

Brothers and sisters, when we give, our generosity results in thanksgiving to the Lord (2 Corinthians 9:11).  So, I want to encourage you in the spirit of biblical thanksgiving that you make it a point to give to the work of God wherever you are sacrificially, willingly, cheerfully, faithfully, and submissively.  May the Lord accept our thanksgiving in Jesus name. – Pastor Simbo Odunaiya

Brothers and sisters, when we give, our generosity results in thanksgiving to the Lord (2 Corinthians 9:11).  So, I want to encourage you in the spirit of biblical thanksgiving that you make it a point to give to the work of God wherever you are sacrificially, willingly, cheerfully, faithfully, and submissively.  May the Lord accept our thanksgiving in Jesus name. – Pastor Simbo Odunaiya

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