By Greg Laurie
Sing praise to the LORD, you saints of His, and give thanks at the remembrance of His holy name.
It seems as though merchants today don’t really know what to do with this holiday called Thanksgiving. When it comes to other observances, like Halloween, they make a lot of money from their marketing efforts. And of course, Christmas is a financial windfall. But Thanksgiving? Well, they sell more turkeys than they usually do. But they don’t really know what to do with this holiday, which is spiritual in its origins.
In 1863, President Lincoln designated November 26 as a day of national Thanksgiving. We celebrated it annually on that day until 1942, when President Franklin Roosevelt designated Thanksgiving as the fourth Thursday in November.
And just so we aren’t fuzzy about which God we should give thanks to, this is what the pilgrims wrote in the Mayflower Compact, in 1620:
We whose names are underwritten, the loyal subjects of our dread sovereign lord King James, by the grace of God, of Great Britain, France, and Ireland King, Defender of the Faith, etc.
Having undertaken, for the glory of God, and advancement of the Christian faith, and honor of our king and country, a voyage to plant the first colony in the northern parts of Virginia. . . .
They were not just coming to our fair shores to simply bring European civilization; they were coming to bring the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. It’s very easy during our feasting to forget about the One whom we are celebrating.
The primary reason we are put on this earth is to glorify God and to give Him thanks. Yet praise and worship are a sacrifice sometimes. The Bible doesn’t say, however, to give thanks to the Lord because we feel good. Rather, it says, “Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good!” (1 Chronicles 16:34). He is worthy of our praise.