|background of photo courtesy of pixabay.com|
But how many people in America think about repentance on Thanksgiving, let alone make it one of their top priorities? How many Americans even know just how fundamental repentance is to the holiday – let alone every day – right back to the very creation of Thanksgiving Day? Hit the rewind button to the year 1777, and you may be surprised by what you will discover. The first Thanksgiving proclamation, authored by Samuel Adams in 1777, placed thanking God for His blessings AND repenting of sins as top priorities for the Thanksgiving holiday, according to www.apuritansmind.com.
Now fast forward to 1863. Abraham Lincoln, when he made Thanksgiving an official American holiday, called the people to both repentance and thanksgiving, according to multiple online sources.
Fast forward one more time to the year 2015. When was the last time you thought about repentance?
Repentance, or true godly sorrow over our sins against God and the confession of them as wrong coupled with the decision to turn away from them and to turn unto the living God, is fundamental to our everyday lives, to our future, and to our eternity. Why? Because when we repent of our sins and confess Jesus as Lord and truly believe Jesus Christ died on the cross to pay the penalty for our sins and was raised from the dead three days after His burial, we are forgiven, enter into a relationship with God on earth, and are promised everlasting life with God in heaven instead of eternity in hell. When we repent and place our faith in Christ, we are saved from God’s wrath and born again in that we are given a clean slate and have a fresh start. We are born again spiritually. But just as a newborn baby needs to grow, so do we. Once born again, we are called to leave our old ways behind, to pick up the Bible and study it, and to learn to live our lives according to God’s ways. When we fall again, which we will do, we must confess our sins again and turn away from them, ever learning to walk as the children of God He has called us to be.
The Thanksgiving Day meal will come and go and will soon be forgotten. But your eternal future is contingent on whether you choose to repent of your sins and believe the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and whether you truly commit your life to following Christ by leaving your old ways behind and living the life the Lord has called you to live. For Him.
May your greatest celebration on Thanksgiving Day be your giving of thanks to God AND your decision to confess your sins to God for His forgiveness and a genuine commitment to live your life for the Lord.
“Forasmuch as it is the indispensable duty of all men to adore the superintending providence of Almighty God; to acknowledge with gratitude their obligation to him for benefits received…together with penitent confession of their sins, whereby they had forfeited every favor; and their humble and earnest supplications that it may please God through the merits of Jesus Christ, mercifully to forgive and blot them out of remembrance…it is therefore recommended…to set apart Thursday the eighteenth day of December next, for solemn thanksgiving and praise, that with one heart and one voice the good people may express the grateful feeling of their hearts and consecrate themselves to the service of their Divine Benefactor…” (By Samuel Adams, Continental Congress, 1777, courtesy of apuritansmind.com)
Mar 1:15 And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.
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