Here in the United States, today is Thanksgiving Day.
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It was originally a day that our first President, George Washington, designated as a day to give thanks for the creation of our National Constitution. Today most people believe it started when the earliest settlers in this country shared their first harvest with the Native Americans who literally saved their lives by showing them how to farm the land.
I believe the most important thing people should be thankful for is the sacrifice that Yeshua (Jesus) made when he allowed himself to be crucified, becoming a substitution for the animal that was to be brought to the temple in Jerusalem.
The Torah states that we can only sacrifice to God where he has placed his name (Deut. 12:14):
Be careful not to offer your burnt offerings just anywhere you see, but do it in the place Adonai will choose in one of your tribal territories; there is where you are to offer your burnt offerings and do everything I order you to do.
When Yeshua rose from the grave, that was proof that his sacrifice was accepted by God, and from that moment on, we were able to receive forgiveness of sin through Yeshua’s sacrifice, which meant that receiving forgiveness was no longer geographically restricted. After the temple in Jerusalem was destroyed by the Romans, only those who have accepted Yeshua as their Messiah are able to receive forgiveness of sin.
As a Jew, I am exceptionally thankful to Yeshua for what he did for me, as well as the many people God placed in my life, both for good and for evil, who eventually helped me find and accept Yeshua. It is very hard for a Jewish person to accept Yeshua because of what Christianity has done to him. They have removed everything Jewish from him, and modern Christianity is based not on what Yeshua taught, but what Constantine (and all those who followed after him) created. Not to mention how many millions of Jews have been tortured and murdered over the past two millennia, all in the name of Jesus Christ.
We should be thankful for what we have, and not worry about what we don’t have. Sometimes we want more than we really can afford and even though we make ends meet, we find that the sacrifice we have to make to have something, just to have it, isn’t really worth it. Instead of being thankful for that thing, we begin to resent it because of all the other things we might have had.
We should also be thankful for all that we don’t have: if you’re not sure what I mean, think of everyone you know or have heard of with tsouris in their life that you don’t have in your life, and I think you will understand.
The apostle Shaul (Paul) once wrote (Philippians 4:12-13):
“I know how to live humbly, and I know how to abound. I am accustomed to any and every situation— to being filled and being hungry, to having plenty and having need. “
He accredited this to finding his needs and strength in the Messiah. That is what we can do, as well.
Finally, just as everything else humans get their grubby little hands on, this day dedicated to thanksgiving has been polluted with sports events, parades, and marketing mania. Instead of being a day we can get together with family to give thanks for so many things, we get together with family, all right, but it’s to watch football and eat until we burst. Maybe there is a general sense of being thankful, but is it real? Are we genuinely taking the time to thank God for all we have? Even if all we have is a little, it is better than nothing, and even those with nothing still have their life and the opportunity to make it better.
As you enjoy your holiday (and yes, the turkey, too), be thankful for all that you have and all that you have yet to receive. Today is for you to appreciate what God has given you, and whether you have a lot or a little, whatever you have is more than someone else has, so be thankful.
One last thought: this holiday is just one day of the year, but we should be thankful every moment of every day, all year long.
I am thankful for you, and appreciate you being here. Please subscribe and share this ministry with others, and remember that I always welcome your comments.
Until next time, L’hitraot and Baruch HaShem!