There are a lot of big crisis taking place in the world today, but as we approach the American holiday of Thanksgiving, we should stop to take time to thank God for His blessings, but also to pray for an open door for the Gospel of God to go out to the world.
[Darris McNeely] The American holiday of Thanksgiving is upon us. I know those of you listening in Canada, you've already had your Canadian Thanksgiving, but in America, the 4th Thursday of November every year is our traditional day of Thanksgiving. It is a favorite of mine, and I know so many people, it's one of the big holidays because it allows so many people to come together and get together with family, travel, turkeys, football, but hopefully, most of all, thanksgiving.
I have been thinking about that, not only in preparation for getting together with my family, and having a meal and some time off, but also just about my nation, America, the United States, with its place in the world right now, and all that is taking place, my church, the gospel, people response to that. There's so much for us to be thankful for, no matter what is taking place around us, and there's a lot going on in our world right now, with inflation and world crises. But it is a time to stop and to be thankful and reflect on God, and if your heart and your mind is in the work of God, then this particular statement from the Apostle Paul out of Colossians 4 is something that we might take to heart and think about during this time of year. It's in Colossians 4:2, he says, "Continue earnestly in prayer, being vigilant in it with thanksgiving." So, vigilant, continuance, earnest prayer to God, with thanksgiving. Always being thankful for God's blessings, for what we have, where we are in our life. But then he says, "Meanwhile praying also for us," and Paul was writing this from prison, and he's wanting the people to pray for him, "that God would open to us a door for the Word, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in chains." And so, he asks the people to pray for an open door of the gospel, the mystery of Christ.
This Thanksgiving, I encourage you to make that your prayer around your Thanksgiving table during that week, and hopefully beyond, to pray for the work of God, to pray for the gospel of God. I've been thinking about that as I've read reports from our own ministry and the church, the United Church of God, and the far flung needs of our people in India, in Africa, and other places of the world that don't have as much as we have here in the West, in the United States. Most of all, that we can get the gospel of the kingdom of God and Jesus Christ to them, and that they can respond to that, and that the seeds that are sown will bear fruit. Be thankful that we can still preach the gospel, and the freedom to do so, and we have the means to do that. And that once that seed is sown, God, according to His purpose and plan, can call people to salvation and to that gospel of Jesus Christ. And so, make that a prayer of thanksgiving at a time of national thanksgiving that we have.
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