November 22, 2005

The Coming Thanksgiving

1547 page13 capOW MUCH GOOD MIGHT BE DONE if we would make a right use of our associations with one another! Every one who has received of the heavenly benefits is under obligation to shed some light on the pathway of others. In all our associations we are to be witnesses for Christ. Then all those who truly love God will cease their idolatry of self.

Let this be the case in the coming Thanksgiving. Employ your powers to a better purpose than in cooking a variety of food with which to gratify your appetites. Employ that time in becoming missionaries for God?s cause, seeking how much you can do to turn the attention from self to the Lord our Creator. Gather up the offerings. Set the mind to running in a different channel than has been your custom. Let your works correspond with your faith. See what you can do toward turning your thoughts heavenward in place of upon earthly appetite and selfish indulgence. Wisely improve your powers in gathering up the smaller and larger offerings for the Master, and thus present a true thanksgiving to God. Make the most of your social position and influence to advance the interests of God?s cause in the earth.

There have been so few true Thanksgivings to God! Everything has been turned from God and heaven to earth; and now let us make every effort in our power to turn the mind back to God, away from earth, away from selfish interests, and away from self-serving. We know but little of the experience of self-denial. We must know more of it, weaving benevolence into our daily experience.

1547 page13There never was a time when we needed to begin to understand our duty to God as now. Let the questions be asked in sincerity, Am I a Christian (Christlike)? Am I showing my loyalty to God, and interestedly engaged in His service? Am I doing His word as well as hearing it? Let every one, young and old, feel the responsibility of his stewardship. All are in their Master?s service. If those who profess to be Christians expend money needlessly when there are so many missionary enterprises that demand all the means that can be spared by every one of us, they are unfaithful servants.

When about to purchase some article that is not essential, remember that the means thus invested, if not necessary for health or comfort, is so much retained for selfish purposes that ought to have been invested in the cause of God. It might have added some really necessary article of food or apparel to the needy poor around us. Cannot we, upon the coming celebration of Thanksgiving, make a thanksgiving for others through our thoughtful sympathy and deeds of love and kindness? We may bring rays of sunshine into many a heart that has long been desolate.

How many in the Christian world will upon this Thanksgiving obey the injunction of Christ, ?When thou makest a feast, call the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind, and thou shalt be blessed; for they cannot recompense thee; for thou shalt be recompensed at the resurrection of the just.? Instead of inviting those who have many good things in this life, and who cannot appreciate the favors of a feast, invite to your homes the needy, the poor, the widow, the fatherless. To the ones who have an abundance we have shown honor; but the ones who were really in need, who would esteem our favors as of great value, we neglect because they are poor, as though they did not belong to the Lord?s family.

The poor as well as the rich are under God?s care. Then let us keep Thanksgiving in God?s own way, and no longer follow the customs of the world, selfishly heaping our favors upon a few favorites, and neglecting the ones precious in the sight of the Lord, though slighted and neglected by those who profess to be the children of God.

The above is excerpted from an article titled ?The Coming Thanksgiving? that first appeared in the Advent Review and Sabbath Herald (now the Adventist Review) on November 18, 1884. Seventh-day Adventists believe that Ellen G. White exercised the biblical gift of prophecy during more than 70 years of public ministry.