“Give Thanks No Matter the Situation”

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It is a good thing to assemble in the house of God this National Thanksgiving Day because we are reminded in Psalm 50:14 “Offer to God a sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving and make good your vows to the Most High.” Since the passing of the dreadful Ebola virus disease, we gathered in thanking God for His divine providence as a nation and people in bringing us thus far… Amen.

Our relationship with the United States over the years is manifested in our similarity of events such as independence in July, Capitol Hill, the flag, Decoration or Memorial Day, Thanksgiving where in the United States families gather in appreciating God for His divine providence and eating their traditional turkey and going for excursion. As Liberians, we pay homage to our founding fathers that set this day aside for us to give thanks to Almighty God for His guidance and protection over the years as a nation. Amen.

The Israelites were to bless the Lord after eating their fill in the Promised Land. This verse is traditionally cited as the reason we say the grace before or after meals. Deuteronomy 8:10 emphasized the need for the Israelites not to forget God when their needs and wants were satisfied.

Church, oftentimes we forget God when we feel that we have reached the height of success; thus, finding ourselves paying homage to our knowledge, connections, influence and status.

Psalms 103:2 reminds us, “Bless the Lord O my soul and forget not all His benefits”.

As we commemorate National Thanksgiving Day, let us reflect on the blessings and benefits of God that continue to uphold and sustain us as a nation and people. The benefits of God are those things that make one rich and adds no sorrows or uncertainties.

In times of plenty it is easy to take credit for your prosperity and begin to feel that your own hard work, cleverness and position have made you rich or successful. Church, it is easy to get so busy collecting and managing your wealth that you soon find
God being pushed right out of your life. God is the one who blesses us with abundance and it is God who asks us to manage it for Him. Don’t forget God in your abundance, or you will eventually lose all.

A friend once asked me to consider doing my graduate studies in Management but I told her it was not practical because I have been doing management throughout my life. …. As believers, we are managers of God’s creation and we must make sure of managing well what has been entrusted to us. How are we managing our nation and the resources entrusted to us??? My dear brothers and sisters, when you listen to the radio, television or read the newspapers, you get frustrated and disappointed because of the bitterness and grief in our country. We often reference this nation as being on the principles and values of Christianity; but in reality, we are miles apart from those values. How are we giving as a nation when the issue of willful corruption, injustice, concession that benefits the elites and nepotism are the complete order of the day? As we celebrate National Thanksgiving we must soberly reflect how far we have come as a nation and people, thus ensuring that we manage this nation well for the prosperity of all.

Oh church, despite the complaints and arguments about the forward march of our country, I see a brighter and more prosperous Liberia where our children will not be judged by their county of origin but as Liberians. We must speak truth to power and be willing to reconcile our differences as people of one common destiny. We must stop the complaints and trust God for keeping us safe despite the tempest of Ebola, unemployment, poverty, and unequal opportunities. According to Exodus 15:22, the children of Israel complained to Moses because they couldn’t drink the water at Merah because it was bitter. The time is coming as we give thanks when the water of this nation will become sweet and drinkable for all to uphold and share. Despite the bitterness and negative thoughts, we must all work under one collective umbrella in making sure our nation becomes attractive and palatable for all.

Proverbs 3:9 reminds us to honor the Lord with our possessions and with the first produce of our harvest. Don’t give God a Thanksgiving of “Cain”. We must give God our best, our utmost, our treasures, our heart and our soul. The Gospel as recorded in Matthew 6:33 reminds us to seek the Lord at all times because the most valuable thing in life is our relationship with God and eternal life. As we celebrate this national event, let us keep in mind that Thanksgiving is not only the first Thursday in November, but every day in our individual and collective activities.

Remember, only what we do for God will last! God bless you …!

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