The unthankful heart discovers no mercies; but let the thankful heart sweep through the day and, as the magnet finds the iron, so it will find, in every hour, some heavenly blessings! – Henry Ward Beecher

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Thanksgiving goes deep into our national heritage. In fact, the newly formed United States first recognized Thanksgiving as a national holiday during the administration of our country’s first president: George Washington. These are words in which President Washington introduced it:

Whereas, it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor;

Therefore, both the houses of Congress have, requested me, to recommend to the people of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer, to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God, Now, therefore, I do recommend next, to be devoted by the people of the states to the service of that great and glorious Being, who is the beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be, that we may then all unite in rendering unto Him our sincere and humble thanks for His kind care and protection of the people of this country.

But, the call to give thanks goes even deeper into our identity and responsibility as disciples of Jesus Christ. Giving thanks is an essential aspect of worship, and worship; is the very reason for our existence. Therefore, take the time to reflect on and respond to this question: what has God done in your life that calls for thanksgiving today?

– Steve Arterburn