Happy Thanksgiving

“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks;
for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”

1 Thessalonians 5:23

On this eve before Thanksgiving, we begin to turn our attention to the day ahead with great anticipation. Beloved families and friends will gather together from near and far. The dinner table will be laden with our favorite foods, and we will give thanks to our Heavenly Father for the blessings that make this gathering possible.

As much as the Thanksgiving holiday is a day of gratitude, it is also a day of sharing. Had it not been for the kindness of Native Americans sharing their bounty with defenseless Pilgrims seeking refuge in a foreign land, all of the struggling families may have perished. It is with this same compassion and caring for others that we must live each day, tirelessly responding to Christ’s call to help our neighbors in need without discrimination.

We ask that you remember the children, families, refugees, disabled and elderly around the world who are suffering in the face of poverty, war or natural disaster. Despite the distance that may separate us from those in need, we are nevertheless bridged by Christ’s love. The willingness to share your blessings with them carries with it the power to help transform thousands of lives around the world. And so we embrace the message of St. John to aid those who suffer for “if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him?” (1 John 3:16) By sharing your abundance today, you commend the larger vision of unity that lies before us, and you open your heart to greater love for others and to the everlasting grace of our Lord.

From our family here at Bible Community and Ministerbook.com, we humbly thank you for your support in looking to us as your resource for Holy Scripture readings and verses, and we pray that the abundant blessings of our merciful God be with you and your family during Thanksgiving and always.

Each year, Bible Community gives back by supporting a worthwhile charity that is making a difference in the world. This year, we are supporting the efforts of IOCC, an international, faith-based humanitarian organization that has been sharing compassion and care for those in need since 1992, with nearly $500 million in assistance provided to vulnerable families and communities in more than 50 countries. Through IOCC’s work, impoverished families in Greece have access to fresh, nutritious food and medical care; struggling farmers in the Holy Land are learning new ways to grow cash crops and rise out of poverty, and the children of Cameroon are thriving with access to clean, safe drinking water.

As one of few humanitarian agencies working inside Syria to aid nearly two million people uprooted from their homes and displaced in their own war-torn country, IOCC demonstrates daily the impact of paying gratitude forward. You can help the victims of poverty and conflicts around the world, like Syria, by making a financial gift to the International Emergency Response Fund which will provide immediate relief, as well as long-term support through the provision of emergency aid, recovery assistance and other support to help those in need. To make a gift, please visit iocc.org/novembergifts or call toll free at 1-877-803-IOCC (4622), or mail a check or money order payable to IOCC, P.O. Box 17398, Baltimore, MD 21297

Thanksgiving is the one holiday that has not been hijacked by our secular world.  (With the exception of “Black Friday” which now starts on Thanksgiving Day in many instances).  We have so much to be thankful for, yet to the born again Christian, everything we thank God for pales in comparison with our appreciation for the shed blood of Jesus Christ and our salvation: “For by grace are ye saved through faith…”  Ephesians 2:8a.  Have a blessed Thanksgiving and thank the Lord for the bounty He has given to all of us.  Pastor Steve

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