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Thanksgiving took on a new meaning in my life

Charles Empey

From the time I understood my surroundings, Thanksgiving was one of those great times in my life.

All my cousins and I would get together for a great day of fun. We played games indoor and out all day. And, oh the food! Lots of food. The goal was always to eat our way to dessert and then all day long we would break from our games time and again to return to where the food was gathered to a long table and we’d start over again and again. As we got older, we were told the history of Thanksgiving and why we celebrate it and how it is a great time to be thankful for our country and so much more.

Oh, we weren’t Christians, but we weren’t so bad either.

Year after year, Thanksgiving has come and my view of it all sort of evolved to a more and more mature view of the holiday.

Then it all changed in context of celebration when I heard the Gospel for the first time. That is the first time I had heard how I was dead in trespasses and sin, and that I was judged by God and His Word as being lost to a place called hell in that condition.

Then that great Gospel revealed the Person of that great news who established my way to heaven out of that condemnation, and that if I was connected with Him through repenting from my sin and sinful life and believing on Him (Jesus) to save me from it all, I’d be saved forever…I would receive eternal life. I repented and received, believing on Jesus Christ the Lord as my personal Savior. I’m saved for heaven forever!

My Thanksgivings suddenly changed in context, giving the ultimate to be thankful for every day, but on Thanksgiving it is now the first declaration of thanks, and that to God and His Son, my Savior, Jesus Christ.

Ephesians 2:1-7 “And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, 2 in which you once walked according to the [a]course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, 3 among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others. 4 But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, 5 even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), 6 and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.”

The beauty of this great gift of God is stated clearly in verses 8 and 9.

 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.”

Jesus saved me free of charge.

He didn’t ask me to do one religious work to give me such salvation, just repent, turn from living after sin and believe on Him to save me forever.

That will change anyone’s view of what to celebrate on Thanksgiving.

Thank you Lord Jesus for dying for me, rising from death and the grave for me. Now I have your resurrected life living in me forever. I’m forgiven.

Charles Empey is the Interim Pastor of Cove Baptist Church, Orange, Texas