This week most Americans will be celebrating Thanksgiving Day. This particular holiday is unique to our country and goes back to the time the English Pilgrims crossed the Atlantic in 1620 on the Mayflower, the ship that would bring them to a new world. They landed on what is on the eastern shore of the United States.
After the first year in which so many of the English died of disease, they gathered with some Indians from the Wampanoag tribe who had helped them build shelters, hunt for food and plant crops. Even though there was initially some trouble between the Pilgrims and Indians, they had become friends and shared a feast of celebration - a day of giving thanks to God for His faithfulness in supplying what they needed to survive.
So, 391years later, we're still celebrating. We are greatful for all the blessings God has given us. We gather with family and friends to devour way too much good food. Thanksgiving Day is the beginning of what we call 'The Holidays', the crowning glory being Christmas, the day we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ.
Our celebration will be tinged with sadness this year because of the recent loss of a young family member, mother of three children, who lost her battle with breast cancer. Enid was beautiful, inside and out, a loving wife, an amazing mom. She was not a flamboyant, 'look-at-me' type of person. She was more the quiet type who did what needed to be done without a lot of fanfare.
Last week at her memorial, a large church was filled to the brim with family and friends who loved her and came to honor her. The procession to the cemetery where she was to be buried was miles long and with the guidance of two policemen, brought traffic to a halt. I think what she would have loved most about her memorial was the praise and honor given to the Lord, Enid's Savior and Friend through all the pain and suffering she endured.
So many people heard the gospel that day. There may have been some there who had never understood what happens to a Christian believer when they die. Now that they are safe and secure in the loving arms of Jesus. There is a special place that God has prepared for us. We will live with Him eternally - a life so much fuller than anything we experience here on earth.
John 14: 1-2 (Jesus speaking) "Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, trust also in me. In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you."
John 14:6 Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me."
The book of Revelation reveals who Jesus is and that one day, the old order of things will pass away. There will be a new heaven and a new earth. Those whose names are written in the "Lamb's book of life" are the ones who have accepted Jesus as the One who has washed them clean of all sin and made them whiter than snow (Psalms 51:7). Only He can do that; we can't clean up ourselves. We can't earn our way to heaven by being good or loving. . .only by faith in Jesus.
This is a wonderful place to be. God gave John a glimpse into heaven and he wrote about it in Revelation 21:4 . . .
"He (God) will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain. . .
Peter wrote about the inheritance we believers have from God, one that will never perish, spoil or fade - kept in heaven for us, shielded by God's power. I Peter 1: 3-4. Have you noticed that nothing lasts very long here on earth? What we have today, we may not have tomorrow. What is good and perfect can be taken away from us.
Lord we thank you for welcoming Enid. She will be missed so much by so many. We are grateful for the years she spent here. I trust you Lord, you never make a mistake and you work everything together for good. Thank you for such a beautiful memorial so clearly showing others the faith Enid had in her Savior.
Bobbe Van Hise
- Over the past few years my blog has been visited by people from all over the world. Very few know me, or of me, they simply are looking information concerning the Bible and discover my blog. After many years of intense study and teaching, I've come to believe we are vulnerable to misguided and incorrect teaching if we don't understand for ourselves the teaching of God's Word. My 'hot buttons' are - grace, sovereignty, exhortations and sanctification. If you understand these basic principles of Scripture, and apply them to daily life, you will understand what it means to have peace, joy and absolute security in any circumstance.