I Thessalonians 5:18 “In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you

Tradition teaches us that Thanksgiving is a holiday commemorating the feast held by the pilgrims and Native Americans at Plymouth Rock in 1621. Now I could spend a lot of time sharing with you the historical meaning of Thanksgiving, but I’d like to share with you a different perspective.

What Are We Harvesting?

Just for a moment, consider the impact we would make in the world if we could commit ourselves to harvesting souls this Thanksgiving. By this I mean to see this holiday as an opportunity to get people born again.

I have no problem whatsoever with enjoying a big dinner and visiting with friends and family. As a matter of fact, I look forward to it, but what exactly are we celebrating?

I’m not a pilgrim and I wasn’t there for the feast at Plymouth Rock. However, I can celebrate the harvest. While I’m sure that God appreciates the thanks and praise we give Him at the dinner table, I am convinced He’d be more pleased with a new harvest of souls.

Far too many people in this world live without understanding or knowledge of the Word of God. And it is our job as Christians to spread the Good News. After all, God’s desire is that all become saved (1 Tim. 2:3-4) and experience the abundant life referred to in John 10:10.

First Chronicles 16:8 even says, “Give thanks unto the Lord, call upon his name, make known his deeds among the people.” Everyday should be harvest time!

In Luke 10:2, Jesus referred to God as “The Lord of the harvest.” He told His disciples, “…the harvest truly is great, but the laborers are few: pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he would send forth laborers into his harvest.”

No Laborers, No Harvest

Based on verses 1-9, we know that Jesus appointed the disciples to go to different places around the world to minister to the people they met. He sent them out because the harvest of people—God’s harvest—was great and there was need for laborers to gather them into the kingdom of god.

Therefore, when a person gets saved, they become part of God’s harvest. Are you beginning to see where I’m going here?

This holiday is an opportunity to see the burdens removed and the yokes destroyed in the lives of many. But that can only be done through the anointing—the burden-removing, yoke-destroying power of God (Isa. 10:27). John 1:12 says, “… as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name.”

This scripture is referring to those who believe on the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ. As Christians we are to be Christ-like. Well, Christ’s primary assignment was to do the will of His Father—save the lost.

Look at what He says here: “As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep. And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd” (John 10:15-16).

There are lost sheep in my family and yours. And wouldn’t this be a great time to harvest them in?

Seeing the Manifestation

Child of God, the very act of giving thanks to God activates His power in our lives. That’s why Psalms 50:14-15 says, “Offer unto God thanksgiving; and pay thy vows unto the most High: And call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me.”

In other words, give thanks, turn on the power, and see the manifestation of deliverance. Honey, that’s what getting born again is all about – getting delivered from sin, death and everything else that keeps you separated from God.

So, the power of God, activated through giving thanks, is what will draw people to salvation. It will, in essence, manifest the harvest of souls. When you share the gospel—the good news that Jesus is anointed to remove burdens and destroy yokes—lives will be changed. Like a seed, when the Word of God is planted in the heart, it will produce a harvest (Mark 4:8).

As in times past, many people will visit homeless shelters, hospitals and prisons in an effort to minister to lost souls. If you’re one of them, make sure that you minister the good news while you’re there. But don’t allow it to end there. Let every day here out be a soul-winning day.

Child of God, I encourage you to make this holiday different. Celebrate a new beginning in your family traditions. Share the news of Jesus Christ with your family, friends, and neighbors. Dedicate your efforts to God as a seed. Name your harvest. And I assure you the harvest you reap will make a mark in your life that will never be erased! Enjoy good food, good times and fellowship, but remember the assignment—reach the lost!

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