The national habit of observing the last Thursday in November as a day of thanksgiving is fixed by custom and by the proclamation of the President of the United States. It used to be a real “holy-day.” Churches were filled with worshippers with thankful hearts—thankful for the Bible, for the crucified Christ, for freedom of worship. It was a day blessed alike to the believer and to the Benefactor who had made it possible.
Let us who are really believers in the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord come back to it. Let us join the psalmist of old and ask ourselves: “What shall we render unto the Lord for all His benefits?” Let us stop and think a little—every one for himself.
Think! There are the benefits common to us all—the heavens with their glory, brilliantly beautiful. Look up! Lose yourself for a while in contemplation and meditation until your soul exclaims, “Wonderful!” The sun rises and clothes the earth with glory. The brooks ripple a strange, sweet song. The birds carol in ecstasy. Valleys, hills, and mountains are all voicing their praises to God most high. Memory awakes, and visions of past blessings pass before us.
The psalmist’s view was limited. Our vision is extended, for the Lord has spread new pages before us. The psalmist looked “through a glass darkly,” but we have looked into His face; we have heard His message of love; we have seen Him walking amidst the children of men—benedictions from His lips; blessings from His hands.
We have stood with awe and wonder as we have seen Him upon the cross and heard His cry of anguish. Sorrow has filled our soul. But we have seen Him, also, with shining face in resurrection life and heard His voice, “Peace be unto you!”
We have looked into the Holy of Holies where He stands now on behalf of His own. His promise rings out clearly to our eager ears, “Behold, I come quickly and My reward is with Me,” and our hearts leap in anticipation of the day of all days when we shall be with Him and like Him forever.
“What shall we render unto the Lord for all His benefits?” What should we render? How can we withhold anything from Him whose great heart longs for one thing above all others from us: thanksgiving for Himself—God’s unspeakable gift? That covers it all. He gave Himself for us. He is ours. He includes all things. In Him and through Him all things consist. “What shall we render?” Wait quietly now! Give to Him yourself. Let your life be a continual “thank offering” and thanksgiving. Make every day a good, glad day for Him, and you will have rendered to Him that which He will prize above all other gifts which can come to Him from the sons of men.
“Give thanks! give thanks! unto the Lord;
Give thanks! for this is God’s own Word.
Pour out your souls in glad acclaim;
Give thanks to Him, in His own name.
“May every heart with joy be filled,
As every thought to Him we yield;
All that we have,—all we have done,
We owe to Christ, God’s only Son.”
— Dr. T. C. Horton (1929)
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