Thanksgiving is only a couple of weeks away and we should rightfully give thanks for the blessings of life. What should we be thankful for? If we followed the Pilgrim’s example, it would be for spiritual blessings much more than material. After all, they had sacrificed to the extreme not for worldly reasons but for the freedom to live their lives with freedom to control their own lives. No longer did they need to worry about persecution or pressure to conform to a religious system they rejected. Now, free of the past, they had the future to make or break by the grace of God. Here is one answer given for why the Pilgrims came to America:
The pilgrims came to America in search of religious freedom. At the time, England required its citizens to belong to the Church of England. People wanted to practice their religious beliefs freely, and so many fled to the Netherlands, where laws were more flexible.
Of course, many left the Netherlands to board the Mayflower which required dramatic sacrifices to be made for freedom to come to America.
Now, take a moment to think this through please. We are all pilgrims here on earth according to God’s Word and He has purchased our freedom from sin so that we can live with Him in heaven in absolute freedom from sin and its consequences. We must ask the question. What is more important – our material blessings or the spiritual doors that Christ has opened for us by His Perfect Sacrifice on the cross? It is important that we challenge ourselves to raise our understanding of what Christ has done for us. That really was the driving force behind the Pilgrims. They did not want to live under the burden of religion. They wanted to enjoy the love of God which was a free gift apart from the law. They were living out Galatians 2:20-21.
I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!
The greatest gift we have been given is Jesus Christ as the sacrifice for our sins. He has made it possible for all who believe to enter the true Promised Land (which of course was America for the Pilgrims). Do we identify with the Pilgrims? What are we most thankful for or what should we be most thankful for?
Next week, we will look at a personal example of what it means to be deeply thankful for the forgiveness of our sins.