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Daily Devotional: Thanksliving (Day 22)

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Daily Devotional Series from Victory Church

Thanksliving Day 22

In biblical times the temple was the center of all activity within the lives of the Israelites so you can imagine the joy they felt as the foundation for the new temple was laid. As verse 13 states “ the sound was heard far away.” David issued a call for the people to come together as a nation to celebrate that God’s love had brought them back to their promised land and also that the temple was being re-established.

From 1861-65, our country was split apart by bloody Civil War, Fellow countrymen took up arms against each other and it was a very sad time in the history of the United States. On October 3, 1863, in the middle of this divisive conflict, President Abraham Lincoln issued a Proclamation of Thanksgiving calling on the nation (much the same as David did) to observes a day of thanksgiving and praise. Here is that declaration:

“The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God. In the midst of a civil war of unequalled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign States to invite and to provoke their aggression, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere except in the theatre of military conflict; while that theatre has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union. Needful diversions of wealth and of strength from the fields of peaceful industry to the national defence, have not arrested the plough, the shuttle or the ship; the axe has enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well of iron and coal as of the precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than heretofore. Population has steadily increased, notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege and the battle-field; and the country, rejoicing in the consciousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of years with large increase of freedom. No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy. It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and one voice by the whole American People. I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens. And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquillity and Union.”

Gratitude In Action

President Lincoln’s words were set against the background of a conflict that pitted brother against brother and within that national turmoil, he realized that our nation needed God and needed to be grateful. We, as a country, need to heed those words today in much the same way they were needed 155 years ago, His call to gratitude goes beyond our churches and should be heeded in every part of our lives. Let us come together in prayer for a humble, grateful and repentant spirit with ourselves and within the hearts of our leaders. Make it your own “Call to Gratitude” and share it on social media.

Daily Devotions from Victory Church

The daily devotions from Victory Church are intended to help guide you through everyday life as you discover God’s purpose for you. We invite you to join our daily devotional email list by contacting us here. If you are interested in coming to visit Victory Church, we offer two Sunday Services – both traditional (8:30 AM) and contemporary (10:45 AM) – at our developing campus in the Eastlake community of Chula Vista, CA.

We hope you enjoy our various daily devotional series’ and hope to see you some Sunday soon!

Devotional Scripture

In the second month of the second year after their arrival at the house of God in Jerusalem, Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, Joshua son of Jozadak and the rest of the people (the priests and the Levites and all who had returned from the captivity to Jerusalem) began the work. They appointed Levites twenty years old and older to supervise the building of the house of the Lord. Joshua and his sons and brothers and Kadmiel and his sons (descendants of Hodaviah and the sons of Henadad and their sons and brothers—all Levites—joined together in supervising those working on the house of God. When the builders laid the foundation of the temple of the Lord, the priests in their vestments and with trumpets, and the Levites (the sons of Asaph) with cymbals, took their places to praise the Lord, as prescribed by David king of Israel.
With praise and thanksgiving they sang to the Lord:
“He is good; his love toward Israel endures forever.”
And all the people gave a great shout of praise to the Lord, because the foundation of the house of the Lord was laid. But many of the older priests and Levites and family heads, who had seen the former temple,wept aloud when they saw the foundation of this temple being laid, while many others shouted for joy. No one could distinguish the sound of the shouts of joy from the sound of weeping, because the people made so much noise. And the sound was heard far away. – Ezra 3:8-13 New International Version (NIV)

About the Author

[ Kay Pflueger ]

Kay Pflueger and her husband Wayne have been members at Victory Church for the last 8 years. Kay is a loving mother and grandmother whose love for the Lord is on display at all times. To contact Kay directly about this devotion, please email her at mommapfluegs@gmail.com.