I Am Thankful
1. I am thankful to be an American citizen where each person enjoys freedom, in this "land of the free and home of the brave."
2. I am thankful to God "from whom all blessings flow," both of a material and spiritual nature (Jas. 1: 17; Matt. 5:45; Eph. 1: 3).
3. I am thankful for God's simple inviting all people to become children of God, after learning of His plan of salvation (Jno. 6:44,45; Jno. 1:12; Gal. 3:26,27; 1 Cor. 15:1-4; Rom. 1:16; Mk. 16:15,16; Matt. 11:28-30).
4. I am thankful that in God's plan of forgiveness to Christians, those who err or backslide are required to repent of and confess their sins in order to get back into a spiritual or proper relationship both with their fellowman and with God (Lk. 15:1132; 1 Jno. 1:9; Jas. 5:16; 5:19-20; Acts 8:17-24).
5. I am thankful that God requires men on earth to be willing to forgive each other before the Lord forgives in heaven (Matt. 6:14, 15). Christians cannot be right with God while at the same time they hold a grudge against a brother.
6. I am thankful that the Lord requires all Christians to assemble together for worship (Heb. 10:25), and by so doing be edified in the faith (Acts 2:42).
7. I am thankful to the Lord that His plan requires children to "honor" their father and mother, or to care for them in their old days (Ps. 37:25; Eph. 6:2; (Ex. 20:12), knowing that one who will not take care of his own "has denied the faith and is worse than the infidel" (I Tim. 5:8).
8. I am thankful for the County and State welfare agencies and for the many good deeds they do, for their concern for the poor and the needy, and that a tax is assessed from all citizens with a part of this tax ear-marked to see that worthy and helpless, both adult and children, axe cared for. I am thankful also that these agencies encourage Christians and others who are qualified by character and who are financially able, to adopt or take into their homes helpless or homeless children, while at the same time all welfare agencies recommend infants and homeless children be taken into private homes, and discourage the building of institutional orphan homes. Even in Hamilton, Ohio, they are making an effort to do away with the "Children's Home," it being replaced by the foster home plan (See JOURNAL NEWS, Sept., 1966).
9. I am thankful that the Lord's church is set up with local leadership of a plurality of elders in every congregation (Acts 14:23; .20:28-29; 1 Pet. 5:1-4; Heb. 13:17), so that their oversight will be limited to the local membership of ONE congregation.
10. I am thankful that the elders axe the ones qualified (I Tim. 3:1-16) and know how to conduct both the work and worship of their respective local groups so that never should there be any desire for any elders, preacher, pope, etc., to lord it over God's heritage (I Pet. 5:1-4).
11. I am thankful that in case of famine (emergency) brethren from other congregations can and have sent to relieve needy brethren (Acts 11:27-30). Numerous cases might be mentioned, but the apostolic principle will suffice. But one will search in vain for any case where there was ever any setup where one group of egotistical elders, either "State-wide" or "Nation-wide," begged for money to operate a program that would tie together churches of Christ over the nation. If a radio program or television program is too much for a group of elders, let them arrange one that will fit their budget. Those who would read what took place back in 1849 when the American Christian Missionary Society caused a major split may see page 88 of CHURCH HISTORY by John D. Cox.
12. I am thankful to God for His inspired word which is complete and adequate for 0 Christians for all ages (2 Tim. 3:16,17; Jude 3; Acts 20:27; 2 Pet. 1:3; 1 Tim. 4: 1-4; Jno. 9).
Finally, I would be thankful to any honest, sincere Christian who would point out to me scriptural ways of doing a better job.
TRUTH MAGAZINE, XI: 5, pp. 7-8