Soon Thanksgiving Day will be at hand again. The celebration of this day dates back to our Pilgrim Fathers. It was born through the experiences of much hardship; cold, poor crops, and almost continuous danger of Indians, followed by the blessing of an abundant crop. The people realized and accepted this great crop as a gift from God and decided to set aside a day in which to thank God for His many blessings. Ever since. Thanksgiving Day has been kept from year to year.

However, today, Thanksgiving Day is spent by the great majority of people, in seeking their own pleasure and little thought is given to God as the giver of all things. But the Christian and especially the Reformed Christian thinks differently about it. He has the deep conviction that each day must be Thanksgiving Day. He knows that, according to God’s Word, all things are blessings for them that love God. for all things must work together for their good, even trials and tribulations. And knowing that from the Word of God. we must give God thanks for all things.

First of all, we are thankful for our Christian parents, who teach us to fear God. We are thankful for food, drink, clothing, shelter, etc. But we are not only thankful for the things we would call good and pleasant, but also for sickness, hardship, pain, and hunger. They also must be accepted as blessings for they all bring us closer to Him and that really is the only thing worthwhile—to be near to God and to experience His love and mercy. Then only can we have peace. But those blessings cannot be obtained unless we first have Christ because Christ is the channel through which all blessings flow. If we have Christ, we have all things. In Christ we have forgiveness of sin on the basis of His atoning work, a work that we were unable to do because through the fall of Adam we fell from a state of perfection to a state of total depravity. We have lost the image of God and therewith His favor and communion. Instead of being just, we became unjust, instead of righteous, unrighteous. The result? Everlasting punishment! But it was Christ Who paid the penalty and now we are again righteous in Him, by Grace. We are now justified before God. Again we can enjoy His love and communion and can never fall from it. What a blessing! Shall we then not praise Him and be thankful!

But there is more. In this life, sin still works in our hearts and causes many tears and sorrow and misery. Every night we must confess our sins and ask for forgiveness. But some day, when we are in heaven, we shall be free from all our sin. Then we shall know God as He is and shall serve Him in perfection. There we shall have perfect peace and happiness, forever. And the ungodly? They shall have no rest, no joy but everlasting sorrow, pain, and misery, bearing the curse of God eternally. And we, although no better than they, and also deserving the same punishment, are saved from it by grace through the atoning blood of Jesus Christ our Lord. Seeing what Christ has done for us, our hearts are filled with love and happiness. We fail to find words to express the overwhelming joy and gratitude with which our hearts are filled and so we speak the simple words, “Our heavenly Father. we thank thee!” That is thanksgiving!

The book of Proverbs was written by King Solomon to his young adult son. Solomon’s purpose in writing Proverbs was “that the generation to come might know them [God’s wonderful works]…that they might set their hope in God, and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments” (Ps. 78:6–7). Throughout the book, Solomon […]

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The Christian is placed in many different circumstances while on this earth. Some are characterized by hardships and trials, and others are full of joy and peace. How should the Christian respond? Throughout the Bible there are numerous times where God’s people sang in response to their various circumstances. Singing in response to God’s ordering […]

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The group of churches that John writes to in this trio of epistles had recently experienced a split because of doctrinal controversy. We do not know the exact content of the error that these false teachers were spreading, but it is apparent from John’s writing that their teaching somehow denied the truth of the incarnation—that […]

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Jael: An Example of Christian Warfare

This article was originally presented as a speech at a Protestant Reformed mini convention held at Quaker Haven Camp in August 2021. Jael lived during the era of the judges. Deborah the prophetess was the judge who served Israel at the time of Jael. During this time, the Canaanites under the rule of king Jabin […]

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Indiana Mini Convention Review 2021

One of this year’s “mini conventions” was hosted by Grace and Grandville Protestant Reformed Churches at Quaker Haven Camp. Located just over two hours away in northern Indiana, the camp was a perfect fit for the 120 kids and 15 chaperones who attended. A total of twelve different churches were represented: Byron Center, Faith, First […]

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Editorial, November 2021: Catechism Season

At the point that this edition of Beacon Lights arrives in the homes of our subscribers, most young people in the Protestant Reformed Churches will have been sitting under the catechism instruction of their pastor or elders for more than a month. If our readers are honest, that observation probably comes with a (quiet) sigh […]

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