This and That Special Thanksgiving Edition!

Making the Most of Turkey Time: Thanksgiving on Mission – With family especially, we should consider the long arc. Randy Newman is not afraid to say to Christians in general, “You need a longer-term perspective when it comes to family.” Chances are we do. And so he challenges us to think in terms of an alphabet chart, seeing our family members positioned at some point from letters A to Z. These 26 steps/letters along the way from distant unbelief (A) to great nearness to Jesus (Z) and fledgling faith help us remember that evangelism is usually a process, and often a long one.  It is helpful to recognize that not everyone is near the end of the alphabet waiting for our pointed gospel pitch to tip them into the kingdom. Frequently there is much spadework to be done. Without losing the sense of urgency, let’s consider how we can move them a letter, or two or three, at a time and not jerk them toward Z in a way that may actually make them regress. – David Mathis

Family Tensions and the Holidays – Often, the divisiveness that happens at extended family dinner tables is not because an unbelieving family member decides to persecute a Christian. It’s instead because a Christian decides to go ahead and sort the wheat from the weeds right now, rather than waiting for Judgment Day (Matt. 13:29-30). Yes, the gospel exposes sin, but the gospel does so strategically, in order to point to Christ. Antagonizing unbelievers at a family dinner table because they think or feel like unbelievers isn’t the way of Christ.  Some Christians think their belligerence is actually a sign of holiness. They leave the Christmas table saying, “See, if you’re not being opposed, then you’re not with Christ!” Sometimes, of course, divisions must come. But think of the qualifications Jesus gives for his church’s pastors. They must not be “quarrelsome” and they must be “well thought of by outsiders” (1 Tim. 3:3,7). That’s in the same list as not being a heretic or a drunk. – Russell Moore

My Thanksgiving Prayer – I  pray that this Thanksgiving season may be a time of both rejoicing and reflection, as well as a time of feasting and fellowship. But may it also be a time of rededication and renewal and a time of determination and decision. And I pray that we will each give our whole heart, mind, soul, and strength to the restoration of the principles of liberty upon which our republic was built. Let us renew the Spirit of ’76 in America once more. In the face of whatever danger and challenge that may oppose us, I pray that we will be the ones that will rise up to reclaim the blessings of liberty for our children and our children’s children. So help us, Almighty God! – Chuck Baldwin

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