Lessons from the Thanksgiving Pilgrims (Part 2)

In my previous article, I introduced the importance of the Pilgrims, and shared a little bit of my own heart for my Thanksgiving, and my interest in studying and teaching on the Pilgrims.

This time, we will consider the first three of five essential lessons that we can learn from the Thanksgiving Pilgrims.


The Pilgrims vividly portray the pilgrim-like nature of the Christian life (Heb. 11:13; 1 Pet. 2:11, 12).

This is, of course, the truth for which the Pilgrims have been named, since they lived it out so completely in their spiritual lives. The Pilgrims left all they had in order to seek a place where they might worship God freely and witness for Him fruitfully. Their journeys took them from their homes in Scrooby, England, to Amsterdam and Leyden in Holland, then ultimately across the stormy ocean to this New World.

The Bible admonishes all believers to think of this life with the mindset of a pilgrim, a stranger in the world, a foreigner among the nations of people whose interests are centered upon this earth (Phil 3:20).

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Lessons from the Thanksgiving Pilgrims (Part 1)

There is no question about it—Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday, bar none.

The mere word warms my heart and causes my mind to click through the memories of Novembers long past. It conjures up images of family and dear friends—some now departed—gathered around a bountiful table; of special services at church and shortened weeks of school; of singing grand old hymns which we re-learn usually just once every year; and, most importantly, of giving thanks to God for bringing us safely through another season of life.

For many, many years, there was little secular, commercial connection to Thanksgiving at all—except for sales on turkey, and the occasional silly commercial message, in which those advertising a product dressed up in supposed 17th-century garb. For the most part, though, the closest that retailers got to this celebration was speaking of the day which follows it.

Thanksgiving also has never really been corrupted by worldliness. Few seem to talk about getting drunk for Thanksgiving Day or staying out all night beforehand.

Somehow Thanksgiving—both the day and the action—seems to have a calming effect within our souls. Celebrating it helps us draw a mental line between the cares of the old year and the onset of the new one, while preparing us to remember the birth of Christ in the meantime.

And, perhaps never before has a season of Thanksgiving been as necessary as a healing balm for our spirits as it is during this most trying year of 2020.

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Review of J.I. Packer's A Quest for Godliness: The Puritan Vision of the Christian Life

"A Quest for Godliness, while perhaps not as well-known as Dr. Packer’s most famous works such as Knowing God or Evangelism and the Sovereignty of God, absolutely deserves to be....This book is a collection of essays and writings by Dr. Packer on various subjects related to the Puritans, and taken as a whole; this book is a wonderful introduction to the theology, piety, and ministry of this great generation of believers." - Nate Weis

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Richard Baxter and How to Do Good to Many

Podcast: "Richard Baxter, the English Puritan churchman and theologian, was perhaps one of most prolific English language author in the seventeenth century. ... Baxter’s worldly aestheticism was focused on service to others across sectarian divides. His book, How to Do Good to Many: The Public Good is the Christian’s Life, offers practical guidance to lay people grounded in Christian faith." - Acton

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“Satan tempts us to not fear sin, so that we will not keep a safe distance from it.”

On Thomas Brooks (d.1680):  "Brooks characterized this strategy as 'making the soul bold to venture upon the occasions of sin.' Like many of the devil's lies, it distorts a truth, namely that temptation is not sin. The Christian who is tempted only sins when he surrenders to the temptation; being outwardly tempted is not a sin.

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