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Many have heard of Christmas in July, but have you every thought of Thanksgiving in June and every other month? Psalms 118:1 says, “O give thanks unto the Lord; for he is good: because his mercy endureth for ever.” Every verse in Psalm 136 ends with, “For his mercy endureth for ever.” The Psalmist truly wanted us to ponder God’s mercy (goodness, kindness, faithfulness). Today if you were to enter a gift shop, you would probably find a section that had several items that say “Grateful, Thankful, Blessed.” That saying can be seen on T-shirts, flags, mugs, wall hangings, thank-you notes, magnets, hand towels, notepads, and even packages of tissues! It seems many people know we are blessed, and we as Christians should lead the way in being grateful and thankful.

If you ask Christians what they are thankful for, the top answer is often for their salvation. Romans 1:16 says, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.” We should be thankful that the Gospel that brings salvation is available to all people, both Jews and non-Jews. In the Old Testament, God told Jonah to go to Nineveh, a wicked Gentile city, to preach repentance. However Jonah ran to Joppa and boarded a ship sailing for Tarshish. After God dealt with Jonah (he was thrown overboard, swallowed by a great fish, and suffered for three days), Jonah chose to obey God and preach to Nineveh. Because of God’s mercy, the whole Gentile city repented and were saved!

But the Gospel was first widely preached to Gentiles in Acts 10. Cornelius, a Gentile, feared God and was very faithful in praying and giving to others, but he did not know about salvation. Because of a message from God, he called for Peter to come. Peter was in Joppa. There God gave him a vision and told him not to call any man common or unclean. Peter went to the home of Cornelius and explained the Gospel to him and his family. Many were saved. The Gospel then spread to both Jews and Gentiles throughout the world. Be thankful that because of God’s mercy, the Gospel is for all people – including you and me!

(Come with us to Israel to see Joppa, modern Tel Aviv-Yafo, and many other Bible places.

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