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by Dr. R. L. Hymers, Jr.,
Pastor Emeritus

A lesson taught at the Baptist Tabernacle of Los Angeles
Lord’s Day Afternoon, November 22, 2020

Hymn Sung Before the Lesson:
     “Count Your Blessings” (by Johnson Oatman, Jr., 1856-1926).

“These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth” (Hebrews 11:13; p. 1301 Scofield).

The Pilgrims came to America to worship God. They got on a ship called the Mayflower. It was a small ship, no larger than our sanctuary on Hope Street. This little ship sailed from Plymouth, England. In 1620 a small group of these Pilgrims landed on the coast of Massachusetts. They had sailed in this little ship for nearly three thousand miles. They arrived in the dead of winter.

How would you like to get on a spaceship and go to Mars so you could worship God? It would be cold and most of you would die! Many of the Pilgrims got pneumonia. By spring half of the Pilgrims had died. Only fifty-two Pilgrims were alive – only about 22 of them children, under the age of 16.

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A great plague had killed the Indians. There was no one to bury their dead. By the time the Pilgrims landed in Plymouth, none of the Indians were there. They were alone, no one was there to greet them. It was like landing on Mars, four years after all the Martians had died of the plague.

In the dead of winter, the Pilgrims built some small houses. Each house had only one room. The tiny windows let in some light, but you couldn’t see out of them because they were made from old cloth, not from glass.

There was no help at all. If the children could do a little math and read a page out of the Bible, they were finished with school.

The Indians had stayed away. Then one day a tall Indian walked right into Plymouth. The Pilgrims were shocked when he said, “Welcome, Englishmen.” He had learned a few words of English from earlier fishermen. His name was Samoset.

Samoset came back to Plymouth a week later. This time he brought Chief Massasoit and 60 men armed with bows and arrows. Captain Miles Standish and a small group of Englishmen stood with him, ready with their muskets.

The Pilgrims’ governor sat down with Massasoit and made a peace treaty. Peace with the Indians lasted more than 50 years. The Pilgrims’ children often played with the Indian children after this.

Samoset brought another Indian, who spoke English better than he did. Squanto decided to stay in Plymouth and help the Pilgrims. The Pilgrims called Squanto “a special man sent by God.”

The Pilgrims did not know how to grow corn. So Squanto showed them how to do it. You put a few fish under the seeds and then covered them with dirt. That Indian knew that the fish made a great fertilizer. The Pilgrims planted 20 acres of corn that way.

As America grew it became a tradition to celebrate Thanksgiving at harvest time. But people didn’t always celebrate it in the same way.

In 1863 President Abraham Lincoln made Thanksgiving a national holiday. Today we all celebrate Thanksgiving on the same day – the last Thursday in November.

When God blessed the Pilgrims, they declared a religious holiday. They called it “A Day of Thanksgiving and Prayer.” Everyone in the village stopped working and went to church. This was a time to be serious and humble before God!

Please turn to I Corinthians 1:10 (p. 1212).

“Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment” (I Corinthians 1:10).

Sing our hymn – “Count Your Blessings.”

When upon life’s billows you are tempest-tossed,
     When you are discouraged, thinking all is lost,
Count your many blessings, name them one by one,
     And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done.
Count your blessings, name them one by one,
     Count your blessings, see what God hath done;
Count your blessings, name them one by one,
     Count your many blessings, see what God hath done.

Are you ever burdened with a load of care?
     Does the cross seem heavy you are called to bear?
Count your many blessings, every doubt will fly,
     And you will be singing as the days go by.
Count your blessings, name them one by one,
     Count your blessings, see what God hath done;
Count your blessings, name them one by one,
     Count your many blessings, see what God hath done.

So, amid the conflict, whether great or small,
     Do not be discouraged, God is over all;
Count your many blessings, angels will attend,
     Help and comfort give you to your journey’s end.
Count your blessings, name them one by one,
     Count your blessings, see what God hath done;
Count your blessings, name them one by one,
     Count your many blessings, see what God hath done.
(“Count Your Blessings” by Johnson Oatman, Jr., 1856-1926)

1. Give thanks to God for preserving us from the Satanic church split of Chan and Waldrip!

2. Thank God for giving Dr. Cagan and me to lead our church.

3. Thank God for showing Dr. Hymers a new way of soul-winning.

4. Thank God for giving us a world-wide witness to all nations on our website.

5. Thank God for Mrs. Hymers.

6. Thank God for Jack Ngann.

7. Thank God for saving us from Waldrip and Chan.

8. Thank God for Dr. Cagan, our pastor.

9. Thank God for giving us three new languages on the website.

10. Thank God for our children and grandchildren.

11. Thank God for my pastor, Dr. Timothy Lin.

12. Thank God for Pastor Wurmbrand.

13. Thank God for Dr. A. W. Tozer.

14. Thank God for giving President Trump strength to fight the Marxist Democrats.

15. Thank God for Jesus, who made all this possible!