As I mentioned last week I will be posting the outline for our Wednesday topical Bible Study starting at 7pm in our fellowship hall. Remember all are welcome to attend, and if you are part of another fellowship we are not intending to pull you away but to simply share a midweek Bible Study with believes.
(Wednesday February 11, 2015)
Give thanks to the Lord
When we think of giving thanks to the Lord many of us think of grace, or giving thanks to the Lord for the food He has provided; (John 6:11; And Jesus took the loaves, and when He had given thanks He distributed them to the disciples, and the disciples to those sitting down; Acts 27:35; And when he had said these things, he took bread and gave thanks to God in the presence of them all;) and we should thank God for the food He has provided, but we have so much more to be thankful for.
First lets understand what thanksgiving means. Thanksgiving can be both a verb and a noun, taken from the Hebrew (Towdah), which means to give praise and thanksgiving in an attitude of worship, and the Greek (eucharisteo), to be grateful to God in an attitude of worship through giving thanks.
It is so easy for us to complain, it’s almost as natural as breathing. But why is it so difficult to be thankful, to offer up praise for all that God has done for us. We seem to notice everything that doesn’t go right, and all that we don’t have, failing to see all that God has blessed us with.
A. As believers, if we are grouping to think of what we have to be thankful for it means we are taking our salvation very lightly;
1. Rom 7:23-25; But I see another law in my members warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. 24 O
wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? 25 I thank God — through Jesus Christ our Lord! 2 Cor 9:15; Thanks be to God for His
a. We deserve hell and death and instead we are receiving heaven and eternal life
b. That alone is enough for us to be eternally thankful. When Paul was praying to be healed the Lord spoke to him saying; 2 Cor 12:9; He said to me, “My grace is
sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.”
B. We must keep in mind that it is impossible to praise and worship our Great God without having a heart of thanksgiving. If we are angry, depressed and biter how can we praise and give thanks to our great God. Understand this does not mean we are never down, or even depressed at times because of our circumstances, but that does not have to lead to bitterness. (James 3:11; Does a spring send forth fresh water and bitter from the same opening?) No matter how difficult our circumstances we belong to God, are saved, and going to be with Him for eternity.
- Heb 13:15-16; Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name
a. To sacrifice means to do that which cost us something.
b. It’s easy to give thinks when everything is going our way, but it is a sacrifice of praise to give thanks when things are
not going our way, or are difficult.
- This is why we are to give thanks in and through all situations, and circumstances;
a. Eph 5:20; giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ,
b. 1 Thess 5:18; in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
C. One other thing we can all be tankful for is the ministry God has called each one of us too.
1. This ministry can be in our home, at work, in school, or wherever the Lord has placed us.
a. Col 3:17; And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the
Father through Him.
b. We are exposed to and have an opportunity to be a witness to people no one else is.
c. We are, or should be the aroma of Christ everywhere we go; 2 Cor 2:15; For we are to God the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among
those who are perishing.
- For a Pastor this ministry is not only a great blessing butalso a lifelong responsibility.
a. 1 Tim 1:12-14; And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord who has enabled me, because He counted me faithful, putting into the ministry, 13 although I was formerly a
blasphemer, a persecutor, and an insolent man; but I obtained mercy because I did it ignorantly in unbelief. 14 And the grace of our Lord was exceedingly
abundant, with faith and love which are in Christ. (Paul took very seriously the ministry God placed him in.)
COMMENT; As with Paul the pastoral ministry is not an educational, or career choice, it is a calling as only the Lord can put a man in the ministry, and only the Lord can give the tools necessary for ministry.
D. One of the primary reasons we gather together on Sunday is that we may offer up thanks to the Lord through our praise and worship. (Heb 10:24-25; And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, 25 not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching)
- Ps 35:18; I will give You thanks in the great assembly; I will praise You among many people. Ps 30:4; Sing praise to the Lord, you saints of His, And give thanks at the
remembrance of His holy name.
- Ps 69:30; I will praise the name of God with a song, And will magnify Him with thanksgiving. Ps 100:4; Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, And into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name.
E. Lets look at some other verses that give us reason to be thankful.
1. Because His mercy is not only applied at our salvation but forever; Ps 106:1; Praise the Lord! Oh, give thanks to the
Lord, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever.
- Because He always leads us in triumph leading to our final victory; 2 Cor 2:14; Now thanks be to God who always
leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place.
- Because He is able to remove our anxiety when we ask; Phil 4:6; Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God;
- Because He alone can give us true peace; Col 3:15; And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were
called in one body; and be thankful.
- Because His creation declares His nearness to each of us; Ps 75:1; give thanks to You, O God, we give thanks! For Your wondrous works declare that Your name is near.
And if all this isn’t enough to be eternally thankful, the final conclusion is this, in the end we will reign with the Lord; Rev 11:17; saying: “We give You thanks, O Lord God Almighty, The One who is and who was and who is to come, Because You have taken Your great power and reigned. Rev 20:6; Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection. Over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years.