The Importance of Thankfulness

Text: Ephesians 5:20

Our society places particular emphasis upon thankfulness during this time of year. Christians are to be thankful to God at all times. Why is this important? The Scriptures give several reasons why thankfulness is important.

Thankfulness Acknowledges the Goodness of God

  • When God created the earth and everything in it, it was “very good” (Genesis 1:31)
  • Every physical blessing we enjoy in this life can be attributed to Him
  • Paul’s instruction regarding eating of certain foods (1 Timothy 4:3-4) – because God’s creation is good & useful, we should respond with thankfulness

Thankfulness Acknowledges God’s Grace

  • We are saved by grace (Ephesians 2:8) – not unconditional; there are certain things we must do to be saved (Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38; Romans 10:9-10; 1 Peter 3:21)
  • But salvation is a gift because it cannot be earned (Romans 6:23)
  • Master/slave relationship (Luke 17:9) – not common for one to be thanked for doing what was expected; yet we thank God for salvation (1 Corinthians 15:57; Colossians 1:12); therefore, we can conclude that salvation is not something that is owed to us, but is undeserved

Thankfulness is Connected to Our Acting According to Divine Authority

  • Important to remember the need for Bible authority in all we do in service to God – connected to thankfulness (Colossians 3:17)
  • Doing things by God’s instructions, rather than acting lawlessly, is necessary for salvation (Matthew 7:21-23)
  • Though we obey & do things according to His authority, we will never earn what is given to us by God’s grace – therefore, while we do things in His name, we must continue to give thanks as well

Thankfulness is Necessary to Have the Peace of God

  • Paul told the brethren in Philippi of the need to offer prayers with thanksgiving (Philippians 4:6-7)
  • We make requests of God in prayer – but the peace of God only comes when the requests are accompanied by thanksgiving
  • Why? … with thanksgiving we recognize all that God has done; have assurance that God is faithful; know that He will reward us in the end, no matter what happens in life

Thankfulness is Necessary to Serve God Acceptably

  • Hebrew writer explained the importance of thankfulness in connection with our service to God (Hebrews 12:28)
  • The Lord is our King & we must serve Him – but this service is not out of compulsion, but is voluntary; we are not to serve grudgingly, but willingly
  • This willing service comes from a thankful heart – understand what God has done for us (2 Corinthians 5:15)

Conclusion

  • God has done so much for us – physically & spiritually
  • We must be thankful for these things – not take them for granted
  • Express gratitude in our prayers, speech, actions – at all times throughout the year

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