Giving Thanks to God

Text: 1 Thessalonians 5:18

As the Thanksgiving holiday is approaching, many are focusing on their blessings. Of course, recognizing our blessings and showing gratitude for them should not be confined to a single day. However, this does serve as a good reminder of the attitude that we should have at all times. So in this lesson, we will discuss what we should be doing always – giving thanks to God.

Give Thanks to Whom?

  • We give thanks to God (Ephesians 5:20) – He is the source of every good thing (James 1:17)
  • We may also have reasons to give thanks to our fellow man for various things, but we will focus on giving thanks to God here

Why Should We Give Thanks to God?

  • The Creation – everything He made was “very good” (Genesis 1:31); He placed man over His creation (Genesis 1:27-30); this was a gift for us
  • His providence – God also cares for us (Psalm 8:3-4); He continues to bless us and provide for us (Genesis 8:22; Acts 14:17)
  • The scheme of redemption – this was His eternal plan (Ephesians 3:11); He worked to bring this about from the beginning (Genesis 3:15; 22:18)
  • The sacrifice of Christ – a willing sacrifice by both the Father and the Son (John 3:16; 10:18); provides forgiveness of sins (Ephesians 1:7); offers us freedom from sin (Romans 6:17-18)
  • The church – we can be part of the body of Christ (Ephesians 1:22-23); the institution that was divinely designed to carry out God’s work (1 Timothy 3:15); the place where we can get help and encouragement (Ephesians 4:16; Hebrews 10:24-25)
  • The word of God – revealed through the work of the Holy Spirit (2 Timothy 3:16; 1 Corinthians 2:10); tells us about God and who He is (1 Corinthians 2:10-11); shows us the Lord’s will for us (1 Corinthians 2:16); revealed so that we could understand (Ephesians 3:4)
  • The hope of heaven – this is a “free gift” (Romans 6:23); better than anything this life has to offer (Matthew 16:26); an eternal reward (Matthew 6:19-21; 1 Peter 1:4)

How Do We Give Thanks?

  • Verbally expressing thanks to God (Hebrews 13:15) – through prayer (Philippians 4:6; Colossians 4:2); through singing (Colossians 3:16); however, we need to do more than just say we are thankful (cf. 1 John 3:18; Hebrews 12:28)
  • Using what we have been given – use our physical blessings to take care of ourselves and others (2 Thessalonians 3:7-9; 1 Timothy 5:8; 6:18); use the sacrifice of Christ to obtain forgiveness and crucify the old man (Acts 22:16; Romans 6:6-7); use the word of God to learn, grow, and teach (1 Timothy 4:13, 15; 1 Peter 2:2; 2 Timothy 2:2); use the church to work, worship, and give/receive encouragement (Ephesians 4:16; Hebrews 10:24-25); use the promise of heaven to motivate us (Philippians 3:12-14)
  • Worshiping and serving God – praise Him because He is worthy of praise (Acts 2:47); serve Him daily (Romans 12:1; Luke 9:27)
  • Looking to Him for future blessings – everything we have ultimately comes from God (James 1:17), so we must trust in Him (Matthew 6:33; 2 Corinthians 9:6-8); everything we hope to gain is from God (John 14:6; 1 Timothy 1:1) and we have no hope without Him (Ephesians 2:12)

Conclusion

  • Every good thing that we have or hope to obtain is possible because of the Lord
  • We must always we grateful to Him for what He has done and promised – in response, serve Him

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