The Importance of Thankfulness

The Importance of ThankfulnessText: 1 Thessalonians 5:18

The Bible clearly instructs us to give thanks to God for all things. Our society places particular emphasis upon thankfulness during this time of year. This is good; but as Christians, we are to be thankful at all times. Why is this important? It is about more than just God instructing us to be thankful. There are other reasons given in Scripture showing why thankfulness is important.

Thankfulness Acknowledges the Goodness of God’s Creation

  • Heaven and earth were made by the word of God (Psalm 33:6) – everything was “very good” (Genesis 1:31); therefore, every physical blessing we enjoy in this life can be attributed to Him
  • Paul’s instruction (1 Timothy 4:4) – the underlying point is that because God’s creation is good and useful, we should respond with thankfulness

Thankfulness Acknowledges God’s Grace

  • We are saved by grace (Ephesians 2:8) – this is 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)
  • Illustration of the master/slave relationship (Luke 17:8-10) – no thanks because obedience was expected; we give thanks to God for our salvation (1 Corinthians 15:57; Colossians 1:12) because salvation is not something that is owed to us; it is undeserved

Thankfulness Is Connected to Our Acting According to Diving Authority

  • It is important to remember the need for authority in all things (Colossians 3:17) – this is connected to thankfulness; doing things by God’s instructions, not acting lawlessly, is necessary for salvation (Matthew 7:21-23); but when we act by His authority, we must demonstrate an attitude of thankfulness
  • This is connected to the previous point [grace] – we obey and act by authority, but never earn what we’re given by grace; therefore, while doing all things in His name, we must continue to give thanks as well

Thankfulness Is Necessary to Have the Peace of God

  • Paul said to offer prayers with thanksgiving (Philippians 4:6-7) – we make requests, but the peace of God only comes when the requests are accompanied by thanksgiving
  • With thanksgiving, we recognize all that God has done – this gives us assurance that God is faithful; if we are faithful, He will reward us in the end, no matter what happens in the meantime (Revelation 2:10)

Thankfulness Is Necessary to Serve God Acceptably

  • The Hebrew writer explained how thankfulness is connected with our service to God (Hebrews 12:28) – the Lord is our King and we must serve Him, but not out of compulsion; preaching is done through persuasion (2 Corinthians 5:11), not through coercion
  • We are not to serve grudgingly, but willingly – this willing service comes from a thankful heart as we understand what He has done for us (2 Corinthians 5:15)

Conclusion

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

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