Preaching, Teaching, and Notes

Thankfulness

As Thanksgiving day approaches,  let us consider Who it is that gives to us of His fullness.

Romans 11:36 “For of Him, and through Him, and to Him,  are all things:  to Whom be glory forever. Amen.”

1 Thessalonians 5:16-19 “Rejoice evermore.     Pray without ceasing.  

                                             In everything give thanks:  for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

                                             Quench not the Spirit.”

As Christians we are to seek God’s glory first.  We are to shine His light through us, and to witness of Him.

One of the most effective means of “spreading abroad” His light is to give thanks; to be thankful.

I was quite unaware of how much the Old Testament spoke of rejoicing with God, until I read the scriptures through.   It is amazing to see how much God wanted fellowship, even under the restraints of the law, with His own.

Leviticus 7:11-15 speaks of the peace offering.   

It was one big party with God.

You were to bring your peace offering when something good happened.   And you were to sacrifice part of the offering,  then eat the rest of the offering with your family, friends, and the priests.

It was to eaten the same day, unless it was for a vow,  then it could be eaten the second day, as well.

Moses in his instruction concerning their life in the land God gave them:

Deuteronomy 12:5, 7 “But unto the place which the Lord your God shall choose out of all your tribes to put His name there,  even unto His habitation shall ye seek, and thither shalt thou come.

                                       And there ye shall eat before the Lord your God,  and ye shall rejoice in all that ye put your hand unto,  ye and your households,  wherein the Lord thy God hath blessed thee.”

(Three times in this chapter, they are told to “rejoice” before  the Lord.  Deuteronomy 12:7, 12, 18)

                

The Psalms are full of praise, and glory to God.  Most of them are written by David, a man after God’s own heart.

Psalm 30:11-12 “Thou hast turned for me  my mourning into dancing:  Thou hast put off my sackcloth,  and girded me with gladness;

                              To the end that my glory may sing praise to Thee,  and not be silent.  O Lord my God,  I will give thanks unto Thee forever.”

Psalm 150:6 “Let everything that hath breath praise the Lord.  Praise ye the Lord.”

Daniel was constant in his thanks to God,  even when it meant he might  be thrown into the lion’s den.

Daniel 6:10 “Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed,  he went into his house, and his windows being opened in his chamber toward Jerusalem,  he kneeled upon his knees three times a day,  and prayed,  and gave thanks before his God,  as he did aforetime.”

I mention all these, because I was struck by something in Romans:

Romans 1:20-21 “For the invisible things of Him from the creation of the world are clearly seen,  being understood by the things that are made,  even His eternal power and Godhead,  so that they are without excuse:

                              Because that,  when they knew God,  they glorified Him not as God,  neither were thankful;    and became vain in their imaginations,  and their foolish heart was darkened.”

Vain imaginations and darkened hearts begin with unthankfulness to God.

It clearly says that they “knew” about God:  His power and His Godhead.  

But they refused that truth,  not wanting to be thankful to Him!

Christ Jesus said when He was here, talking to Nicodemus.

(And it is right after He says, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”)

John 3:19 “And this is the condemnation,  that light is come into he world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.”

Then He says,  for He came to show the Way to God,  always:

John 3:21 “But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.”

Truth comes from God.   If we yield to it,  God works a work in us:  faith unto salvation. 

Praise and thankfulness is the result of yielding to the Spirit of God.  He gives us the fullness of praise.

Prayer and praise often goes together;  for fellowship with the Lord encourages our joy.

Colossians 4:2. “Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving;”

Philippians 4:4, 6 “Rejoice in the Lord always:  and again I say,  rejoice.

                                 Be careful for nothing;  but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving  let your requests be known unto God.”

                                    

Philippians 4:8 “Finally,  brethren,  whatsoever things are true,  

whatsoever things are honest,  

whatsoever things are just, 

whatsoever things are pure,  

whatsoever things are lovely,  

whatsoever things are of good report;  

if there be any virtue,  

and if there be any praise,  think on these things.”

Paul says, “In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” (1 Thessalonians 5:18)

God’s will is always our privilege to do.

But the giving of thanks to our blessed God in the Trinity of His Persons,  is the strengthening of our bond with Him,   the encouraging of our faith,    fruitfulness in our life,    and a way to grow more in love with Him.

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