A Word From the Pastor Nate
Brothers and sisters in the Lord,
I return to the series on prayer. We are looking at one method to pray known as ACTS.
Today we examine thanksgiving. Any time we praise God we can focus on who the Lord is and what the Lord has done for us. First, let us look at a few passages in Scripture that cover thanksgiving.
Any Christian music, preaching, or teaching should be based on, grounded in, rooted in Jesus and Scripture. We read the Bible because the Lord, through the Holy Spirit, inspired the Word of God (Bible) to reveal the Triune God to us: Father, Son, and Spirit.
Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever." 1 Chronicles 16:34
Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful." Colossians 4:2
"Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus." 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
For everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, because it is consecrated by the word of God and prayer." 1 Timothy 4:4-5
"Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for our 'God is a consuming fire.'" Hebrews 12:28-29
What does God teach us about having an attitude of thankfulness?
Gotquestions.org has an excellent article on the topic. We should show gratitude to the Lord in all circumstances. Just as our joy does not depend on our situation, thankfulness should be consistent in all seasons of life.
Gratitude is a prominent Bible theme. First Thessalonians 5:16-18 says,
“Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
Did you catch that? Give thanks in all circumstances. Thankfulness should be a way of life for us, naturally flowing from our hearts and mouths.
Next, there is a close relationship between prayer and gratitude.
Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. Colossians 4:2
If we have a consistent prayer life, then close contact with the Lord and Scripture will produce thanksgiving in us.
Furthermore, God has bound joy and thanksgiving together. Gratefulness to the Lord leads us to joy. Having joy produces thankfulness. In other words, a thankful believer has joy in their life because of who God is and what He has done for us. Having an eternal perspective focused on our relationships with the Lord leads us to lives of both gratitude and rejoicing. If we seek Christ we gain everything. If we live for ourselves eventually we lose everything.
Just as we are studying in Psalm 1, we have two paths we can choose. There is a way of life and a way of death. We can be bitter or we can focus on the God who is the giver of all God things including Himself. We are commanded throughout Scripture to have gratitude.
This day pray to the Lord praising Him for who He is and what He has done. Dwell on the fact that the all-powerful Lord of heaven and earth loves all who call upon His name and follow him. All books of sacred Scripture testify that Yahweh sent his only begotten son so that you may have abundant life. Examine your life and think deeply about what God has done for you. God rejoices in the praises and prayers of His children, of His covenant people, of His family.
If you would like to study this topic in greater detail, see the following links:
May the Lord watch over you this day and forever,