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Scripture Reading: Psalm 107:1-9
Character Building: Be Thankful (Part 11)
1. Ingratitude is an ugly sin. It invariably exhibits a heart that is darkened by human pride, human wisdom and indulgence, Rom 1:21; 2 Tim 3:2.
2. “Count your many blessings” acknowledges God as the Giver and that we are the recipients, Psa 103:1-5.
a. Thank God for His goodness with joy, service, praise, Psa 100.
b. Thanksgiving is to be found in Zion, Isa 51:1-3.
c. Citizens of the kingdom of heaven thank the Lord! Col 3:15
3. Giving thanks should be the natural result of life in Christ (Col 3:3, 10).
4. It is the opposite of self-centeredness, arrogance and rebellion; it springs out of love, joy and praise. Where there is thankfulness we find contentment. Without it, anxiety and lusts abound. Ephesians 5:20
I. WHAT IT MEANS TO BE THANKFUL. [“giving thanks”]
A. “The Grateful Acknowledgment of Benefits Received.”
B. Giving Thanks Presupposes:
1. A review of blessings received. We must count blessings in order to be thankful for them (cf. Phil 1:3).
2. Knowing our blessings come from God. We cannot credit ourselves, cf. Jas 1:17 vs. Dan 4:30.
3. That we are not worthy of the blessing (do not deserve it), 1 Tim 1:12-13.
II. WHEN WE MUST BE THANKFUL. [“always”]
A. Before the Blessing (mindset toward blessings to come), 2 Chrn 20:20-21. Honor for and faith in God’s character and promises (Heb 13:5-6).
B. During the Blessing (reliance), Acts 28:15.
-Aware of God in your life, and that everything is an advantage from Him (Rom 8:28) [even times of trial, uncertainty, distress, pain, etc.].
C. After Blessing is Received (acknowledgement), Exo 15:1; Dan 2:23.
III. WHAT WE MUST BE THANKFUL FOR. [“all things”]
A. Things Physical and Spiritual; Things Ordinary and Extraordinary; Things Received and Withheld, cf. 2 Cor 12:10; 1 Ths 5:18.
1. Paul’s chains: Rejoiced! (Phil 1:12-14, 18)
2. Why and how?
a. All things work together/good, Rom 8:28 (cf. Phil 1:13; 4:22).
b. No exterior force can separate us from God, Rom 8:35-39. Everything can become a blessing in our lives.
B. Be Thankful for God’s Attributes and God’s Works (salvation, the church, word, judgments), Psa 96:1-3 (103:1-5).
C. Be Thankful for Brethren, Family, Food, Life’s Joys and Sorrows, Pleasures and Pain…Everything. 1 Ths 1:2-3 (2 Ths 1:3); 1 Ths 4:4-5
IV. HOW WE EXPRESS OUR THANKFULNESS. [“in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ”]
A. Christ is the Means of All We Receive, Eph 1:3; Col 3:17.
B. We Express our Thanksgiving:
1. By our words: Our lips (prayers and song), Heb 13:15.
2. By our lives (sacrifice/service), cf. Heb 13:16; Col 2:7.
V. WE GIVE OUR THANKS TO GOD. [“to God the Father”]
A. God is the Giver of All Good Gifts, Jas 1:17; Psa 106:1.
1. This does not limit thanks exclusively to Father, cf. 1 Tim 1:12.
a. The Father, Jno 3:16.
b. The Son, Matt 20:28 (1 Tim 1:12).
c. The Holy Spirit, Jno 16:13.
2. The Godhead deserves our eternal thanks.
3. God is the first cause of our blessings, Rom 1:20-21.
1. Ingratitude reveals pride, self-sufficiency, self-satisfaction, and self-love, 2 Tim. 3:1-4.
2. Unthankfulness toward God spawns additional sins of ingratitude; cf. 2 Tim 3:2-5.
3. We have been called by the gospel to peace with God and men – in the body of Christ – be thankful! Col 3:15
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