Thanks Be to God!

Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. ~ 1 Thessalonians 5:18

Worship is not only doing what pleases God but also being pleased with what God does.

J. Burroughs

A thankful heart is a worshipping heart. Thankfulness and worship go together. An ungrateful heart cannot truly worship God. Pride and ungratefulness go together.

The Duty of Thanksgiving

One of the main duties of a Christian is to give thanks to God. Giving thanks to God is an imperative for all, especially for God’s people. Gratefulness is Paul’s lifestyle since this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for His people. We are called to thank God in all circumstances. It is our duty to pray with thanksgiving. God wants His people to live with thanksgiving daily. God called us to be grateful whether we are mourning, afflicted, or joyful.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. Philippians 4:6-7 

One of the marks of an unregenerate man is ungratefulness. Unbelievers refuse to express their dependence on God. But as people of God, born of Him by His grace, we have to demonstrate the miracle of God’s transforming grace. Therefore, we must give thanks to God.

Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.
Colossians 2:6-7

It pleases God when we come to Him with thanksgiving. Take note that the verse says, “abounding or overflowing with thanksgiving”. This should characterize a Christian’s life.

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. Col 3:16-17

In the church, where God’s people edify, teach, admonish and sing to one another, everything must be done with a thankful heart. This is the duty of all believers who have been reconciled to God through Christ. This is the distinguishing character of God’s people which Paul affirmed in Col 4:2, Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving

The Manner of Thanksgiving

A Psalm for giving thanks. Make a joyful noise to the LORD, all the earth! Serve the LORD with gladness! Come into his presence with singing! Know that the LORD, he is God! It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name! For the LORD is good; his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations.  Psalms 100:1-5

How shall we give thanks? Do you know how to thank God according to His Word?

We must verbalize it. Thanksgiving is not only merely a verbal communication, it is an action word. We are to give thanks through a hearty expression by faith. The psalmist says that we are to make a joyful noise. This means that we will verbalize what God has done for us since we couldn’t keep it to ourselves. We can’t help but shout for joy because of His faithfulness in our lives.

We must serve the LORD with gladness. We serve the LORD not hesitantly or reluctantly but with gladness. NIV writes, “worship” the LORD with gladness. Serving God is one of the visible manifestations of worship. This is the heart of Romans 12:1.

I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. 

We must come into His presence with singing. To worship without singing is not worship since true worship makes melody in one’s heart (Eph. 5:19). This is a formal call to worship. Psalm 100:4 calls God’s people to “enter” His gates with thanksgiving. Our attendance at the public gathering is an expression of our thanksgiving. We come to God’s temple with God’s people to sing His praise and to thank Him for His extravagance grace.

Addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart,
Ephesians 5:19

The Reason for Thanksgiving

Why must we give thanks? The answer is simple: because it is a command. It is a simple command from our King that demands simple obedience. The Psalmist gave a theological reason. In verse 3, it says “know that the LORD is God, it is He who made us”. We are to thank Him because He is God, He is the Creator and we are His creatures. Before thanking Him for all that He has done, we must thank Him for who He is. God has the right to receive thanksgiving from His creatures. God is the one who fashioned us according to His image. He is the One who breathed life into us that we may live. He is the One who sustains our daily strength. Anyone who does not live with a grateful heart does not fulfill his duty as God’s creature.

I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. Psalm 139:14

Even without creation, God remains who He is. As His creatures, it is not only a privilege to thank and worship Him, it is also a command. In Psalm 139:14, David thanks God because God has fearfully and wonderfully created Him.

We must also give thanks to God because He is good to all. Every day, we receive blessings from above even when we are ungrateful. We must count our blessings.

We must give thanks to God because God loves us. God’s love for His people is manifested through the incarnation, death, and resurrection of Christ. We have more reasons to thank God because He did not only create us but He also redeemed us. We were rescued from the wrath to come by Christ’s righteousness and blood.

Rom 5:8  but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. 
1Jn 4:9  In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. 


For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 
Romans 1:21

In Romans 1:21, thanklessness is one of the reasons why God’s wrath is revealed to all men. Ungratefulness is one of the basis of God’s judgment to all the wicked rebels. Ungratefulness is a sin. In its essence, ingratitude is a rejection of God.

We thank Him because we recognize that God is worthy of thanksgiving. We must recognize that all that we have is by His grace, there is nothing to boast. This is the problem of the church in Corinth (1 Cor 4:7). They failed to recognize that everything they had were gifts from God. The prideful heart is a thankless heart. Only those who have trusted in Christ as their Lord and Savior can truly thank God from a heart changed by His grace.

Whatever growth (numerical and spiritual) we experience, we should not be boastful. We must always thank God. When we thank Him, we recognize that all glory belongs to God alone. This year may have been hard for some of us but the fact that God is, we have sufficient reason to live a grateful life before His presence. We must thank Him for His boundless boundless love. Indeed, thanks be to God for blessings from above.

To God be the glory!

Note: This blog is based on our pastor’s sermon during our church’s Year-End Thanksgiving.

Published by Jeff Chavez

Sinner saved by grace

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