Thanksgiving

Ephesians 5:20

Giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Psalm 34:1 – “I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth.

Isaiah 63:7 – “I will mention the lovingkindnesses of the LORD and the praises of the LORD, according to all that the LORD has bestowed on us, and the great goodness toward the house of Israel, which He has bestowed on them according to His mercies, according to the multitude of His lovingkindnesses.”

Hebrews 13:15 – “Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name.”

I Peter 2:5 – “You also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.”

Colossians 3:17 – “And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.”

INSTANCES OF THANKSGIVING

  • Jacob – Genesis 32:10 – “I am not worthy of the least of all the mercies and of all the truth which You have shown Your servant; for I crossed over this Jordan with my staff, and now I have become two companies.”
  • Samuel – 1 Samuel 7:12 – “Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Shen, and called its name Ebenezer, saying, “Thus far the LORD has helped us.”
  • David – 2 Samuel 9:1 – “Now David said, “Is there still anyone who is left of the house of Saul, that I may show him kindness for Jonathan’s sake?”
  • Daniel – Daniel 6:10 – “Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went home. And in his upper room, with his windows open toward Jerusalem, he knelt down on his knees three times that day, and prayed and gave thanks before his God, as was his custom since early days.”
  • One of the ten lepers – Luke 17:15-17 – “And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, returned, and with a loud voice glorified God, and fell down on his face at His feet, giving Him thanks. And he was a Samaritan.  So Jesus answered and said, “Were there not ten cleansed? But where are the nine?”
  • For victory over death – 1 Corinthians 15:57 – “But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”

I Will Praise the Lord

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

The Psalms were set to the accompaniment of stringed instruments and served as the temple hymnbook and devotional guide for the Jewish people, The tremendous amount of subject matter in the Psalms includes diverse topics, such as jubilation, war, peace, worship, judgment, messianic prophecy, praise and lament.  It is the largest, perhaps most widely used, book in the entire Bible.  It explores the full range of human experience in a very personal and practical way in its 150 songs.

Originally unnamed because of the wide variety of material, it became known as the “Book of Praises”.

The Greek word Psalmoi became an early title for this book and where we get the word Psalter and Psalm. 

Sometime take a look at the different chapters throughout the Psalms and you will find verse after verse starts with the words “I will”.  “I will praise Him, I will lift up my voice, I will sing unto the Lord, I will bless the Lord, I will, I will, I will.”   “I will” is a positive declaration of the individual who is determined to praise the Lord.  It is something you must decide.   You can choose not to praise God or to praise Him.   If you simply do not choose to praise Him, it is an act of defiance which is rebelling against the Word of God which is sin.   You can come to church week after week and sit or stand in the presence of Almighty God and either praise Him or not.  You have that right.  Praise takes many forms from a simple singing of the songs or saying amen to clapping your hands and many other forms.  God wants you to praise Him.  

As a result of praising God your heart will be lifted, your cares and burdens made lighter, and you will feel a warmth and joy that only God can give.  It is far beyond my ability to think that man, woman, boy, or girl would not want that from God when it requires so little effort.

The prophet Malachi in the book by his name probes deeply into several practices of the people of his day.  One of those was the offering of polluted offerings.  When the law was given by Moses from God, the children of Israel were under a system of rules that were complex and very regulated.  Offerings of various types were to be made for different occasions.   In the book of Leviticus we find a list of all the sacrifices they were to offer.  Those sacrifices and offerings included a peace offering, a burnt offering, a meal offering, a guilt offering, a sin offering and a daily sacrifice.  Those can be found in Leviticus 1, 2, 3, 5, 7, 16, and 29.

Now, thank God, we do not have to do all that ritualistic sacrifice and offering, but God does want us to offer the sacrifice of praise, of worship.  There is a correlation between the offerings of the sacrificial system in the Old Testament and praise and worship of the New.   Let us look at the Word of God.

Malachi 1:6-9 – A son honors his father and a servant his master.  If then I am the Father, where is My honor?  And if I am a Master, where is My reverence?  Says the LORD of hosts to you priests who despise My name.  Yet you say, ‘In what way have we despised Your name?’  You offer defiled food on My altar, but say, ‘In what way have we defiled you?’  By saying ‘The table of the LORD is contemptible.’  And when you offer the blind as a sacrifice, is it not evil?  And when you offer the lame and sick, is it not evil?  Offer it then to your governor!  Would he be pleased with you?  Would he accept you favorably?” says the LORD of hosts.

He said go invite your governor and offer him a meal that is diseased and see how he likes it…then ask yourself, why would I offer this to God almighty God?  But now entreat God’s favor, that He may be gracious to us.  While this is being done by your hands, will He accept you favorably?” says the LORD of hosts.”

Did you hear that question?   We should ask that same question of ourselves when we offer halfhearted praise in His house.  How many times do we come into church and instead of focusing on praising and honoring God, we look around to see who is here, we talk to the one sitting next to us, we let our mind wonder to where we will eat lunch?  How would we behave if the president or some sports figure or famous person was speaking to us?  

Is God pleased with the praise that we offer?  Not just here in the church.  Even more important, what about our daily life?  We need to do a self check to make sure our praise, our life, our worship is from the depths of our heart and is truly meaningful.  Our praise is to an Almighty God.  He is worthy.  He is worthy, He is worthy.

Malachi 1:10-14 – Who is there even among you who would shut the doors, So that you would not kindle fire on My altar in vain? I have no pleasure in you,” says the LORD of hosts.  Nor will I accept an offering from your hands for from the rising of the sun, even to its going down My name shall be great among the Gentiles.  In every place incense shall be offered to My name, and a pure offering and a pure offering; for My name shall be great among the nations,” says the LORD of hosts. But you profane it, in that you say ‘The table of the LORD is defiled; and its fruit, its food, is contemptible.’  You also say, ‘Oh, what a weariness!’ and you sneer at it says the LORD of hosts “ And you bring the stolen, the lame, and the sick.  Thus you bring an offering.  Should I accept this from your hand?” says the LORD?  “ But cursed be the deceiver Who has in his flock a male and takes a vow  But sacrifices to the Lord what is blemished—For I am a great King,” says the LORD of hosts.   “ And My name is to be feared among the nations.

Over and over again in this passage He states several different ways “My Name shall be great”.  By the sincere offering of the sacrifices and now in our day, our praise and worship, we glorify God.  As we do, we are a witness to the unbeliever of the goodness of God.  In other words if you want to be a good witness…praise God by the way you live your life, the way that you worship Him, the way you exalt His name….You will be blessed as a result and others, including the nonbeliever will begin to take notice.   

Malachi 2:1-3 – And now, O priests, this commandment is for you.  If you will not hear, And if you will not take it to heart, to give glory to My name,” says the LORD of hosts.  “I will send a curse upon you, and I will curse your blessings.  Yes, I have cursed them already, because you do not take it to heart. “Behold, I will rebuke your descendants and spread refuse on your faces, the refuse of your solemn feasts; and one will take you away with it.

In this passage God is simply saying the refuse (or dung) I will not receive and in fact will smear it in your face because it is unacceptable.  He further states that our children will be cursed if we follow this pattern.    

If you are going to praise the Lord, do it in a praiseworthy manner, in song, in praise, in conversation, in word and deed.  Let your thoughts, your words, your deeds, your praise so honor God that men will see your good works and glorify God.

Colossians 3:23 – and whatever you dodo it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men,

Matthew 5:116 – Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.

I Thessalonians 5:16-18  – Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

God Gives Joy, But You Must Rejoice

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

Paul wrote to the church at Thessalonica that they should rejoice always and give thanks in everything.  Note:  Not “for” everything, but “in” everything.  We may not be thankful for trials and difficulties we face in this life, but we can be thankful that God is with us and gives us strength for the day.

Jesus gave us one main reason why no matter the situation we can rejoice.  We have a precious promise from Him that this life is not all there is.  He is coming again and we will be with Him. 

John 14:1-3 – “Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me.  In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.”

Luke 10:20 – “Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rather rejoice because your names are written in heaven.

Romans 12:9-13 – “Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good.  Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another; not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer; distributing to the needs of the saints, given to hospitality.”

The Psalmist made it clear that rejoicing is a choice.  Over and over he said “I will.”

Psalm 101:1 – “I will sing of mercy and justice; to You, O LORD, I will sing praises

Psalm 104:33 – “I will sing to the LORD as long as I live; I will sing praise to my God while I have my being.”

Psalm 116:17 – “I will offer to You the sacrifice of thanksgiving, and will call upon the name of the LORD.”

Psalm 118:21 – “I will praise You, for You have answered me, and have become my salvation.”

Philippians 4:4 – “Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice.”

Nehemiah told the Israelites as they returned from captivity of Babylon to Jerusalem that it was joy of the Lord that would give them the strength they needed as they began to rebuild their country. 

Nehemiah 8:9-10 – “Then he said to them, ‘Go your way, eat the fat, drink the sweet, and send portions to those for whom nothing is prepared; for this day is holy to our Lord. Do not sorrow, for the joy of the LORD is your strength.’”

Isaiah wrote that because we can trust in the LORD and gain strength from him, because we have salvation through Him, we can have joy and praise the LORD.

Isaiah 12:2-6 – “Behold, God is my salvation, I will trust and not be afraid;  for YAH, the LORD, is my strength and song; He also has become my salvation. Therefore with joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation.  And in that day you will say:  ‘Praise the LORD, call upon His name; declare His deeds among the peoples, make mention that His name is exalted. Sing to the LORD, for He has done excellent things; this is known in all the earth.  Cry out and shout, O inhabitant of Zion, for great is the Holy One of Israel in your midst!’”

It is in His presence we can find complete joy.  If your joy is running low, spend some time in His presence, reading His word, listening to songs of praise, praying developing that close relationship with Him. 

Psalm 16:11 – “You will show me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy; at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.”

  • Joy is contagious – START AN EPIDEMIC!
  • You can stay depressed, oppressed, possessed, suppressed if you want to.  But as for me, I WILL PRAISE THE LORD!!!

1 Corinthians 5:17 – “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.”

SO PRAISE HIM!!!!!!

Believer’s New Clothing

Colossians 3:12-14

Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do. But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection.

A BELIEVER IS THE ELECT OF GOD

  • Elect is Greek word electors and means chosen, one picked out from among the larger group for special service or privileges.  It is used to refer to Christ as the chosen Messiah of God (Luke 23:35) and believers as recipients of God’s favor (Matt. 24:22; Romans 8:33; and Col. 3:12).
  •  

Matthew 24:22 – And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect’s sake those days will be shortened.

Romans 8:33 – Who shall bring a charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies.

Colossians 3:12 – Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering;

  • Chosen to be holy.  Holy (haggis) means set apart or separated.  Believers have been chosen to be separated from the world and its sin, and set apart for God.
  • Chosen to be the beloved of God.  Believers have been chosen to receive God’s love through Christ Jesus and to experience this new love of God. 
  • This passage is therefore for the believer, the one who has accepted Christ and experienced His forgiveness and His love.  Paul is not writing to the world – he is writing to the Christian.

A BELIEVER IS TO PUT ON NEW CLOTHES

  • Put on enduno is a picture of a man putting on clothing.  The concept is that when we accepted Christ, we took off our old garments of sin.  Now we must put on something new or we will be naked. 
  • Mercy oiktirmou is compassion, pity, tenderness.  As a Christian, we are to have compassion and reach out to meet the needs of those lonely, hurting, depressed, homeless, hungry, aged, widowed, orphaned, etc.

Isaiah 58:6-7 – Is this not the fast that I have chosen;…to undo the heavy burdens,…Is it not to share your bread with the hungry, and that you bring to your house and poor who are wandering; When you see the naked, that you cover him and not hide yourself from your own flesh?

Micah 6:8 – He has shown you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God

Acts 20:35 – I have shown you in every way, by laboring like this, that you must support the weak. And remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.

Hebrews 13:3 – Remember the prisoners as if chained with them—those who are mistreated—since you yourselves are in the body also.

  • Kindness chrestotes is goodness in action, gentleness in dealing with others.  The ability to act for the welfare of those who tax your patience.  As a Christian, we must be gentle in our actions and our conversation with others.  We must show goodness, not only to those we like, but to those who irritate and even provoke us.

Luke 6:35 – But love your enemies, do good and lend, expecting nothing in return…

1 Corinthians 13:4 – Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up.

Ephesians 4:32 – And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.

  • Humility tapeinophrosune means modesty, total absence of arrogance and conceit, an attitude of unselfish concern for others

1 Peter 5:5 – …all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility for God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.

James 4:6 – But He gives more grace. Therefore He says: ‘God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.

James 4:10 – Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up.

Titus 3:1-2 – Remind them to be subject to rulers and authorities, to obey, to be ready for every good work, to speak evil of no one, to be peaceable, gentle, showing all humility to all men.

  • Meekness praotes means a disposition that is even-tempered, tranquil, balanced in spirit, unpretentious and that has the passions under control.  This does not mean someone who is weak, but rather of someone who has power and strength under control. 

Matthew 5:5 – Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.

James 3:13 – Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show by good conduct that his works are done in the meekness of wisdom.

  • Long-suffering makrothumia means patient endurance, ability to endure persecution and ill-treatment.  It describes a person who has the power to exercise revenge but instead exercises restraint.

James 1:2-4 – My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience (endurance or perseverance).  But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect (mature) and complete, lacking nothing.

Ephesians 4:1-3 – I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

  • Forbearance anechomai means to persevere, tolerate put up with, stand firm and not lose courage under pressure.  As Christians we must “put up with” and “tolerate” the failures, bad habits, irritating behavior and mistreatment of others.

Romans 15:1 – We then who are strong ought to bear with the weaknesses of the weak, and not to please ourselves.

Galatians 6:2 – Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.

Ephesians 4:1-3 – I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

  • Forgiveness charizomai means to know kindness unconditionally, give freely, and forgive freely.  This word is from the same root word as grace.  The example we are to follow in our forgiving is the example of Christ.  We forgive others only to the degree that Christ forgives us.  Since Christ forgives us of any and every sin and forgives us over and over, we must use that standard as our standard of forgiveness.

Mark 11:25-26 – And when you stand praying, forgive, if you ought against any; that your Father which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses…

Luke 17:4 – And if he trespass against you seven times in a day, and seven times in a day turn again to you, saying, I repent, you shall forgive him. 

Matthew 6:14-15 – For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.  But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

Matthew 7:1-2 – Judge not, that you be not judged.  For with what judgment you judge, you judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you.

A BELIEVER’S MOST ESSENTIAL GARMENT IS LOVE

  • Love is the most important part – “Above all these things”

1 Peter 4:8 – And above all things have fervent love for one another, for love will cover a multitude of sins.

  • Love is the bond that makes us complete.  If a believer really has love, then the above qualities will follow. 

Mark 12:29-31 – The first of all the  commandments is…you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul…the second is…You shall love your neighbor as yourself.  There is none other commandment greater than these.

A BELIEVER IS TO ALLOW PEACE TO BE THE UMPIRE

  • Peace from God.  Peace elrene means an absence of strife, calmness.

John 14:27 – Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. 

John 16:33 – These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation (thlipispressure, oppression, stress, adversity, affliction, crushing distress.  The word is used for crushing grapes or olives in a press); but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.

  • Peace is to rule.  This is a command, not a suggestion.  The peace is from God, but we make a choice rather we accept his peace or not.  Rule brabeueto means to act as an umpire.  Peace is to be the deciding factor in all situations that arrive in our life.  Matthew Henry said it this way, “Let this peace rule in your heart-prevail and govern there…as an umpire (let it) decide all matters of difference among you.” 

Isaiah 26:3-4 – You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You.   Trust in the LORD forever, for in YAH, the LORD, is everlasting strength.

Psalm 119:165 Great (rab – abundant, many, large in number, of major importance, significant) peace have those who love Your law, and nothing causes them to stumble.

  • Peace is to rule because we have been called to be one body.  The church is to act and behave as one people in union with each other.  The only way we can do that is to let peace be the umpire in the differences and conflicts that arise.

Ephesians 2: 14 – For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation.

Psalm 34:14 – Depart from evil and do good; Seek peace and pursue it.

1 Peter 3:11 – Let him turn away from evil and do good; let him seek peace and pursue it.

Romans 14:17 – For the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.

  • Peace is something we are to be thankful for.  We are thankful for the peace Christ has given us personally and to the church collectively.

Philippians 4:6-7 – Be anxious (merimnao – distracted, preoccupation with things causing anxiety, stress and pressure) for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; 7 and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

Ephesians 5:20-12 – Giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, submitting to one another in the fear of God.

A BELIEVER IS TO ALLOW THE WORD OF GOD TO LIVE IN HIS HEART

  • The choice is up to the believer – “Let”
  • The word is to dwell (enoikelot – to make a home) in the believer’s heart richly.  A believer is not to be satisfied with a small portion of God’s Word.

Deuteronomy 11:18 – Therefore you shall lay up these words of mine in your heart and in your soul, and bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes.

Psalm 119:11 – Your word I have hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against You.

John 15:7 -“If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.

2 Timothy 2:15 – Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

2 Timothy 3:16 – All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.

  • The word is to dwell in our hearts so that we can teach and counsel one another.

2 Timothy 2:2 – And the things that you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.

2 Timothy 2:24 – And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient.

A BELIEVER IS TO USE PSALMS, HYMNS AND SPIRITUAL SONGS

  • Many different ways of worshipping and sharing God’s Truth.
  • Our worship is to be with grace in our heart.  That word grace (charis) comes from the same root as joy (chara) and to rejoice (chairo).  Grace causes rejoicing.  It is the word for God’s grace to sinful man.  So, we sing with joy in our hearts because of God’s grace to us.  That is why we can sing with joy even in difficult times, even when we are sorrowful.  For the reason we sing, God’s grace to us, remains the same regardless of our circumstances.

A BELIEVER IS TO DO ALL IN THE NAME OF JESUS

  • To the Jewish world in the first century A.D., a person’s name stood for the person themselves.  Even in our country, there was a time when a man did not need to sign a contract to validate an agreement.  His name was enough.  Often children were warned, “Don’t disgrace the family name.”  The name stood for the family and their reputation.
  • So, to do all in the name of Jesus, means to represent Jesus in all we do and say.  We must never do anything to bring dishonor on His name.  It means to live our lives trusting and depending upon Jesus in every circumstance.  It means to let the motto WWJD (What Would Jesus Do?) really be a part of our lives.
  • Would Jesus go here?
  • Would Jesus say this?
  • Would Jesus read this?
  • Would Jesus watch this?
  • Would Jesus laugh at this joke?
  • Would Jesus listen to this music?
  • Would Jesus wear this outfit?
  • Would Jesus treat his neighbor this way?
  • Would Jesus do his job this way?
  • Would Jesus go to church this often?
  • Would Jesus spend his money this way?
  • It means to let the presence of Jesus saturate, overflow our lives and all we do, say and are.

Colossians 3:23 – Whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men.

1 Corinthians 10:31 – Whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.

A BELIEVER IS TO DO ALL THINGS WITH THANKS

  • Giving thanks (eucharisteo) means to be grateful, to express gratitude.  We need to be a grateful people, expressing freely our thanks to God.

Ephesians 5:20 – Giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Hebrews 13:15 – Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name.

Colossians 3:17 – And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.