“Thankfulness”

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Many years ago, I heard a faithful pastor pray the following words: “O Lord, open the eyes of the lost, grant them ears to hear the gospel [Romans 10:17], grant them eyes to see the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ [2 Corinthians 4:6]; And O Lord, turn their ‘never saying they are sorry’ to you; to a heart of true repentance; and their ‘never saying thank you’ to you; to a life of thankfulness. Amen.” 

So, it’s with the topic of thankfulness to which we will now turn. If there is one obvious characteristic of all unbelievers, it is that they are typically characterized by being discontent and unthankful. Take notice the next time you go out to eat, of how many people around you who do not give thanks to God for the food that they are enjoying (Psalm 145:15). Consider also how God has provided and still provides for them both before and after they have entered the restaurant. Remember, that He daily provides for: their physical sustenance and atmospheric existence (Matthew 5:45; Genesis 2:7), … their daily ability to physically be able to work and make a living (Ecclesiastes 2:24), and … their family relations (Ecclesiastes 9:9; Psalm 127:3). In other words, God is worthy of mankind’s praise and absolute devotion, not only because of who He is; but, because of his utter benevolence toward those, who apart from Him, would never even consider acknowledging Him. As sad as that picture is about the unthankful spirit of the unbelieving world, few things are as ugly as a professing believer who is marked by an unthankful spirit. Such unchristian conduct is certainly the epitome of self-centeredness and the obvious sin of megalomania. Instead, Christians must daily aim to be, “giving thanks always … for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Ephesians 5:20). Such a pursuit is the natural outflow of a spiritually-healthy walk with God, a life that understands what he has received in Christ (Colossians 2:13). Dear reader, are you dominated by a thankful spirit? I pray so. And my hope is that all believers would aim to pray daily for each other that we all might live the following words of Paul, “... be thankful. Let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing ... singing ... with thankfulness in your hearts to God ... giving thanks to God the Father through him” (Colossians 3:15-17). And may we also consider the following words of Sinclair Ferguson, “Thankfulness grows best in the seed-bed of conviction, just as some plants must be placed in the soil in the winter if they are to flower in the summer.” In conclusion, let us draw near to God, first, by taking heed to our heart preparation today, for encountering the living God tomorrow, in our public Worship service, both through our praises and prayers to Him, with God’s people; and secondly, through our attending to the reading and preaching of His Holy, inspired, infallible, and inerrant Word! Soli Deo Gloria! Happy Reformation Year 500!!

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