Are You Thankful?

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Many years ago I heard a faithful pastor pray, “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].” I would like to have added, “…and please turn lips that have never uttered 'I am sorry, please forgive me' to their Maker, into lips of continual repentance; lips that have never said 'thank you' to their Maker, to lips overflowing with continual thankfulness. Amen." 

It is to the topic of thankfulness that we now turn. If there is one obvious characteristic of all unbelievers, it is that they are so typically an unthankful lot. The next time you go out to eat, observe how many people do not pause and give thanks to the living God for the food that they are about to enjoy (Psalm 145:15), and then consider how God so graciously provides for them each day -- both before and after they enter a restaurant. Specifically remember how God provides for: their physical needs each day (Matthew 5:45; Genesis 2:7), including their ability to be able to work (Ecclesiastes 2:24), their family relationships (Ecclesiastes 9:9; Psalm 127:3), etc. – even though they do not acknowledge His existence.

Though the picture of the thankless spirit of the unbelieving world is sad, 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 or the 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 noble 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). Sinclair Ferguson helps us understand how to move toward putting off this ungrateful residue:

“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.”

So then, are you dominated by a thankful spirit? I pray so. Let us ask God to help us pray for each other that we would live the words uttered by Paul (through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit), “...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).

Jerry Marcellino is pastor of Audubon Drive Bible Church in Laurel. He can be reached by e-mail at pastorjerry@audubonchurch.org

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published this page in Blogs - Pastor Jerry 2012-07-11 14:15:00 -0500