Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Mac on Being Thankful

The Bible repeatedly stresses the importance of giving thanks. “Offer to God a sacrifice of thanksgiving” (Ps. 50:14). “Let them give thanks to the Lord for His loving-kindness, and for His wonders to the sons of men! Let them also offer sacrifices of thanksgiving, and tell of His works with joyful singing” (Ps. 107:21–22). “It is good to give thanks to the Lord, and to sing praises to Thy name, O Most High” (Ps. 92:1). “Always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father” (Eph. 5:20).

“Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father” (Col. 3:17). “Through Him then, let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that give thanks to His name” (Heb. 13:15). Thanksgiving should permeate our speech, our songs, and our prayers.

Our Lord knew the importance of giving thanks. In Matthew 11:25 He said, “I praise Thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that Thou didst hide these things from the wise and intelligent and didst reveal them to babes.” Before feeding the five thousand, Jesus “took the loaves; and having given thanks, He distributed to those who were seated” (John 6:11). Just before raising Lazarus from the dead, “Jesus raised His eyes, and said, ‘Father, I thank Thee that Thou heardest Me’ ” (John 11:41).

Revelation 7:11 tells us that the angels give thanks: “All the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures; and they fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, saying, ‘Amen, blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might, be to our God forever and ever. Amen.’ ”

David (2 Sam. 22:50; Ps. 28:7), the Levites (1 Chron. 16:4; Neh. 12:24), Asaph and his relatives (1 Chron. 16:7), Daniel (Dan. 6:10), and the priests, Levites, and descendants of Asaph (Ezra 3:10–11) also gave thanks to God.

In addition to those positive examples, the Bible teaches that failing to give thanks characterizes the wicked. One indictment of unbelievers is that “even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God, or give thanks” (Rom. 1:21). Evil men are marked by ungratefulness (Luke 6:35; 2 Tim. 3:2).

(Grace to You)

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