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Are We Thankful Enough?

Are We Thankful Enough?

      We are about to enter into the “Thanksgiving” holiday season.  Many are thinking about travel, food, spending time with family and such.  Often while gathered, some families discuss their good fortune for the year and some will even “count their blessings” during this festive season.   But what about the rest of the year?   What about Christians?  Are we thankful enough?

     The Christians in Rome were warned about the wrath of God toward those who were not thankful.   In Romans 1:18-22 we read that being “unthankful” causes all sorts of problems.  For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; 19 Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. 20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: 21 Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,

        On the other hand, in Colossians 3:12-15 the brethren there were told how they as Christians were to be toward one another as well as how the peace of God would benefit them as they were thankful.   Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; 13 Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. 14 And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness. 15 And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful. 

      The Spirit had Paul write to Timothy in 2Timothy 3:1-5 about some bad times that were to come, and these “perilous times” were identified in part by the fact that some would be unthankful.   There is also the stern warning to avoid such people.   This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholyWithout natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, 4 Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; 5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.

     As we ask ourselves if we are thankful enough, shouldn’t we be reminded what Colossians 3:17 teaches us?   And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.  Then as we read Ephesians 5:20-21 we can see how frequently we are to be thankful.  Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; 21 Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.  If we are not always thankful, we are not thankful enough.  

     But how are we to show our gratitude to God?   Hebrews 13:15 tells us one way to do so is to verbally express it to Him.   By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name.   The brethren in Colossae were told this in a more direct manner in Colossians 4:2.  Can’t prayer be a verbal expression toward God as we thank Him and praise His name?   Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving;   How about when we gather as a body of believers and sing?   As we sing praises to God, are we not showing how thankful we are to God?   Hebrews 2:12 says when we gather with the church, we are to praise Him.    Saying, I will declare thy name unto my brethren, in the midst of the church will I sing praise unto thee.

     Of course, there are so many things for which Christians can and should be thankful that space in this article will not permit the listing of them.   This information alone should make all Christians aware that we are without excuse if we fail to be thankful.   2Corinthians 4:15 is one place where this is divinely summed up.   For all things are for your sakes, that the abundant grace might through the thanksgiving of many redound to the glory of God.   We should be grateful for all the wonderful works of God.   All these works are for the benefit of those that love, and obey the Lord.  

    The greatest “work” God did was send His Son to die on Calvary’s cross to shed His blood so we could have “abundant life” as Jesus Himself stated in John 10:10bI am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.   We also know He gave us the “power to become the sons of God” per John 1:12But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:   For that, all should be thankful.  

    What is hard to understand is why so many are not “thankful enough” to be obedient to God and His Word and access that “power” to become the sons of God.  This was His plan from the start.   Are you Thankful enough?

                                Dennis Strickland – Mooresville church of Christ

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