Moments in the life of a Pastor

Walking with God

14 Giving Thanks to God

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1 Chronicles 16:34

“Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good! His faithful love endures forever”

How often do you express your gratitude to God? More often than not instead of an attitude of gratitude for all that He has done we simply take God for granted. Instead of thanksgiving being our steady song it seems to have become our silent song. Today thanks seems to have been drowned out in a chorus of complaining. We are more often displeased with something than we are grateful, we are far less thankful than we should be. Preacher and scholar W. T. Purkiser said this about thanksgiving, “Not what we say about our blessings, but how we use them, is the true measure of our thanksgiving.” In 1 Chronicles 16:34 we come across the phrase “Give thanks to the Lord” which is repeated throughout the Old Testament, appearing 45 times in five different books. Like a battle cry it rallies the people of Israel to come and offer their sacrifice of praise to the Lord.

  • Give thanks

The word that we translate as thanks in English means so much more in Hebrew. Here the word yadah means, “to make public acknowledgment” it is where we get our English word confess. It means to both confess the name of God, to publicly proclaiming His name and to confess sin. Giving thanks is an act of humbling ourselves before God and showing gratitude to Him for all of His bountiful blessings. Confessing the name of God means telling others about all that God has done for us, where confess our sins means telling God all that we have done against Him. It take courage to confess God before our peers but Jesus gives us a great promise in this area saying in Matthew 10:32 “whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before My Father who is in heaven” Praise is faith in action, for in order to praise God you must first believe in God. Hebrews 11:6 says, “Without faith it is impossible to please Him. For he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek him.”  Praise is a decision, are you diligently seek God through praise?

  • Give thanks to the LORD

It is not enough just to be thankful, we need to be thankful to the Lord. Scripture makes it clear that we are to offer our thanks to the LORD, He is the only one who is worthy of our praised for He created everything. Paul as he preached to the men of Athens in Acts 17:24 explained that it was “God who made the world and everything in it.” He is the one who brought Egypt to its knees, defeating pharaoh and freeing the Israelites. He is the one who parted the Red sea and brought them in to the promise land. He is the One who sent His One and only Son Jesus to come and save us from our sin.  What do you need to thank God for? Thank Him for His power, thank Him for His person, thank Him for His provision, thank Him for His protection, thank Him for His presence, thank Him for His peace, and thank Him for His pardon. When you consider all that He has done for you why wouldn’t you choose to live a life of praise?

  • Give thanks because He is good

We often use the word good to describe something as being of ok quality, as if it is secondary or not as superior. For example if I tell someone that they did a good job, it doesn’t carry the same weight as if I said that they did a great job. So when you say that God is good it just doesn’t seem to be good enough. If you look up the word good in a dictionary you will soon discover that there are multiple meanings for the same word. But the Bible is primarily concerned with the moral aspects of goodness, it refers to the holiness of God. We have a God who is good in:

Character

Good first and foremost describes the character of God. The truth is that God is good and He cannot be anything but good. He is our standard for goodness, we cannot make ourselves good, but God’s grace can change our hearts. We are called to grow in goodness, 1 Peter 1:15-16 says, “But now you must be holy in everything you do, just as God who chose you is holy. 16 For the Scriptures say, “You must be holy because I am holy.” God desires for us to be like Him. Second God is good in His:

Conduct

Because He is good, all that He does is also good. James 1:17 says, “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” Not only is He good in character and conduct but also in His:

Care

God’s cares for us is not just an attitude but an action, He willingly sent His Son to die for us so that we could be forgiven and He cares so much that He refuses to leave us were He found us. In Philippians 4:19 Paul proclaims that “this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus.” HE desires to supply all of our needs not some of them, and that means our physical, emotional, mental and spiritual needs.

  • Give thanks because He loves us

The Word of God confirms that God’s love endures forever. There may be times in your life when you feel unworthy of His love but there will never be a time in your life when God does not love you. The Hebrew word for love is the same one that is used to describe God’s covenant relationship between Him and His people. It is through these covenants that God has revealed His faithful love to His people. With the ultimate example of His love being displayed in the new covenant, that was established through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross of Calvary. His love never fades or fails; it is a love that we can count on because it endures through all things for all time. That means that there has never been and never will be a time when God does not love you. His love even endures through those times when we rejected Him, or are living in rebellion against Him. Even when we don’t love ourselves and see self as unlovable, God still loves us. Are you giving thanks, and who are you giving thanks to? Are you giving thanks to God because He is good, for His character, His conduct and His care? Are you living a life of thankfulness because of His love? We have a God whose love endures through all time for all time.

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