Summary: If any people in America should be thankful to God and grateful for His goodness, it ought to be Christians, who are able to meet freely and fellowship together as Body of Christ.
Turn your Bibles to 1 Thessalonians 5:16 - 18
Title: Attitude of Gratitude
Theme: Expression of Biblical Gratitude
Series: Full Measure of Thanksgiving
Long ago there was as a great British poet. He was a famous writer, whose writings had blessed many. Even before he died he made a great deal of money.
A newspaper reporter cynically came up to Mr. Kipling and said; “Mr. Kipling, I just read that somebody calculated that the money you make from your writings amounts to over one hundred dollars a word.” Mr. Kipling raised his eyebrows and said, “Really, I certainly wasn’t aware of that!”
The reporter reached into his pocket and pulled out a one hundred dollar bill and gave it to Mr. Kipling and said, “Here’s a one hundred dollar bill. Now give me one of your one hundred dollar words.” Rudyard Kipling looked at that piece of currency for a moment, then he folded it up and put it in His pocket and said, “Thanks!” (Author Unknown)
The word thanks is certainly a one-hundred dollar word.
Introduction: In this wonderful verse of Scripture, Paul is not giving a suggestion, but a command. Man owes a debt of obligation to God for anything that turns him from his inability to know God’s love and enables him to enjoy the Lord’s love which, in turn, equips him to express love to the Lord.
Proposition: I would like to propose to you that if any nation ought to be thankful to God and grateful for His goodness, it ought to be America. If any people in America should be thankful to God and grateful for His goodness, it ought to be Christians, who are able to meet freely and fellowship together as Body of Christ.
Interrogative Sentence: Should gratitude always be expressed, and expansive, and is it expected?
Transitional Sentence: Trials, accidents, death of family members and friends, and negative consequences of sin are going to fall upon Christians and non-Christians alike. In this sin-trodden world, the Lord through His loving grace and mercy will speak forth His blessings as He has done in the past. The Word of God speaks clearly of the heartfelt response of Holy Spirit illuminated Christians.
Please note: We are to give thanks in all circumstances, not for the circumstance, but that in Christ, there is victory, triumph and guidance to be found through all circumstances. No matter how terrible a situation may be, there is a God who says, “Never will I leave you nor forsake you.” (Hebrews 13:5) It is a yes and Amen!
No obedient Christian has ever been made to drink the cup of affliction without drops of mercy being intermingled. Every calamity in some way in His time works out for the glory of God. We need to remember that trials are but only a temporary part of a larger plan for our spiritual well-being. Through this perspective we can always discern a cause for thanks to God. In fact, failure to give gratitude to God is a symptom of unbelief. When people do not take time to acknowledge or thank God, it is because they really don’t believe in His sovereignty, that He really is watching over them.
Transitional Sentence: The first thing we want to consider today is, should gratitude always be expressed? Romans 1:21 says; “For although they knew God, they neither glorified Him as God nor gave thanks to Him.” Paul is describing a lost world, a group of people who knew about God, of His existence, powerful workings and about His laws and decrees. Yet, they still did not thank Him, and the Book of Romans tells us that their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. (Romans 1: 21)
That is why I say gratitude is always to be expressed! We are to give thanks always!
Scripture speaks of two obligations of man to God, praising and obeying Him. Man is created for worship and if he refuses to let God have the place of true honor, which rightly belongs to Him, then mankind will put something or someone in God’s place. True victories in life are won by Christians who are joyful, prayerful and thankful.
We are to express gratitude always, simply because Scripture says to. David wrote, “Praise be to the Lord, to God our Savior, who daily bears our burdens.” (Psalms 68:19) We are always to be thankful for God’s daily goodness and mercy.
2 Corinthians says we are to thank God for His indescribable gift, Jesus Christ. (2 Corinthians 9:15) Paul says we are to thank God continually for those who receive God’s Word. (1 Thessalonians 2:13) Psalm after Psalm reminds us to express gratitude to God. Psalms 54: 6 - 7 says, “I will sacrifice a freewill offering to you; I will praise your Name, O Lord, for it is good. For He has delivered me out of all my troubles…”