Summary: The Word of God teaches clearly how we can say thanks to God, Christ and be enabled by the Holy Spirit to express gratitude to the blood purchased Body of Christ.
Turn your Bible to Colossians 2:7
Title: How to Say Thanks
Theme: Expressing Thankfulness to the Body of Christ
Series: Full Measure of Thanksgiving
Introduction: Appreciation raises value. William James said, “The deepest principle in human nature is the craving to be appreciated.” The Apostle Paul was led of the Holy Spirit of Christ to express thankfulness and he was a master at it. He expressed appreciation to God and to others as well. Paul wrote most of the New Testament and it is normal to read phrases like, “I always thank God for you…,” (1 Corinthians 1:4) “Praise be to God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ…,” (2 Corinthians 1:3; Ephesians 1:3) “I thank God every time I remember you…,” (Philippians 1:3) We always thank God…,” (Colossians 1:3) “We always thank God for all of you…” (1 Thessalonians) “We ought to always thank God for you…,” (2 Thessalonians 1:3) “I thank Jesus our Lord…,” (1 Timothy 1:12) “I thank God…,” (2 Timothy 1:3) and lastly, “I always thank God for you as I remember you in my prayers…,” (Philemon 1:4)
God wants His elect to be appreciative as in 1 Thessalonians 5:11 which says, “…encourage one another and build each other up…” The Apostle Paul gives this exhortation, “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” (Ephesians 4:29) Through the leading of the Holy Spirit, Paul gives us short exhortations that direct the motion of our hearts and lives and give us duties of great importance, “Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” (1 Thessalonians 5:18)
Through the Lord’s faithful servant, Paul, an Apostle who exemplified a life of gratitude to God, Christ, and submission to the Holy Spirit we have our key text.
Listen as I read Colossians 2:7, “So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in Him, rooted and built up in Him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.”
Proposition: I would propose to you the Word of God teaches clearly how we can say thanks to God, Christ and be enabled by the Holy Spirit to express gratitude to the blood purchased Body of Christ.
Interrogative Sentence: To whom are we to be thankful and how can we say thanks through Christ-centered humility?
Transitional Sentence: The key to having speech which matches up with a life that expresses thanks is an understanding that thankfulness must be first given to God. Psalm 9:1-2 says, “ I will praise you, O LORD, with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonders. I will be glad and rejoice in You; I will sing praise to Your name, O Most High.” (Psalm 9:1-2) David, the writer of this Psalm excites and engages himself to praise God for His mercies and the great things He had done for him and the government he oversaw with the Lord. If these expressions are found in David, a man after God’s own heart (Acts 13:22) then they will be found in the Holy Spirit Illuminated child of God.
The whole of Scripture teaches us, God expects suitable returns of praise from those for whom He has done marvelous works. (Luke 17:11-17) If we choose to give praise to God acceptably, then we must praise Him in sincerity, not only with lips, but from a life directed from a heart of praise. Holy joy is the life of thankful praise, as thankful praise is the language of Holy joy. Whatever occurs to make us glad, our joy must go past the circumstance or object, and be in Him who gave it.
We are joyful not because of good health, but because the Great Physician has given it to us. We are not joyful because of our nice homes, but because the Lord who provides has given us our homes, cars, jobs, ability to make money, and our success. If we are being afflicted in any way, we are not joyful because of the affliction, but through the affliction we are given the opportunity to express trust and enabled to live a life of praise to Him, no matter what may come our way.
Christians are to thank God first and foremost because of His Holy Spirit’s empowerment which daily affects the spiritual heart of born again Christians, causing them to no longer desire fleshly control, worldly drawings and devilish lies. Our God’s sovereignty not only offers heavenly promises but also intervenes for us in the earthly realm, thus, He deserves praise first and utmost.
When God has shown Himself to be above the enemies of the church we must take occasion to give glory to Him. I purposely reread Psalm 9:2, “I will be glad and rejoice in you; I will sing praise to your Name, O Most High!” This heart of thankfulness opens the door of mercy, enables us to enjoy God’s goodness and prepares our spiritual hearts to be aware of all the blessings God has given us.