Summary: Defining thanksgiving simply as the giving of thanks, this sermon points out that it is one of the most unfulfilled biblical injunctions and calls all and sundry to intensify thanksgiving by making it a lifestyle so as to do the will of God and fulfil de
THANKSGIVING TO GOD
Pastor Zacch Olorunnipa
Text: 1 Chronicles 16: 4 – 36
Key Scripture: “In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you” 1 Thessalonians 5:18)
Simply defined thanksgiving is the act of giving thanks. As simple as it sounds, thanksgiving is one of the most unfulfilled biblical injunctions in the sense that no one can do enough of it when evaluated on the basis of the standard set forth in the word of God. According to 1Thessalonians 5: 18 we are to give thanks in everything, for this is the will of God. Obviously, this is a tall order as everything encompasses the totality of our being including words and actions. As a child of God we are to give thanks to God for everything in our life including sitting down, rising up, going to toilet, sleeping, waking, breathing, seeing, hearing, feelings, having a job or without a job, rich or poor, failure or success, good or bad, happy or sad, etc.
Failing to give thanks for everything is tantamount to violating the will of God. If not for the mercy and long suffering of God (Ecclesiastes 3: 23) most of us would have faced God’s condemnation for neglecting the giving of thanks. In James 1:22 we are told to be “- doers of the word, and not hearers only --. The giving of thanks is one thing Christians don’t do enough of. Many of us will rather complain than give thanks
One of the most celebrated national holidays in the United States of America is the Thanksgiving Day now observed on the fourth Thursday of November. Some other countries also observe Thanksgiving Day. For example, Canadian Thanksgiving Day or Jour de l’Action de grâce is observed on the second Monday in October while in Granada the Thanksgiving Day is October 25th. Although it has become more secularized and commercialized, Thanksgiving is traditionally meant to be a time to give thanks for the harvest and express gratitude to God in general. In this regard, Thanksgiving for the believer should not be limited to only one day in the year especially if we are to give thanks in every thing.
As discussed below, there are general reasons and specific reasons why every believer should give thanks to God. This sermon is a call for all and sundry to give more thanks to God in order to fulfill the will of God for their lives. The purpose, importance, modality and the rewards for giving thanks are also pointed out. I pray that the Holy Spirit will teach us how to give adequate thanks to God in Jesus name.
The text for this message (1 Chr. 16: 7-36) is appropriately known as Psalm of Thanksgiving or Praise Psalm of David. It is based on thanksgiving that David and the Israelites rendered unto God after the Ark of the Covenant was successfully transported from the house of Obededom to Jerusalem. Recall that earlier on when the Ark of the Covenant was mishandled by Uzza, God smote Uzza dead (1 Chr. 13: 9-10). As a result everybody was scared of the ark including King David who sent it to Obededom’s house instead of his. The Ark of the Covenant remained in Obededom’s house for three months during which the LORD blessed his house and all that he had (1 Chr. 13: 6-14). It was thereafter that king David prepared a befitting place for the ark in Jerusalem. The ark was brought to Jerusalem with pop and pageantry. On the day of its arrival, King David delivered the Psalm of Thanksgiving to a Choir of 12 musicians (led by Asaph) who ministered continuously before the ark of the covenant of God. The contents of this Thanksgiving Psalm/song (1 Chr. 16) can be examined synoptically as follows:
1. Purpose of the Song (to give thanks to God) verse. 4, 7.
2. Praise of God: verse. 4, 12, 14, 23 – 32
3. Person of God: verse. 14 – the LORD our God.
4. Promises of God: verse. 15 – 17
a. Covenant with Abraham (Gen 17:2; 22: 16-18)
b. Oath unto Isaac (Gen 26: 1-5)
c. Law to Jacob
d. Everlasting Covenant for Israel
5. Provisions of God: verse 18 – 20
6. Protection of God: verse. 21 -22
7. Presence of God: verse 33
8. People of God: verse. 8, 13, 36.
Purpose of Thanksgiving
The primary purpose why everyone is called upon to give thanks is to do the will of God. In other words, the single over arching will of God for every born again child of God is to give thanks to Him for everything. This is why the Bible declares “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” (Heb 13: 15). From the very day one accepts Jesus Christ as his/her Lord and Savior God expects one to render ceaseless thanksgiving to Him. If we make giving thanks to God a goal of our relationship with God, it will not be difficult to fulfill other requirements such as obedience, giving, praying, praising, worshipping, witnessing, studying His word, living holy, etc. Regrettably, ignorance has robbed many Christians of their blessings.