Summary: This message focuses on how we choose to give thanks to God and the attitude in which we do it.
What Will It Take?
What Will It Take For Me To Sincerely Give God Thanks?
We have just celebrated the Thanksgiving holiday. This holiday is about taking time to reflect on the blessings that we have received and for remembering things that we are truly thankful for. It is not a religious holiday per se, but received as a day for everyone regardless of their culture, and/or religious backgrounds can celebrate. However, for us, it has a special meaning as we have a whole lot to be thankful for as Christians.
This morning I am starting a short series to close out 2011. This series is titled “What Will It Take….?” and I will add different actions each week to conclude the question. As we are closing out this year, I want to speak to us as it relates to our personal relationship with God. For this reason, I will be making several assumptions. The first assumption is that we believe in God and have some type of relationship with Him. The second assumption is that we know and trust God. Now you may be wondering if the first and second assumptions are the same and the short answer is no. You can believe in God without knowing and trusting Him. James speaks to this when he said in James 2:19 “You believe that God is one. You do well; the demons also believe, and shudder.” The demons believe in God and the relationship that they have with Him is not a very good one to say the least. So believing in God and having a relationship with Him is one thing, but knowing and trusting Him is something else altogether because it implies an intimacy within the relationship. With these two assumptions made, I want you to consider this morning “What it will take for us to give God thanks with a sincere and grateful heart?”
Our Scriptural references this morning will come from Ephesians 5:20 and 1 Thessalonians 5:18. Ephesians 5:20 states “Always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father.” I want you to focus on two words, “always” and “all”. The Greek word for always in this verse means “all the time and for evermore.” The word “all” is very inclusive to include everything and every situation. From this the idea is presented that we should always be in a state of mind of thanksgiving, especially as it relates to our giving thanks to God in every situation and/or circumstance.
1 Thessalonians 5:18 states “In everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” Paul essentially says the same thing he said to the Church at Ephesus but he adds an additional statement. He says that it is God's will that we should always be in a mindset of giving thanks in Christ Jesus. This mindset should be constant, but is it often not that way in our Christian walk. What will it take for all of us to give God thanks with a sincere heart?