But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Corinthians 15:57)
Thanksgiving Day is here, reminding us to always be thankful to God. The greatest blessing of all is our victory over sin and death through the Lord Jesus Christ. Sin has been utterly defeated by the death of Jesus Christ on the cross. Therefore:
1) Be thankful today for God’s grace, by which Jesus died for everyone and brought salvation to all who will believe and obey (Hebrews 2:9; Titus 2:11).
2) Be thankful today that you have received God’s gift of salvation by your obedient faith to Christ (Ephesians 2:8-9; Hebrews 5:8-9; Romans 6:17-18).
Death has been utterly defeated by the resurrection of Christ from the dead. The empty tomb is a constant memorial to the fact that Jesus is the Son of God and that he has complete power over death (Romans 1:4; Revelation 1:18). Therefore:
1) Be thankful today that death is no longer fearful – Jesus replaced the fear of death with confident hope (Hebrews 2:14-15).
2) Be thankful today that death will be your doorway into eternal joy, peace and life (Philippians 1:21).
God gives us no greater blessing than victory over sin and death through Jesus Christ. Thanks be to God!
(Revision of Sword Tips #12)
Praise the Lord! Blessed is the man who fears the Lord, who delights greatly in His commandments. (Psalm 112:1, NKJV)
This psalm calls on us to give celebratory adulation of thanks to Jehovah. It reveals the result of such praise, while explaining who actually praises the Lord, and why. The blessing of His favor is the outcome of giving God the praise He is due. The source of acceptable praise comes from a heart that fears the Lord. This person obtains His good favor. Cries of hallelujah (“praise Jehovah” or “praise the Lord”) must combine with genuine reverence for them to be regarded by the Lord and responded to favorably by Him. Nor do we have to wonder who it is that fears the Lord, for it is spelled out here. Fearing God is tantamount to delighting completely in His commandments. We fear God by desiring, cherishing and following His commands. And so, by taking pleasure in His commands, we wholeheartedly praise His name. At this thanksgiving season (and every day), may we delight in the Lord’s commands, rejoice in His good blessings, and thankfully praise His name.
4 Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name. 5 For the Lord is good; His mercy is everlasting, and His truth endures to all generations. (Psalm 100:4–5, NKJV)
One’s worshipful praise of God expresses joyful thanks for His great blessings. Adoration is due Him by all who would come into His presence. Psalm 100 is a psalm of thanksgiving unto God. All the earth is pictured serving the Lord with gladness, and coming “before His presence with singing” (v. 1-2). As our Creator, He is due the honor of thankful praise (v. 3-4). Let us come into His courts with thankful praise because of His insurmountable character by which He blesses us: 1) His goodness. God is beautiful and deserving of our complete admiration. 2) His mercy. God is unfailing in His kindness, and is ever vigilant to show mercy “to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments” (Exo. 20:6). 3) His truth. Unfailing in its power to purify us, God’s word of truth endures forever (1 Pet. 1:22-25). God’s goodness, mercy and truth compel Christians to “enter His gates with thanksgiving” and praise His name. May we never overlook giving God the praise of thanksgiving.
1 I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth. 2 My soul shall make its boast in the Lord; The humble shall hear of it and be glad. 3 Oh, magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt His name together.” (Psalm 34:1–3, NKJV)
“Count your many blessings, name them one by one…and it will surprise you what the Lord hath done.” This refrain reminds us that we constantly live by the good blessings of God. Humble faith acknowledges the Lord as the source of every good gift (Jas. 1:17). Even the trials of life refine us and bless us; these too are used by our Father to discipline our faith so that we may bear peaceable, righteous fruit (Heb. 12:5-11). Today is the day to praise the Lord and exalt His holy name. Boast in the Lord and not in yourself for all He does for you. His good providence has given you this day’s blessings and opportunities. Praise and magnify His name!
in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. (1 Thessalonians 5:18, NKJV)
“Thank you”. Powerful, yet simple words, too often left unspoken. This simple expression of polite gratitude is taken for granted (if not totally ignored) by many. Christians, however, must always be thankful, remembering to express their appreciation “in everything”. This is the will of God for you. Therefore, ingratitude is a sin against God. In Him “we all live and move and have our being (Acts 17:28). He is the one who has blessed us “with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ” (Eph. 1:3). Whether material or spiritual, “every good gift and every perfect gift” is from God (Jas. 1:17). Thanksgiving is due His name (1 Chron. 29:10-15). Use today to be thankful to God and to say “thank you” to those who touch your life.
1 Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever. 2 Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, Whom He has redeemed from the hand of the enemy, 3 And gathered out of the lands, From the east and from the west, From the north and from the south. (Psalm 107:1-3)
In this psalm of thanksgiving for divine deliverance we learn why God is good. His enduring mercy redeems the captives from the clutches of their enemies. God is depicted as gathering from the four corners of the earth those who had been exiled by their enemy. Just as God gathered a remnant of Israel from Assyrian and Babylonian captivity, even now by the gospel of Christ He gathers a “remnant of grace” (Isa. 10:21-24; 11:10-11; Rom. 11:5). Redemption from the hand of our enemy (sin) proclaims the good mercy of God. It is why we continually give Him thanks.
3 We are bound to thank God always for you, brethren, as it is fitting, because your faith grows exceedingly, and the love of every one of you all abounds toward each other, 4 so that we ourselves boast of you among the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that you endure” (2 Thessalonians 1:3-4)
The apostle expresses two reasons for being thankful to God for the Christians in Thessalonica. First, he viewed himself under moral obligation to do so; he was duty bound to be thankful. Secondly, it was entirely proper to do so because of their evident faith and brotherly love that endured and grew in the face of “persecutions and tribulations”. Joined with Paul’s thanksgiving to God was his ready endorsement of the brethren to the churches. Our lesson is simply, yet clear. We are to be thankful for our brethren because it is the right thing to do. And especially when their lives exhibit worthy examples for us and others. “In everything give thanks” must constantly govern our attitude toward God and His children (1 Thess. 5:18).