Thoughts about thanksgiving (1)

1 Thes 5:18 …give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

How thankful am I? How thankful are you? In the routine of a normal day how many times might you feel and express gratefulness to God? Regularly? Not that often? Or in truth, almost never?

I have to confess that I am not as thankful as I should be, and that it seems as though my ‘default mode’ is so often thanklessness. Having preached on the importance of thankfulness on Harvest Sunday this year, I thought it wordle 1thes5_18might be good for me to continue to think about the subject by blogging through my sermon notes.

Have you ever asked God what his will for you is? Perhaps at a difficult time of life? Christians can agonise over knowing God’s will, and overlook the simple statements in his Word where he says “This is my will for you..” 1 Thes 5:18 tells us that it is God’s will that we give thanks in all circumstances.

This is a little text tucked away at the end of a NT Epistle. Its almost as though Paul has a number of other things to tell the Thessalonians about Christian behaviour and he just lists them out with relatively little comment. One of those Christian behaviours is thanksgiving.  But why is thanksgiving so important? Why is this “God’s will for you?”

As I ponder this question, I find myself suspecting that thankfulness, or rather the lack of it, might in truth be a critical measure of the soul. Might it be the case that ceasing to find God’s grace amazing is a horrible canker that strikes at and hardens the human heart? Might thanklessness lead to a belief that God’s grace is somehow a reward for services rendered or for moral superiority? Might such thoughts result in a judgemental spirit and a graceless demeanour?

As I prepared for the sermon by looking at NT texts that talk about thankfulness, I found that some of these things seem to be the case. I’ll try and discipline myself to blog through the texts I referred to over the next week or so.

These thoughts are developed from a sermon preached on our Harvest Sunday this year. You can hear the sermon Down load sermon.

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