We have arrived at Thanksgiving week, and I thought I would share a few thoughts under the heading “Expressions Of Thanks-Living.” Today we’ll look at expressions with words, and Wednesday we’ll examine expressions with works. Both these ideas are rooted in the following verse:
[A]lways giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. (Ephesians 5:20)
Remember, the Lord Jesus Christ demonstrated who He was with both His words and His works; as His disciples, we are to do the same.
Expressions with Words
The first way we are to express our thanks to God is with the words we speak. We all must take inventory of our language and see if the words we speak let those who are listening know just how thankful we are to God for all we have been given. It is all too easy to be very thankful for the many good gifts we have received, without ever expressing our thanks to the One who gave them to us! We must remember that all good gifts are from above . . .
Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. (James 1:17)
Here is a great question to consider with Thanksgiving only three days away; Paul asked it of the Christians at Corinth: “What do you have that you did not receive?” (1 Corinthians 4:7). The answer, of course, is nothing! Everything we have has been given to us by our great and gracious and loving God. Our families are a gift from God. Our careers are a gift from God. Our health is a gift from God. Our education is a gift from God. Everything is a gift from God, including our very next breath and the very next beat of our hearts. The words we speak should shout to those around us just how thankful we are to God for the countless good gifts we have received.
Did you know that the Bible even tells us to thank our God in song? Yes, that’s right! When you sing praises to God, you are being obedient! We are not just invited to sing our praise to God, we are commanded to do it—even those of us who don’t have the gift of song!
Even while languishing in the belly of a great fish, Jonah sang a song of thanksgiving (Jonah 2:9). And the New Testament underscores this holy obligation:
Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. (Colossians 3:16)
Do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit, addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart. (Ephesians 5:18-19)
Having musical children, I always feel so blessed to hear them singing praises to God, whether on the praise team at our church or around the house. Make no mistake, our God delights in hearing heartfelt praise expressed in words that are both spoken and sung.
But, as important as our words are, there is another very important aspect to Thanks-living. Come back Wednesday for Part II, when we will take a look at our expressions with works.
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!