Thankfulness – a grace given from the Triune God: From The Christian Message – thechristianmessage.org
The greatest kind of “Thankfulness,” is that type of thankfulness that is meant and expressed toward, the Creator, Triune God. While reading the Christian New Testament chapter of Romans 1:1f and (especially Romans 1:21), I have again concluded that being a thankful person, does not come naturally.
There is a difference between being grateful and being thankful. As human beings, we are grateful for many things. Our stomachs are gratified when they are full. Our bodies are gratified when they feel clean. We feel grateful when it is payday. It is gratifying for our favorite sports team to have won – especially when we have had the privilege of rooting them on in front of a TV or video screen. And, I suppose, most of all, we humans are gratified, when we sense and feel that we are loved.
But being thankful and living a life full of thankfulness takes on a different scope. In order to be truly “thankful,” – (1) it presupposes the actual “giving of thanks.” And, (2) in order to be “thankful” – it presupposes that there is someone to be thankful toward. Are we to pat ourselves on the back for that which we are thankful? Or, if we stop and think for a moment, is there someone far greater than we, for which we can actually express our thanks?“ Thanksgiving” presupposes something or someone to whom we are pleased. It presupposes an “action” of noteworthy expressed gratitude.
We are not only encouraged, but commanded to give thanks – it is, our obligation towards our Creator
Presently, I am reminded of the familiar hymn lyric that states: “Praise God from Whom all blessings flow; praise Him, all creatures here below.” This lyric is in full keeping with the Christian New Testament book of Romans 1:18-22 and, especially, Romans 1:21:
For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools… Romans 1:18-22
When a person does not recognize from where he [she] originates, it is impossible to be truly thankful. When children are irresponsibly taught by our public taxpayer funded school system that they are products of mere chance through a process called “evolution,” – why would those individuals be motivated to give thanks to their Creator? It would be preposterous! Hence, society and culture continues to self flagellate itself into a greater demise of cultural destruction.
The issue of today’s future for its youth, is not a lack of book knowledge, library space, academia or access. The issue facing today’s youth and tomorrow’s posterity is truly being aware and cognizant of, to Whom they should be thankful! Yet, today’s public educational industry continues to drift farther and farther into the dark sinkhole of political correctness and the dissemination of every and all types of (misguided) multicultural values.
History is held contemptible and only when it can be revised, held with any type of credibility. Evolution is purported to be the measurement of truth and reality – and, it doesn’t matter if it can be substantiated or held to account to the realities of disciplined (repeatable) science.
Why can’t most people fulfill the command to give their Creator thanks for their being and for their particular and multiple blessings?
Holy Scripture gives us an answer:
This I say, therefore, and testify in the Lord, that you should no longer walk as the rest of the Gentiles walk, in the futility of their mind, having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart; who, being past feeling, have given themselves over to lewdness, to work all uncleanness with greediness. But you have not so learned Christ, if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus… — Ephesians 4:17- 21To those of you who are “Ignorant,” “Without understanding,” “blind” and “past feeling:”
To those of you who are ignorant, without understanding, blind and “past feeling,” — those of you who haven’t experienced the truth and life that is in Christ – I can only say a few things:
Make it your complete preoccupation to earnestly search for meaning and truth! Seek wisdom! – [Proverbs 1:1f ; Proverbs 2:1f ; Psalm 111:10] Not only, seek, wisdom – but come to understand that the one Triune God, (in Jesus Christ), is the essence of wisdom – Colossians 2:3 ; 1 Corinthians 1:30
Know for a present and eternal reality that your sins have separated you from a holy and loving God and from His holy heaven. Genesis 8:21 —Romans 8:7 and Isaiah 59:1-4. If you and your priceless soul would enter God’s good graces — you must come to God, confessing your sins.
You must come humbly. You must come acknowledging your pride. Luke 18:9-14 — Luke 15:1f — Isaiah 55:6-8 and Luke 23:39-43. I have never been one preacher to suggest that a simple 4 or 5 point prayer will deliver an unrepentant soul, headed for eternal hell and destruction, towards a holy and just God and His heaven.
Prayer and “prayer mechanics” cannot transform a sinful soul — only the personal object of prayer, the Lord, Himself is able. I don’t believe that simple prayers and “making a ‘personal decision’ for Christ” will convert or change anyone from a rank sinner into a saint. It has to be the Triune God’s Holy Spirit who will transform a person’s soul, from a goat of destruction’s present and eternal demise, into the sheep of Christ’s pasture and direction. Ephesians 2:8-10 and John 1:12-13 The Scriptures make it clear that it is the Lord, who works both the “will” and “to do” of His good pleasure. – Philippians 2:13
Finally, the Scripture says that the “faith,” to believe what God has told us in His Divine Revelation, (the Scriptures), comes by “hearing and hearing by the Word of God.” [Romans 10:17] We are told to “draw near to God.” [James 4:8-10] Humans can avail themselves of the best means to do that – and, that is by the Holy Scriptures. After all, the Scriptures are God’s gift to make his creation “wise to salvation,” — through faith, which is, in Christ Jesus. – 2 Timothy 3:15-17
Once a person earnestly seeks God in the Holy Scriptures, the way for that person will have then been “paved” to make it possible to be transformed by God’s Holy Spirit into a believing “child of God.” Romans 10:17 — Ephesians 2:1-10 and Romans 10:8-17 .
I pray and desire for all of you a rewarding Thanksgiving holiday – but more than that, the true spirit of genuine thanksgiving towards your Creator Triune God! May your thanksgiving to Him be the natural flow and outgrowth of true life, found in, and with Him — only found possible, by faith in His Son, Jesus Christ. – John 3:14-21.
Above Message and Related Scriptures [below] — Intended to be utilized in a simple worship format:
Also: For a couple of other (more formal) worship formats:
Related Old Testament Hebrew Scriptures to the above message:
Genesis 1:1f — The miracle of Creation
Related New Testament Christian Scriptures to the above message:
Colossians 1:26-27 — The miracle of Christ formed in the Christian believer
1 Corinthians 15:1f — The miracle of the resurrection
1 Timothy 3:16 — “Great is the mystery of godliness….”
Of Whom Does the Prophet Speak” — by Victor Buksbazen — Isaiah 53:1-12 — an in-depth view of and the prophecy of Christ, hundred of years before his birth. Isaiah 53:1-12 underscores the truthfulness of Divine Revelation as exemplified in the Hebrew and Christian Scriptures.
Pastor (emeritus) Nathan Bickel