“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations…teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:19-20, NASB).
1) “And Be Ye Thankful” (Bill Crews)
2) If Only (Frank Himmel)
“And Be Ye Thankful”
The heading of this article is taken from the closing words of Colossians 3:15; it is an appropriate exhortation for every accountable individual. Gratitude is required of every person; ingratitude is deplorable and inexcusable. And why should we be thankful? Because God has given to each of us “life, and breath, and all things” and because “in him we live, and move, and have our being” (Acts 17:24, 25, 28). To put it another way, “And yet he left not himself without witness, in that he did good and gave you from heaven rains and fruitful seasons, filling your hearts with food and gladness” (Acts 14:17). In both of these passages the apostle Paul was addressing pagans (at Athens and at Lystra). As Christians we have far more reasons than these to be thankful.
A failure on man’s part to be thankful is sin. This is one of the sins charged against the pagan Gentiles in Romans 1:21 (“they glorified him not as God, neither gave thanks”). This is one of the sins to be expected among men in the last days (“lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, haughty, railers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy” — 2 Tim. 3:2). Being unthankful goes hand in hand with being selfish and arrogant. Gratitude must be taught and learned; we are not born with it. We must be thankful, express our thanks, and demonstrate that we are thankful TO GOD. From the cradle to the grave, as long as we have our minds about us we should be thankful to God. We should also be thankful to other human beings to whom we are indebted.
Many of the Psalms bring out the importance of and the need for being thankful to God. “That I may make the voice of thanksgiving to be heard, and tell of thy wondrous works” (David in Ps. 26:7). The 50th Psalm is attributed to Asaph. Read verses 7-15; the reader is called upon to be mindful of the sovereignty of God, to be grateful for his blessings, to realize that God owns everything, to offer unto God the sacrifice of thanksgiving. “I will praise the name of God with a song, and will magnify him with thanksgiving” (David in Ps. 69:30). “Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving” (Ps. 95:2). “And let them sacrifice the sacrifices of thanksgiving, and declare his works with singing” (Ps. 107:22). Read Psalm 100; verse 4 says:
“Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: give thanks unto him, and bless his name.”
Among the sacrifices offered by the Israelites under the law of Moses were voluntary sacrifices of animals — part of which the worshipers ate in feasts — that were called “peace-offerings” and “thank-offerings,” the latter of which were designed to help them to be thankful to God for their blessings and to express their thanks unto Him. See Psalm 50:14; 107:22; 116:17; Amos 4:5; and Leviticus 7:11-13. In Nehemiah 12 certain Israelites were by Nehemiah divided into two great companies that marched along the new wall that had been built around Jerusalem at the dedication of that wall; as they marched they gave thanks unto God.
In the New Testament a number of examples are commended for the benefit of the reader. Christ is never depicted as partaking of food (which at times He provided for others (the feeding of the 5,000; the feeding of the 4,000; and the feeding of the seven disciples) without giving thanks unto the Father for it. It is usually expressed as “blessed” (cf. our “say the blessing”), and “blessed” and “gave thanks” are used interchangeably. Notice that in Matthew 26:26 Jesus “took bread, and blessed, and brake it,” but in Matthew 26:27 He “took a cup, and gave thanks.” (“Eulogy” and “eucharist” are English words taken from the Greek words.) We are to give thanks for our food also (1 Tim. 4:3-5).
Paul is a great example to us. In Acts 27:35 he gave thanks to God for his food in the presence of others to encourage them to eat. In Acts 28:15 he gave thanks to God for the brethren who came out of Rome to meet him at The Market of Appius (43 miles from Rome) and at the Three Taverns (33 miles from Rome) when he was being taken to Rome as a prisoner. Over and over in his epistles he wrote, “I thank God (or “my God”),” “I give thanks,” “we give thanks to God” or “thanks be unto God” (Rom. 1:8; 7:25; 1 Cor. 1:4, 14; 14:18; 15:57; 2 Cor. 2:14; 8:16; 9:15; Eph. 1:16; Phil. 1:3; Col. 1:3; 1 Thess. 1:2; 2:13; 2 Thess. 1:3; 2:13 — in the last two, “we are bound to give thanks unto God for you”; 1 Tim. 1 :12 — he thanked “Christ Jesus our Lord”; 2 Tim. 1:3). He frequently gave thanks to God for the brethren to whom he wrote — in many of the preceding passages. In 1 Thessalonians 3:9 he said, “For what thanksgiving can we render again unto God for you, for all the joy wherewith we joy for your sakes before God.” How beautiful!
Heavenly beings are presented as examples to us. All the angels, the twenty-four elders, the four living creatures are depicted as giving thanks unto God (Rev. 4:9), as falling down before the throne of God on their faces, worshiping God, and giving thanks unto God (Rev. 7: 11-12).
And what does the New Testament say about our thanksgiving? We are to “be thankful” (Col. 3:15 —here, especially for the peace of Christ that is to rule in our hearts, and to which we were called in the one body, the church). We are to “give thanks” (Eph. 5:20 — “always, for all things”; 1 Thess. 5:18 — “in every thing give thanks.” “And whatsoever ye do, in word or in deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him” (Col. 3:17).
Our prayers unto God must include thanksgiving. “Continuing stedfastly in prayer, watching therein with thanksgiving” (Col. 4:2). “In nothing be anxious; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God” (Col. 4:6). Giving of thanks is set in contrast with various sins of the tongue. “But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not even be named among you, as becometh saints; nor filthiness, nor foolish talking, or jesting, which are not befitting: but rather giving of thanks” (Eph. 5:3-4). The lesson? Rather than misusing our tongues by uttering sinful things, let us give more time to the giving of thanks.
In conclusion, “As therefore ye received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, rooted and builded up in him, and established in your faith, even as ye were taught, abounding in thanksgiving” (Col. 2:6-7).
— Via the Roadridge Reader, Volume 33, Issue 11, Pages 2-3
If only my boss wouldn’t be so rude and domineering, I would be more cooperative at work. “Servants, be submissive to your masters with all respect, not only to those who are good and gentle, but also to those who are unreasonable” (1 Pet. 2:18).
If only my husband weren’t so lazy and self-centered, if only he would learn to control his temper better, I would live with him. “…wives, be submissive to your husbands so that even if any of them are disobedient to the word, they may be won without a word as they observe your chaste and respectful behavior” (1 Pet. 3:1-2).
If only the brethren were friendlier and that preacher not so dry, I would go to church more often. “…let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another…” (Heb. 10:24-25).
If only I had more income and less bills, I would give a lot more. “…in the churches of Macedonia…in a great ordeal of affliction their abundance of joy and their deep poverty overflowed in the wealth of their liberality” (2 Cor. 8:1-2).
If only my family would be more supportive, I would become a Christian. “He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me… (Mt. 10:37).
Do you notice that what God expects of us, He expects regardless of our particular circumstances? Instead of excusing ourselves due to adverse conditions, let us commit ourselves to our Creator and Benefactor. If only we would be like Jesus, who said, “…I do not seek My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me” (Jn. 5:30). He not only said it, He lived it — even to the point of death.
— Via The Beacon, May 27, 2018
The Steps That Lead to Eternal Salvation
1) Hear the gospel, for that is how faith comes (Rom. 10:17; John 20:30-31).
2) Believe in the deity of Christ (John 8:24; John 3:18).
3) Repent of sins (Luke 13:5; Acts 17:30).
4) Confess faith in Christ (Rom. 10:9-10; Acts 8:36-38).
5) Be baptized in water for the remission of sins (Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38; 22:16; Rom. 6:3-4; Gal. 3:26-27; 1 Pet. 3:21).
6) Continue in the faith, living for the Lord; for, if not, salvation can be lost (Heb. 10:36-39; Rev. 2:10; 2 Pet. 2:20-22).
CHURCH OF CHRIST
1402 Tebeau Street, Waycross, GA 31501
Sunday services: 9:00 a.m. (Bible class); 10 a.m. & 5 p.m. (worship)
Wednesday: 7 p.m. (Bible class)
evangelist/editor: Tom Edwards (912) 281-9917
http://thomastedwards.com/go (Older version of Gospel Observer website without pictures, but back to March 1990)
http://ThomasTEdwards.com/audioser.html (audio sermons)