Torrey - Man -15.1- The Duty of Giving Thanks

I. THE DUTY OF GIVING THANKS. Psalm 29:1-2,4 "It is a good thing to give thanks unto the LORD, and to sing praises unto thy name, O Most High: To shew forth thy loving kindness in the morning, and thy faithfulness every night .... For thou, LORD, hast made me glad through thy work: I will triumph in the works of thy hands."

First Proposition: It is a good thing to give thanks to the Lord.

The Lord's dealings with us make thanksgiving and praise on our part the only fitting thing. In Psalm 107 the psalmist burst out four times into the cry, "Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men." As we reflect today upon the wondrous goodness of God to men on the one hand, and, on the other hand, upon the little thought and strength and time not only men, but even the average Christian, gives to thanksgiving, we may well utter the same cry. <19A004> Psalm 100:4 "Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him and bless his name." Ephesians 5:4 "Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks. Colossians 3:15,17 — "And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful." 1 Thessalonians 5:18 — "In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you."

Second Proposition: We are commanded again and again to give thanks.

The failure to return thanks to God "who daily loadeth us with benefits" is just as distinct and definite disobedience to God's commands as to steal or to murder. Psalm 69:30-31 — "I will praise the name of God with a song, and will magnify him with thanksgiving. This also shall please the LORD better than an ox or bullock that hath horns and hoofs."

Third Proposition: Giving thanks to God is more acceptable to Him than sacrifices.

We cannot all bring expensive offerings to God, but we can all bring the more pleasing offering of true and hearty thanksgiving. Luke 24:52-53 — "And they worshipped him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy: and were continually in the temple, praising and blessing God. Amen." Acts 2:46-47 — "And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart, praising God, and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved."

Fourth Proposition: The early Christians gave themselves continually to praise and thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving and praise were among the most noticeable and notable characteristics of their lives. The same thing is true of the holy men and women of the Old Testament. I cannot think of one good person, mentioned prominently in the Bible, who didn't thank God for some act of his goodness. The Bible is largely taken up with praise and thanksgiving. (Look up the words "thank," "praise," and "bless" and synonymous words.

Note especially the Epistles of Paul.) John 11:41 — "Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead was laid. And Jesus lifted up his eyes, and said, Father I thank Thee that Thou hast heard me." Matthew 11:25 — "At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes."

Fifth Proposition: The Lord Jesus Christ gave thanks.

These are only specimen passages, but again and again we get glimpses into the life of Christ that show us it was a life of abounding thankfulness to God. Christ's manner of returning thanks at the simplest meal was so noticeable that two of His disciples recognized Him by this after His resurrection ( Luke 24:30-31,35). Colossians 1:9,12 — "For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding .... Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light."

Sixth Proposition: Giving thanks to God is one of the inevitable results of being "filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding. ' Ephesians 5:18-20 — "And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit; Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ."

Seventh Proposition: Giving thanks to God is one of the inevitable results of being filled with the Spirit. 2 Corinthians 9:12 — "For the administration of this service not only supplieth the want of the saints, but is abundant also by many thanksgivings unto God." 2 Corinthians 4:15 RV — "For all things are for your sakes, that the grace, being multiplied through the many, may cause the thanksgiving to abound unto the glory of God."

Eighth Proposition: Giving thanks brings glory to God. John 11:41-42 — "Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead was laid. And Jesus lifted up his eyes, and said, Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me. And I knew that thou hearest me always: but because of the people which stand by I said it, that they may believe that thou hast sent me."

Ninth Proposition: Giving thanks leads other men to believe. Luke 17:15-18 — "And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, and with a loud voice glorified God. And fell down on his face at his feet, giving him thanks; and he was a Samaritan. And Jesus answering said, Were there not ten cleansed? But where are the nine?

There are not found that returned to give glory to God save this stranger.

And he said unto him, Arise, go thy way: thy faith hath made thee whole."

Tenth Proposition: The failure to give thanks for definite blessings received is a manifestation of ingratitude that surprises and grieves Jesus Christ. Romans 1:18,21 RV — "For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold down the truth in unrighteousness .... Because that, knowing God, they glorified him not as God, neither gave thanks; but became vain in their reasonings, and their senseless heart was darkened." (Note also following verses 24, 26) Eleventh Proposition: The failure to give thanks is one of the principal reasons for the revelation of the wrath of God from heaven, and for giving men up to a depraved mind. Philippians 4:6 — -"Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God."

Twelfth Proposition: Thanksgiving is a necessary accompaniment of prevailing prayer.