It is probable that there is true sincerity on the part of many unsaved who try to show thankfulness to God for temporal benefits. However, their utter failure to appreciate the gift of God’s Son leaves them most unthankful in God’s sight.
It should be remembered that Thanksgiving Day was established in this country by believers, for believers, with the recognition of the fact that the Christ-rejecting sinner cannot give acceptable praise unto God.
- (Hebrew) An extension of the hand, i.e. avowal (usually) adoration; A choir of worshippers in reverence or worship (with extended hands)
- (Webster) An open declaration or frank acknowledgment
- (Greek) Gratitude; Grateful language (to God, as an act of worship)
Those are nice “surface” definitions, and all are certainly true, but those definitions do not give the full depth of the truth wrapped up in the Biblical act of thanksgiving.
The Greek word for thanksgiving is made up of several words, but two of those words are the base or foundation. The first Greek word in this combination is our English word for “well”, or to be robust, hearty, sound, strong, etc. The second Greek word is our English word for “Grace.”
When you put those two words together, the new word produced looks like this in English Eucharistia. It is from this word that we get our English word “Eucharist.” This is the word often used to depict the experience of Holy Communion of one Believer with other Believers and Christ around the Lord’s Table. Tragically this term has been so ritualized that we have come to think of the “Eucharist” as some mystical or magical transaction in which the bread and drink of the Lord’s Table changes into the actual Body and Blood of Christ. There is no such teaching in the Scriptures, nor is that ritualistic definition, in any way, the definition of the word “Eucharist.”
- Eucharist (Webster)
- The sacrament of the Lord’s Supper; A central rite of many Christian churches in which bread and wine are consecrated by the officiating clergyman, shared with the people and consumed as memorials of Christ’s death or as symbols for the realization of a spiritual union between Christ and communicant or as the body and blood of Christ, also called Holy Communion. This is an act of worship in which thanksgiving is central.
My friend, Mr. Webster must have been reading his Bible and Greek lexicon when he wrote that definition because he’s right on!
The Eucharist or the Lord’s Table embodies the highest act of thankfulness for the greatest benefit received from God. That greatest benefit from God is His sacrifice on the cross for our sin by His Son, our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Therefore, the greatest of thanksgiving from any human is the grateful acknowledgment of Christ and His sacrifice on our account knowing and freely admitting that we are not deserving of such grace, yet accepting that grace, willingly and without any merit on our part to do so.
Biblical thanksgiving is the grateful acknowledgment of God’s past, present, and future mercies without the inference of seeking more than He has provided. This should be the attitude of Believers in all they do or say.
1 Thessalonians 5:11 Therefore comfort each other and edify one another, just as you also are doing. 12 And we urge you, brethren, to recognize those who labor among you, and are over you in the Lord and admonish you, 13 and to esteem them very highly in love for their work's sake. Be at peace among yourselves. 14 Now we exhort you, brethren, warn those who are unruly, comfort the fainthearted, uphold the weak, be patient with all. 15 See that no one renders evil for evil to anyone, but always pursue what is good both for yourselves and for all. 16 Rejoice always, 17 pray without ceasing, 18 in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
I have highlighted some of the action words in this passage, and there are other action words that follow this portion we are referencing
These are not suggestions that will simply enhance our Christian experience. These are commands that are a must if we are to experience the Christian walk with Christ through the Holy Spirit. These are not stand alone items on the Divine Smorgasbord of Christian living of which we can choose to put on our plate or to leave in place for the next participant to indulge. Each of these are a part of the whole!
There are so many things involved in the proper Biblical act of thanksgiving, besides saying, “Thank you!” You will notice, it is mentioned over and over again that proper conduct with other Believers is directly attached to the proper act of thanksgiving, or is in the context, as it is in this passage. It is a lifestyle, not simply individual acts, that is to be the demonstration of the love of Christ in human flesh by the Believer
We also find that a proper attitude is associated with Biblical thanksgiving. The proper actions of not rendering evil for evil and pursuing the good of all, and the proper attitude of rejoicing are to be continual, not intermittent. They are to be a lifestyle, not just actions of life. We are to add to this lifestyle, the continual status of being on line with God, or as stated here, to pray without ceasing. With those aspects in place we can then give thanks in everything. This action of pure thanksgiving can and should be the foundation of all our requests made to God.
In Philippians 4.4-7, the Holy Spirit has given us a basic principle, you might even call it a doctrine, concerning our behavior and prayer as well as our emotional and Spiritual stability. This principle is hinged on the matter of having and giving proper thanksgiving in the Biblical manner. Let’s spend a little time establishing the facts of this passage. Then we will need to reach back and forward a little in the context to see the total picture.
Philippians 4:4 Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand. 6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; 7 and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
Rejoice in the Lord always! v 4. This is not a rejoicing because of good circumstances or because life and events around us are joyful. This constant rejoice is based on, and because of where we are: we are in the Lord! We should be thankful for the fact of being in the Lord!!
This directive of the Holy Spirit is not about the event or the position. Instead, because we have a position in Christ, we are to be in a Spiritual state of rejoicing and thankfulness. We are to be in this state or lifestyle continually. This fact is brought out over and over again in the Word of God
Before we move on in the subject of thanksgiving, please note the structure of this passage in light of the subject of thanksgiving. The base of the structure of this passage is found in the first phrase “Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!” The Holy Spirit makes this base about as solid as one can make in print. The double use of rejoice emphasizes the absolute need for this attitude. Then the Holy Spirit increases the intensity of this fact by adding always.
We cannot take the time right now to go back and establish the reason of this rejoicing, and the means in which it should be expressed. I just want to point out that it is not a rejoicing because of favorable circumstance.
The first part of vs 4, states the source or this rejoicing: it is because we are in the Lord. This rejoicing is not so much about the fact of our position, but it is the results of being in the position. In this Spiritual position of being in the Lord, we will naturally have rejoicing from that Spiritual source. Not rejoicing because of external things, but as a result of an internal Spiritual source. Upon that foundation, all other aspects of this passage is built.
Biblical thanksgiving is the grateful acknowledgment of God’s past, present and future mercies, without the inference of seeking more than He has provided. How long has it been since you spent time in prayer simply expressing your thankfulness to Him for Who He is and What He has done and never ask for a thing? When was the last time you really rejoiced because you were in the Lord?
Let you gentleness be known to all men v 5.
Gentleness = (Greek) Suitableness, equitable, fair minded.
These expressions of gentleness in this definition are not those we would usually associate with the English term gentle. That is why the KJV translated it as moderation. Whatever you call this quality of expression, the Believer is to have it as a normal way of life, or else it couldn’t be known by all people.
Be anxious for nothing v 6 Our lack of anxiety is not lack of concern for others or things, but we need not be anxious because the Lord, in Whom we are, is sovereign. With these two factors in place, then our prayer life will be proper and centering around that thankful attitude. As a result we can, and will make requests of God that are centered in His will instead of on our wants.
Anxious = (Webster) Characterized by extreme uneasiness of mind about some contingency; Experiencing a sense of brooding fear or torment.
Notice the presence of proper actions and attitudes. These are not to be just isolated acts, but are to be continual, or a lifestyle. Oh, yes!! There is prayer again, right in the midst of all these components (v6). This structure will appear over and over again along with the subject of thanksgiving. This structure will not always be as obvious as in these two passages, but it will often be in the context.
It been said with that, “We should not be anxious over nothing, but when it comes to something, then we should be anxious.” I can appreciate the cute play on words in an attempt to excuse or at least lessen the sinfulness of a very common Spiritual ailment of far too many Believers. However, no matter how much legal maneuvering we try to do, the command in this verse does not change.
The peace of God will guard you v 7. Only when those three things above are as a result of being in Him, will the peace of God guard your hearts and minds through Jesus Christ. We love to and we should quote verse 7 to those who are in stressful times and situations, however, verse 7 cannot be true until verses 4 through 6 are properly an active part of our thinking and actions.
There is much more here than meets the eye to our grab-a-verse-and-claim-it religious society. Memorized Scripture is very beneficial, but using only part of the truth given by the Holy Spirit, can and will lead to false doctrine, false hope, and false actions. We must be very careful about just sitting down with someone and looking at a verse for the day. If we apply the verse improperly, we are guilty of teaching false doctrine.
In the same vein, if we apply that verse improperly in our own life, we are not walking in the Spirit and are carnal. There is so much more in the passage, and in its context!
Let’s dip into the context of this passage, so we may better see the import of its message.
Philippians 4:1-7 Therefore, my beloved and longed-for brethren, my joy and crown, so stand fast in the Lord, beloved. 2 I implore Euodia and I implore Syntyche to be of the same mind in the Lord. 3 And I urge you also, true companion, help these women who labored with me in the gospel, with Clement also, and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are in the Book of Life. 4 Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand. 6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; 7 and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:1-3 is in the setting of problems within the church. The problem was of the greatest magnitude. Two women were at odds with one another. Usually, when you find problems within the church, that problem will be personality related.
It has sadly always been so, and is one of the reasons for such exhortation. Giving proper balance. These women were a problem in the church and a hindrance to the work of Christ. Remember we saw that phrase in verses 4 – 6 earlier in the lesson? They, personally were not qualified to come to God in real thanksgiving, because they weren’t rejoicing in the Lord always, nor was their gentleness known to all, and they were certainly experiencing a sense of brooding fear and torment.
That was a quick look at the context before our passage of the day
Now let’s look at some of the context that follows this passage
Philippians 4:4-8 Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice! 5 Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand. 6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; 7 and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. 8 Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praise-worthy, meditate on these things.
As we look at the context on the other side of this declaration of true thanksgiving, we see the prevention and the cure for people of self-will, who are not of the same mind in Christ. If we are truly thankful for God’s forgiveness and provision, we will not be thinking on the base things of life and self-elevation. Instead, we will have a mind set on things that are true, noble, just, pure, lovely, of good report and that are of virtue and praiseworthy. What a difference it would make in our relationships at: Home, school, work, church or any other relationship, if we spent our time thinking on these things!
If our actions, attitudes and relationships are not proper before God, there is no way we can honestly come before God in true thanksgiving. If we can’t come to God in true thanksgiving, then our prayer life will be hindered or even stopped.
What a shame that so many Christians will approach this Thanksgiving Day, and be unable to give God proper and honest thanks because they are so wrapped up in themselves, instead of being in the Lord!
Worship and Praise
Since no payment can be made to God for His unmeasurable benefits, The Scriptures state that we are obligated to be thankful to Him. All thanksgiving is closely related to worship and praise.
Examples from Old Testament
In the Old Testament, the spiritual relationships to God were often expressed in material ways. Among these material expressions were the offerings and sacrifices of thanksgiving.
Leviticus 7:12 'If he offers it for a thanksgiving, then he shall offer, with the sacrifice of thanksgiving, unleavened cakes mixed with oil, unleavened wafers anointed with oil, or cakes of finely blended flour mixed with oil. 13 'Besides the cakes, as his offering he shall offer leavened bread with the sacrifice of thanksgiving of his peace offering. 14 'And from it he shall offer one cake from each offering as a heave offering to the LORD. It shall belong to the priest who sprinkles the blood of the peace offering. 15 'The flesh of the sacrifice of his peace offering for thanksgiving shall be eaten the same day it is offered. He shall not leave any of it until morning.
The New Testament Believer is also to show thankfulness in material and physical means. However for the Believer, there must be those times when our “sacrifice” is our personal expression of praise, adoration and gratitude for God’s grace. There must be times when our thanksgiving comes from a heart overflowing with God’s grace, but emptied of self and self-elevation.
Psalms 107:22 Let them sacrifice the sacrifices of thanksgiving, And declare His works with rejoicing.
Psalms 116:17 I will offer to You the sacrifice of thanksgiving, And will call upon the name of the LORD.
Similarly, in the church age, it is the privilege of the believer to make sacrificial offerings of thanksgiving to God. However, if the offering of a sacrificial gift of thanksgiving is given with the motive, or thought of compensation, the essential value of thanksgiving is destroyed.
The prophetic message of the Old Testament anticipates thanksgiving as a special feature of the worship in the coming Kingdom.
Isaiah 51:1 "Listen to Me, you who follow after righteousness, you who seek the LORD: look to the rock from which you were hewn, and to the hole of the pit from which you were dug. 2 Look to Abraham your father, and to Sarah who bore you; for I called him alone, and blessed him and increased him." 3 For the LORD will comfort Zion, He will comfort all her waste places; He will make her wilderness like Eden, and her desert like the garden of the LORD; joy and gladness will be found in it, thanksgiving and the voice of melody.
Jeremiah 30:18 "Thus says the LORD: 'Behold, I will bring back the captivity of Jacob's tents, and have mercy on his dwelling places; the city shall be built upon its own mound, and the palace shall remain according to its own plan. 19 Then out of them shall proceed thanksgiving and the voice of those who make merry; I will multiply them, and they shall not diminish; I will also glorify them, and they shall not be small.
There is ceaseless thanksgiving in Heaven.
Revelation 4:9 Whenever the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to Him who sits on the throne, who lives forever and ever,
Revelation 7:11 And all the angels stood around the throne and the elders and the four living creatures, and fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, 12 saying: "Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom, thanksgiving and honor and power and might, be to our God forever and ever. Amen."
An important feature of Biblical thanksgiving is the appreciation of the Person of God apart from all His benefits. We praise Him for Who He is.
Psalms 30:4 Sing praise to the LORD, You saints of His, And give thanks at the remembrance of His holy name.
Psalms 95:2 Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving; Let us shout joyfully to Him with psalms.
Psalms 97:12 Rejoice in the LORD, you righteous, And give thanks at the remembrance of His holy name.
Psalms 100:1 Make a joyful shout to the LORD, all you lands! 2 Serve the LORD with gladness; Come before His presence with singing. 3 Know that the LORD, He is God; It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves; We are His people and the sheep of His pasture. 4 Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, And into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name. 5 For the LORD is good; His mercy is everlasting, And His truth endures to all generations.
Psalms 119:62 At midnight I will rise to give thanks to You, Because of Your righteous judgments.
Examples from New Testament
New Testament praise is offered for both temporal and spiritual blessings.
Matthew 15:36 And He took the seven loaves and the fish and gave thanks, broke them and gave them to His disciples; and the disciples gave to the multitude.
Acts 27:35 And when he had said these things, he took bread and gave thanks to God in the presence of them all; and when he had broken it he began to eat. 36 Then they were all encouraged, and also took food themselves. 37 And in all we were two hundred and seventy-six persons on the ship. 38 So when they had eaten enough, they lightened the ship and threw out the wheat into the sea.
Romans 14:6 He who observes the day, observes it to the Lord; and he who does not observe the day, to the Lord he does not observe it. He who eats, eats to the Lord, for he gives God thanks; and he who does not eat, to the Lord he does not eat, and gives God thanks.
1 Timothy 4:3 forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from foods which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth. 4 For every creature of God is good, and nothing is to be refused if it is received with thanksgiving; 5 for it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer.
Thanksgiving on the part of the Apostle Paul is worthy of close attention. He uses the phrase "thanks be unto God" in connection with Christ as the "unspeakable gift"
2 Corinthians 9:15 Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!
For the Believer, there is to thanks concerning the victory over the grave that is secured by Christ’s resurrection
1 Corinthians 15:57 But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
As Believers, we should give thanks for the present triumph which is ours through Christ
2 Corinthians 2:14 Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place.
We should be giving thanksgiving to God for other believers
1 Thessalonians 1:2 We give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers,
Paul gives exhortation that thanks be given for all men
1 Timothy 2:1 Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men,
Two important features of thanksgiving according to the New Testament should be noted.
We are to give thanks without ceasing.
2 Corinthians 4:15 For all things are for your sakes, that grace, having spread through the many, may cause thanksgiving to abound to the glory of God.
Hebrews 13:15 Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name.
Colossians 4:2 Continue earnestly in prayer, being vigilant in it with thanksgiving;
We are to give thanks for all things.
Ephesians 5:20 giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ,
1 Thessalonians 5:18 in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
Philippians 4:6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God;
Colossians 2:7 rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving.
Giving thanks always for all things, is far removed from giving thanks sometimes for some things.
Ephesians 5:18 And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit, 19 speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord, 20 giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ,
This fact may be the reason so many of us do not find ourselves participating in the giving of thanks in all things. To see the reality of this, look at an account given by Christ of a person who failed to have a thankful heart in all things
Luke 15:25 "Now his older son was in the field. And as he came and drew near to the house, he heard music and dancing. 26 "So he called one of the servants and asked what these things meant. 27 "And he said to him, 'Your brother has come, and because he has received him safe and sound, your father has killed the fatted calf.' 28 "But he was angry and would not go in. Therefore his father came out and pleaded with him. 29 "So he answered and said to his father, 'Lo, these many years I have been serving you; I never transgressed your commandment at any time; and yet you never gave me a young goat, that I might make merry with my friends. 30 'But as soon as this son of yours came, who has devoured your livelihood with harlots, you killed the fatted calf for him.' 31 "And he said to him, 'Son, you are always with me, and all that I have is yours. 32 'It was right that we should (have a thanksgiving service) make merry and be glad, for your brother was dead and is alive, and was lost and is found.' "
You, of course, remember the story. The younger son had ask for his portion of the family business, and his father complied. The younger son, admittedly, wasted his portion and really messed up his life.
All the time the younger son was living “high on the hog” and showing that he was anything but responsible, the older son was demonstrating that he was the apex of responsibility and in all ways the opposite of his younger brother. These admirable traits of responsibility and dedication to accomplishing the needed tasks, however, did not spring from an attitude of thankfulness.
The father’s heart could not have been more thankful! His son, who had deliberately spurned the fellowship and the will of his father had come to himself, repented and was home safe and sound.
What more could any parent want? Such an event would fill the heart of a father with praise, and lift his spirits in thanksgiving. Therefore, the father threw an impulsive thanksgiving party. So impulsive was this party, that the older son, who was working out in the field, had not been notified.
The older son was the type of son any father would be proud of. He was a good son. He minded his own business, lived by the rules and stayed clear of trouble. What a Son! This good son was coming home after a hard day of chores on the ranch. He heard the commotion but was unaware that all the fuss had to do with a surprise homecoming of his baby brother. Maybe he even looked in the window and saw the table loaded with all good things, and saw the empty chair right next the robe covered prodigal
He ask one of the servant what was going on, and was told that it was in celebration of his younger brother’s return. You would have thought that he would have raised his heart to God in thanksgiving for such a miracle. Instead, he became angry and would participate in the joy of the father. After all, he didn’t get what he wanted. Therefore, he wouldn’t play the game. Sounds like some Christians, I’ve met. How about you?
Notice the cause of his anger or unthankfulness in verse 29. It was self-centeredness.
- I served
- I never transgressed
- I never had a party
He did not believe his father, even though dad gave him the facts and assured him that everything that was his and lot more was still his. He was so consumed with the thought that he personally should be getting more and others should not be getting anything. In that state, it is impossible to give thanks or be thankful
True thanksgiving is never self-centered.
- Aware of and appreciation for a benefit; Expression of gratitude and acknowledgement of a favor
The common sin of ingratitude toward God is illustrated by an event in the ministry of Christ. Ten lepers were cleansed, but only one returned to give thanks.
Luke 17:11 Now it happened as He went to Jerusalem that He passed through the midst of Samaria and Galilee. 12 Then as He entered a certain village, there met Him ten men who were lepers, who stood afar off. 13 And they lifted up their voices and said, "Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!" 14 So when He saw them, He said to them, "Go, show yourselves to the priests." And so it was that as they went, they were cleansed. 15 Now one of them, when he saw that he was healed, returned, and with a loud voice glorified God, 16 and fell down on his face at His feet, giving Him thanks. And he was a Samaritan. 17 So Jesus answered and said, "Were there not ten cleansed? But where are the nine? 18 "Were there not any found who returned to give glory to God except this foreigner?" 19 And He said to him, "Arise, go your way. Your faith has made you well."
What was wrong with the nine who went their way? Why didn’t they return and give thanks to the Lord? Let me suggest several reasons and I’m sure there are many more.
They didn’t notice
One reason might have been they didn’t notice they had been cleansed. Notice the passage said the one leper “saw” (vs 14) that he was healed. How could the others not know they were healed? Leprosy is such a terrible disease, surely they would have known they were healed!
Well, let’s ask. Are you blind to your blessings? Are you blind to God’s forgiveness within your life; the air you breathe; the strength to get out of bed on your own; etc.?
We have so many blessing everyday, and too often we don’t even see them as blessings, sometime we even see our blessings as a curse
Took credit for the cleansing themselves
Another reason the nine did not come back, might have been they didn’t attribute their cleansing to Jesus. Occasionally, people will say, “I’ve never received any blessings from God” but we all know that’s not true.
Remember the story from a few weeks ago. The man was late for an appointment and desperately prayed for God to help him find a parking space. Of course, if God provide that parking space, he would be back in church and serve God faithfully. Miraculously, a parking space opened up. So the man continued in his prayer to God and told God that he didn’t need to bother, because he had already found a place to park therefore, freeing himself from any obligation to God. Sound familiar?
>James 1:17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.
1 Corinthians 4:7 For who makes you differ from another? And what do you have that you did not receive? Now if you did indeed receive it, why do you glory as if you had not received it?
Yes, everything good that we have, comes from God! We may have worked and made the money to buy something, but essentially, it came from God! God gave us life, breath, health, the ability to work, the job, the money from the job. And whatever we purchase with that money. It all comes from God!
Our cleansing and forgiveness definitely comes from Him! We can’t cleanse ourselves from sin. Cleansing from the filth of sin is only possible through the blood of the Lamb!
Thought they deserved it
Another reason the nine did not come back, might have been they may have felt that they deserved their cleansing or healing. Some people are so egotistical as to think they actually deserve all the good things they get in life. Some people think that just because they’re Americans or Christians that they deserve every good thing they get and much more. This is not true.
I honestly don’t think that any of us would dare ask God to give us what we deserve! We might be surprised by what we would get! We are not naturally grateful for the good things we receive in life. Gratefulness is an attitude we must learn and thanksgiving is something we must practice
Would you be one the nine lepers who were so overjoyed with their personal good fortune, that they had no time to be thankful to the Source of all good things?
Romans 1:17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, "The just shall live by faith." 18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, 19 because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. 20 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, 21 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. 22 Professing to be wise, they became fools,
2 Timothy 3:1 But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: 2 For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3 unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, 4 traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5 having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away!
True thanksgiving is the voluntary expression of heartfelt gratitude for benefit received. The effectiveness of our thanksgiving depends upon its sincerity. The intensity of our thankfulness depends upon the value we place on the benefit received.
II Corinthians 9:10 Now may He who supplies seed to the sower, and bread for food, supply and multiply the seed you have sown and increase the fruits of your righteousness, 11 while you are enriched in everything for all liberality, which causes thanksgiving through us to God.
Thanksgiving is peculiarly personal. We have some obligations that may be assumed by another; but no one can offer for us our word of thanksgiving
Leviticus 22:29 "And when you offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving to the LORD, offer it of your own free will.
Thanksgiving is in no way a payment for benefits received. It is rather a gracious acknowledgment of the fact that the one who had received the benefit is indebted to the giver. Since no payment can be made to God for His unmeasurable benefits, The Scriptures state that we have an obligation to be thankful to Him. All thanksgiving is closely related to worship and praise.
As you check your thanksgiving barometer, how do you stack up?