TOPIC:“Making Your Soul Thankful”
by Rev. Dr. Reg Dunlap
TEXT:I Thessalonians 5:18
“In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you”
Robert Louis Stevenson once stated: “The man who has forgotten to be thankful has fallen asleep in life.” The Apostle Paul would never allow this to happen to him. He was not only a prayerful prisoner, but he was a PRAISEFUL prisoner. He was first in line in offering to God his gratitude.
No less than forty times does this man Paul use the verb and noun denoting thanksgiving. Listen to the spirit of gratitude as it flows from the heart of this first-century Christian: “We give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers” (I Thessalonians 1:2). “For this cause also thank we God without ceasing..” (I Thessalonians 2:13). “For what thanks can we render to God again for you” (I Thessalonians 3:9). “We are bound to thank God always for you, brethren, for it is fitting” (II Thessalonians 1:3).
I like the words of Paul S. Rees regarding Paul at this point: “Paul always appears in what we might call the garment of praise. He wore gratitude as a man wears a suite. The graces of praise and gratitude were woven into the fabric of his life.” I fully agree with that beautiful description of the life of Paul. He was indeed a praiseful Christian.
On this Thanksgiving Sunday you and I also need to be clothed with this grace of giving thanks. We must exhibit it before others. For most of us are long on our complains and short on our praises. If you really want to do something transforming this season of the year, go up to that person you have been complaining about and praise them. Let them know how much you appreciate what they are doing for Christ. Let them know you will be praying for them.
Let us now come to grips with the words of our text and the title of this message, “Making Your Soul Thankful.”