These notes accompany the sermon found here.

Giving Thanks

  • Is commanded by God’s Word. (Psalm 50:14; 1 Thessalonians 5:18; 1 Timothy 2:1.)
    • Jeremy Taylor, “Every furrow in the book of Psalms is sown with the seeds of thanksgiving.”
  • Is modeled by Jesus and the Apostles. (Matthew 11:25, 26:27; John 11:41; Ephesians 1:16, 5:20; 1 Thessalonians 1:2.) 
    • Ambrose, “No duty is more urgent than that of returning thanks.”
  • Is basic and sincere worship. (Psalm 69:30, 107:22; Hebrews 13:15.)
    • John Henry Jowett, “Every virtue divorced from thankfulness is maimed and limps along the spiritual road.” 

Failing to Give Thanks

  • Is the beginning of sin. (Romans 1:21; 2 Timothy 3:2)
  • Leads to idolatry. (Romans 1:23; Psalm 106:20; Jeremiah 2:11; Acts 17:29.)
  • Leads to futility. (Romans 1:21; Ephesians 4:17-18.)
  • Leads to depravity. (Romans 1:28; Titus 1:10-16)

How to Be More Thankful

  • Repent and trust in Jesus Christ for salvation.
    • Jerry Bridges, “Thanksgiving is not a natural virtue; it is a fruit of the Spirit, given by him.” 
  • Be a student of God’s Word.
  • Assess life biblically. 
  • Consider challenging friends and family this Thanksgiving Holiday by asking, “Whom shall we thank?”

For Further Study:

Squanto and the Miracle of Thanksgiving by Eric Metaxas, illustrated by Shannon Stirnweis. Read along with the illustrations in this video. This explains some of the reason for the thankfulness of the Pilgrims at Plymouth in 1621!

Look at this massive entry from New Nave’s Topical Bible concerning Thankfulness:

THANKFULNESS. Jesus set an example of, Matt. 11:25; 26:27; John 11:41. The heavenly host engage in, Rev. 4:9; 7:11, 12; 11:16, 17. Commanded, Psa. 50:14. Should be offered to God, Psa. 50:14; to Christ, 1 Tim. 1:12; through Christ, Rom. 1:8; Col. 3:17; Heb. 13:15; in the name of Christ, Eph. 5:20; in behalf of ministers, 2 Cor. 1:11; in private worship, Dan. 6:10; in public worship, Psa. 35:18; in everything, 1 Thess. 5:18; upon the completion of great undertakings, Neh. 12:31, 40; before taking food, John 6:11; Acts 27:35; always, Eph. 1:16; 5:20; 1 Thess. 1:2; as the remembrance of God’s holiness, Psa. 30:4; 97:12; for the goodness and mercy of God, Psa. 106:1; 107:1; 136:1–3; for the gift of Christ, 2 Cor. 9:15; for Christ’s power and reign, Rev. 11:17; for the reception and effectual working of the word of God in others, 1 Thess. 2:13; for deliverance through Christ, from indwelling sin, Rom. 7:23–25; for victory over death and the grave, 1 Cor. 15:57; for wisdom and might, Dan. 2:23; for the triumph of the gospel, 2 Cor. 2:14; for the conversion of others, Rom. 6:17; for faith exhibited by others, Rom. 1:8; 2 Thess. 1:3; for love exhibited by others, 2 Thess. 1:3; for the grace bestowed on others, 1 Cor. 1:4; Phil. 1:3–5; Col. 1:3–6; for the zeal exhibited by others, 2 Cor. 8:16; for nearness of God’s presence, Psa. 75:1; for appointment to the ministry, 1 Tim. 1:12; for willingness to offer our property for God’s service, 1 Chr. 29:6–14; for the supply of our bodily wants, Rom. 14:6, 7; 1 Tim. 4:3, 4; for all men, 1 Tim. 2:1; for all things, 2 Cor. 9:11; Eph. 5:20. Should be accompanied by intercession for others, 1 Tim. 2:1; 2 Tim. 1:3; Philem. 4. Should always accompany prayer, Neh. 11:17; Phil. 4:6; Col. 4:2. Should always accompany praise, Psa. 92:1; Heb. 13:15. Expressed in psalms, 1 Chr. 16:7. Ministers appointed to offer, in public, 1 Chr. 16:4, 7; 23:30; 2 Chr. 31:2. Saints exhorted to, Psa. 105:1; Col. 3:15; resolve to offer, Psa. 18:49; 30:12; habitually offer, Dan. 6:10; offer sacrifices of, Psa. 116:17; abound in the faith with, Col. 2:7; magnify God by, Psa. 69:30; come before God with, Psa. 95:2; should enter God’s gates with, Psa. 100:4. Of hypocrites, full of boasting, Luke 18:11. The wicked averse to, Rom. 1:21.

Exemplified: David, 1 Chr. 29:13. Levites, 2 Chr. 5:12, 13. Daniel, Dan. 2:23. Jonah, Jonah 2:9. Simeon, Luke 2:28. Anna, Luke 2:38. Paul, Acts 28:15.—Bible Text-Book.

Enjoined: Gen. 35:1; Ex. 12:14, 17, 42; Ex. 13:3, 8–10, 14–16; Ex. 16:32; Ex. 34:26; Lev. 19:24; Lev. 23:14; Deut. 12:18; Deut. 16:9–15; Deut. 26:10; Judg. 5:11; Psa. 48:11; Psa. 50:14, 15; Psa. 98:1; Psa. 105:1, 5, 42–45 vs. 1–45.; Psa. 106:1; Psa. 107:1, 2, 15, 22, 42, 43; Psa. 118:1, 4; Prov. 3:9, 10; Eccl. 7:14; Isa. 48:20; Joel 2:26; Rom. 2:4; Rom. 15:27; Eph. 5:4, 19, 20; Phil. 4:6; Col. 1:12; Col. 2:7; Col. 3:15–17; Col. 4:2; 1 Thess. 5:18; 1 Tim. 2:1; 1 Tim. 4:3–5; Heb. 13:15; Jas. 1:9 See Joy; Praise; Psalms.

Exemplified: Gen. 32:10; Gen. 48:11, 15, 16; Ex. 15:1–21; Num. 21:17, 18; 1 Kin. 8:56; 1 Chr. 29:14; Ezra 7:27; Psa. 9:1, 2, 4; Psa. 13:6; Psa. 22:23–25; Psa. 26:7; Psa. 28:7; Psa. 30:1, 3, 11, 12; Psa. 31:7, 21; Psa. 35:9, 10, 18; Psa. 40:2, 3, 5; Psa. 41:11, 12; Psa. 44:7, 8; Psa. 54:6, 7; Psa. 56:12, 13; Psa. 59:16, 17; Psa. 66:8, 9, 12–16, 20; Psa. 68:19; Psa. 71:15, 23, 24; Psa. 79:13; Psa. 89:1; Psa. 92:1, 2, 4; Psa. 98:1; Psa. 100:4; Psa. 102:18–20; Psa. 104:1; Psa. 116:12–14, 17; Psa. 119:65, 108; Psa. 136:1–26; Isa. 63:7; Dan. 2:23; Dan. 4:2, 34; Dan. 6:22; Acts 2:46, 47; Acts 28:15; Rom. 14:6; Col. 1:3; 1 Tim. 1:12 See Joy; Praise; Psalms; Worship.

Of Person to Person. The Israelites, to Joshua, Josh. 19:49, 50. The spies, to Rahab, Josh. 6:22–25. Saul, to the Kenites, 1 Sam. 15:6. Naomi, to Boaz, Ruth 2:19, 20. David, to the men to Jabesh-gilead, 2 Sam. 2:5–7; to Hanun, 2 Sam. 10:2; to Barzillai, 1 Kin. 2:7. Paul, to Phebe, Rom. 16:1–4; to Onesiphorus, 2 Tim. 1:16–18. The people of Melita, to Paul, Acts 28:10.

To God:

Instances of: Of eve, Gen. 4:1, 25. Of Noah, Gen. 8:20. Of Melchizedek, Gen. 14:20. Of Lot, Gen. 19:19. Of Sarah, Gen. 21:6, 7. Of Abraham, Gen. 12:7; 13:4. Of Abraham’s servant, Gen. 24:27, 35. Of Isaac, Gen. 26:22. Of Leah, Gen. 29:32–35. Of Rachel, Gen. 30:6. Of Jacob, Gen. 31:42; 35:3, 7. Of Joseph, Gen. 41:51, 52. Of Moses, Ex. 15:1–19. Of Miriam, Ex. 15:20–22. Of Jethro, Ex. 18:10. Of Israel, Ex. 4:31; Num. 21:17; 31:49–54; 1 Chr. 29:22. Of Deborah, Judg. 5. Of Hannah, 1 Sam. 1:27, 28. Of Samuel, 1 Sam. 7:12. Of David, 2 Sam. 6:21. See Psalms, above. Of the Queen of Sheba, 1 Kin. 10:9. Of Hiram, 2 Chr. 2:12. Of Jehoshaphat’s army, 2 Chr. 20:27, 28. Of the Levites, Neh. 9:4–38. Of the Jews, Neh. 12:43. Of the mariners, Jonah 1:16. Of the shepherds, Luke 2:20. Those whom Jesus healed: The man with palsy, Luke 5:25; the healed demoniac, Luke 8:39; the woman bent with infirmity, Luke 13:13; one of the ten lepers whom Jesus healed, Luke 17:15, 16; blind Bartimaeus, Luke 18:43; Mark 10:46–52; the centurion for his son, John 4:53. The lame man healed by Peter, Acts 3:8. Before taking food, by Jesus, Matt. 14:19; Mark 8:6, 7; Paul, Acts 27:35. See Praise; Prayer Before Taking Food.

From: Swanson, James, and Orville Nave. New Nave’s Topical Bible. Oak Harbor: Logos Research Systems, 1994. Print.

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