Giving thanks is seen in Scripture as a duty of men and women to the one who gives us all things. It is a fruit of the Spirit and of having a converted heart. The following verses are taken only from the NT and do not begin to touch this rich theme in the OT.
Giving thanks is seen as an offering to God. Read and write out the following verses. How does this change your view of this topic?
Luke 17:16-18 What did Jesus do? What was the appropriate response?
Rev 4:9 What is happening now in heaven?
Heb 13:15 What are we to do? What is it called?
Col 3:17 How do we live this out?
2 Cor 9:12 What was the result of their generosity?
Notice what was on Paul’s mind first for each of the churches. Each one of these them had problems yet how does he begin the letters? What can you learn from his example?
Romans 1:8, 1 Corinthians 1:4-5, Ephesians 1:15-16, Philippians 1:3-5, Colossians 1:3, I Thessalonians 2:1, 2 Thessalonians 1:3, Philemon 4
Giving thanks before a meal is rooted in the example of Jesus and Paul. Look at the following verses and notice this pattern.
Matt 15:31, Matt 26:27, Acts 27:35
What can you learn about thanksgiving in the following verses?
1 Thess 5:18 – What is the command here? Under what conditions?
Phil 4:6 – What does giving thanks help us fight? How?
1 Tim 2:1 – Thanksgiving is to be a part of public services
Col 4:2, John 11:41 – What is commanded? And how do we see this in Jesus’ example?
Eph 5:4 What should thanksgiving replace?
Write a paragraph summarizing what you learned.
Thanksgiving to God is a fruit being filled with the Spirit, being filled with the word, and maturity. Find those characteristics in each of the following verses.
Ungratefulness is sinful and a fruit of sinfulness. How do you see this in each of these passages? Had you thought of ungratefulness as sin?
2 Tim 3:2
Do you see the vertical component of thanksgiving as an offering that pleases God? Do others see you as a thankful person? What would your spouse or roommate say? Do you need to confess your grumbling, complaining, and lack of thankfulness? How can you grow in becoming a grateful person, filled with gratitude to God and others?