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Blog 8 Bible Verses about Thanksgiving and Gratitude

8 Bible Verses about Thanksgiving and Gratitude

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EPHESIANS 5:20“… giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Commentary from the sermon “How Is Your Thanksgiving?” by Alistair Begg:

“Notice, ‘giving thanks always.’ That’s constant and for everything. That’s comprehensive. … See how Trinitarian this is? See how distinctively Christian this is? The Spirit of God—that’s the third person of the Trinity—is at work in the heart and life of a child of God, stirring us to give thanks always and for everything to God the Father and to do so in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. So Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are engaged in the exercise of making sure that the child of God is a thankful person, thanking God for His providence in our lives.”

PSALM 100:3–5“Know that the LORD, he is God! It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name! For the LORD is good; his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations.”

Commentary from the sermon “An Exposition of Psalm 100 — Part Two” by Alistair Begg:

“One of the distinguishing features of the child of God is gratitude—not simply natural gratitude, to which Jonathan Edwards referred, but what he referred to as gracious gratitude; not the gratitude that simply says, ‘Well, it’s a nice day, and we’re glad it’s not raining.’ Man as man is capable of that. Or, ‘The wheels for my car have not fallen off; how thankful I am!’ Anybody can do this. But no, it is an indication of grace when the gratitude of heart extends to the point where the person says, ‘It is God who is due all of the praise, all of the glory, and all of the thankfulness.’ Remember when Paul writes in Romans 1, concerning the suppression of the truth on the part of men and women, he says, ‘Here’s what happened to them: They became foolish. They did not honor him as God or give thanks to him’ (1:21–22, paraphrased). … That is the picture of the population without Christ. They do not honor God; they do not give thanks to Him.”

PSALM 57:9“I will give thanks to you, O Lord, among the peoples; I will sing praises to you among the nations.”

Commentary from the sermon “I Will Give Thanks” by Alistair Begg:

“Genuine thankfulness saves us from the attitude which says either ‘I don’t deserve this’ or ‘I deserve better than this.’ If I find myself waking in the morning and affirming, ‘I don’t deserve this,’ then I know that I have completely skewed the notion of thankfulness to God. If I find myself driving in my car, saying, ‘I deserve better than this; this is miserable, what I’m getting out of this,’ and so on, then, once again, I have not bowed down before God and understood His provision. You see, our gratitude to God is an acknowledgement of our dependence, and our unwillingness to acknowledge God’s goodness is an ultimate expression of our independence. And that’s why the Bible prompts us again and again, ‘What do you have that you didn’t receive?’ (1 Cor. 4:7, paraphrased). Absolutely nothing.”

COLOSSIANS 1:3–6“We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love that you have for all the saints, because of the hope laid up for you in heaven. Of this you have heard before in the word of the truth, the gospel, which has come to you, as indeed in the whole world it is bearing fruit and increasing—as it also does among you, since the day you heard it and understood the grace of God in truth.”

Commentary from the sermon “Reasons for Thanksgiving” by Alistair Begg:

“You’ll notice the little word ‘always’ in verse 3. Paul’s thanksgiving, then, is not merely a temporary feeling of gratitude. Rather, it is marked by constancy. He says, ‘We always thank God,’ and in that he is an example of that which he urges upon others. You go through Paul’s letters, and you will find again and again that he urges upon his readers thanksgiving in their prayers. If you like, a prayer without thanksgiving is like a bird without wings. And Paul again … urges his leadership to thankfulness. Be thankful.

“Learn to be thankful in all circumstances, no matter how bad it is. Learn to be thankful to God. It would be a strange thing if, having urged his readers to that, he himself lived in a denial of it. … He is also in no doubt as to whom the thanks is due. When is he thanking? He’s always thanking. And to whom is he giving thanks? He is not giving thanks ultimately to Epaphras (Col. 1:7). He is not giving thanks to himself. No matter what part he or Epaphras or others may have played in the spiritual pilgrimage of the church of Colossae, Paul knows that God is worthy of all the glory; for He it is who is ultimately responsible for any spiritual advance in His children.”

COLOSSIANS 2:6–7“Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.”

Commentary from the sermon “Overflowing with Thankfulness — Part One” by Alistair Begg:

“One of the real indications that a person’s life has been touched and changed by Jesus is that they overflow with thankfulness. They’re just thankful! You see, thankfulness is the song of the Christian. Bitterness, complaining, anger, victimization—these are all part of the non-Christian’s wardrobe. And in Jesus, says Paul to these Colossian Christians, you don’t wear that stuff anymore. When you heard God’s grace in all its truth, when you turned to Him in repentance and in faith, He forgave all of your sins, and He came to live inside of you. He indwelt you. You are the dwelling place of God. Therefore, it is now incongruous for those of you who have been united with Jesus to go around wearing the clothes from your olden days.”

COLOSSIANS 3:15–17“Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”

Commentary from the sermon “Life in the Local Church — Part Two” by Alistair Begg:

“It’s an interesting study in Colossians to go through and look at how many times Paul uses the phrase ‘Be thankful’ or ‘thankfulness’ time and time again. It’s not surprising that he does so in relation to peace, because a spirit of thankfulness breeds peace. A spirit of genuine thankfulness for all that I have will make me increasingly happy with what may be entrusted to another. ‘Godliness with contentment is great gain’ (1 Tim. 6:6). If I am thankful in my heart for what God has given me, I won’t be jealous in my heart for what God has given someone else. Not if I’m content. Of course, if I am not content, … then no matter how sweet my words nor how sympathetic my face, in my heart, [the peace of Christ] will not rule.”

1 THESSALONIANS 5:18“Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”

Commentary from the sermon “Thankfulness: A Mark of Grace” by Alistair Begg:

“You will notice the directive which is here in a phrase in verse 18: ‘Give thanks in all circumstances.’ Be thankful people. The children of God should of all people be really thankful. Why? Because they have so much for which to be thankful. That is why it’s not unusual for us to turn to the pages of the Bible and find that it is speaking about thankfulness all over the place. … So for Paul to issue this directive here is not somehow or another to introduce a new element to the Bible, but is simply to add his voice, as it were, to a great chorus that is calling for the spirit of thankfulness amongst those who name the name of Christ.”

PSALM 145:1–3“I will extol you, my God and King, and bless your name forever and ever. Every day I will bless you and praise your name forever and ever. Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised, and his greatness is unsearchable.”

Commentary from the sermon “We Thank You, Lord” by Alistair Begg:

“The Lord is great. He is unlike a mere man whose greatness we can quantify. The human mind and spirit, the psalm says, is unable to fathom the wonder of this aspect of God. Not all the minds of all the centuries can ever lay hold of what this means, that God’s greatness is unsearchable.

“Great is the Lord and most worthy of praise, and His greatness no one can fathom. He is greater than our greatest thought. He is greater in compassion than the most compassionate individual we ever met. He is greater than anything we could ever conceive of His loveliness. He is beyond our ability to encapsulate it.”


Thankful Living

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Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are taken from The ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.