In Everything Give Thanks
The book of 1 Thessalonians was written to faithful Christians.
1 Thessalonians 1:1: Paul, and Silvanus, and Timotheus, unto the church of the Thessalonians which is in God the Father and in the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ.
1 Thessalonians 5:18: In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.
There is a direct connection between being in the will of God and being thankful. If we are in the will of God we have much to be thankful for. When we get out of His will we have less to be thankful for. When we are in His will in everything we will be thankful in everything. Christians who are out of the will of God can be thankful that they are not going to Hell and that they are going to Heaven but they aren*t thankful for everything here and now. Unbelievers have much they should be thankful to God for but they are not. They don*t believe that their blessings come from God. They believe that they are entitled to blessings. Their attitude comes from pride. Christians that are out of the will of God have that same attitude of entitlement. They are also proud. An attitude of entitlement makes both believers and unbelievers ungrateful. What we deserve is Hell and we are not entitled to Heaven or anything good from God. We do not even deserve the privilege of being in His will. It is only by His grace and mercy that we can be in His will.
Romans 12:1: I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
Ephesians 3:7: Whereof I was made a minister, according to the gift of the grace of God given unto me by the effectual working of his power.
Christians should be thankful that they are going to Heaven AND for the privilege of presenting their bodies to Him and finding His will.
Romans 12:2: And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
Philippians 2:13: For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.
Are we grateful that God that works in us? We should be. It can be difficult to know the difference between an unthankful unbeliever and an unthankful believer. Gratitude should be the mark of a Christian. One definition of the word grace: The divine influence upon the heart, including gratitude.
1 Thessalonians 5:16: Rejoice evermore. 17 Pray without ceasing. 18 In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.
Do we rejoice evermore and give thanks in everything? Do we give thanks to God or are we out of His will? Is ingratitude a sin? I believe that it is and I believe that it always accompanies other sins and always proves that I have committed other sins.
Care to discuss In Everything Give Thanks with Ron?