Yesterday, our pastor was discussing prayer and worship (1 Timothy 2: 1-8), and he said something that I had never thought about. Since I’ve been in church my entire life, it’s always great when God uses familiar Scripture to teach me something new!
Ephesians 5: 1- 4:
Imitate God, therefore, in everything you do, because you are his dear children. Live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ. He loved us and offered himself as a sacrifice for us, a pleasing aroma to God. Let there be no sexual immorality, impurity, or greed among you. Such sins have no place among God’s people. Obscene stories, foolish talk, and coarse jokes—these are not for you. Instead, let there be thankfulness to God.
Instead. This is how you could live, but instead, “let there be thankfulness…”
Paul is saying something so simple, yet so profound:
If we are thankful, it will be much harder to sin.
Think about it:
- If we are thankful for all that God has done, we will love Him and no other false gods.
- If we are thankful for our spouse, we won’t cheat.
- If we are thankful for our job, we won’t be lazy.
- If we are thankful for our “neighbors” and family, we will love selflessly and won’t harm them.
- If we are thankful for what God has provided, we won’t covet/steal what others have.
- If we are thankful for the mercy that God has shown us, we will show mercy to those around us more freely.
- If we are thankful, we won’t be selfish.
I did a quick word study to see where the word “thankful” or “thanks” appears in the Bible, and this is what I found:
Make thankfulness your sacrifice to God, and keep the vows you made to the Most High…giving thanks is a sacrifice that truly honors me. (Psalm 50:14, 23a)
Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus. (1 Thessalonians 5:18)Devote yourselves to prayer with an alert mind and a thankful heart. (Colossians 4:2)
And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful. (Colossians 3:15)
Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness. (Colossians 2:7)
- When we are thankful, we recognize that God is the provider of everything we have, which also humbles us.
- When we are thankful for what we have, we are less likely to sin.
- When we are thankful, we recognize that apart from God, we can do nothing…that He alone is God and we are merely human.