Under The Influence of Gratitude

Under The Influence of Gratitude

Pastor Don Carpenter

Under The Influence / Ephesians 5:20

 There is an imaginative story told of a day when the sun did not rise. Six o’clock came and there was no sign of dawn. At seven o’clock, there was still no ray of light. At noon, it was as black as midnight. No birds sang and only the hoot of an owl broke the silence. Then came the long black hours of the afternoon. Finally evening arrived but no one slept that night. Some wept, some wrung their hands in anguish. Every church was thronged with people on their knees. Thus they remained the whole night through. After that long night of terror and agony, millions of eager, tear-streaked faces were turned toward the east. When the sky began to grow red and the sun rose, there was a loud shout of joy. Millions of lips said, “Bless the Lord, O my soul!” because the sun had risen after one day of darkness.

  The very consistency of God’s blessings sometimes seems to dull our gratitude. The wonderful thing about the mercies of God is that they are fresh every morning and new every evening. Let us remember to be constantly thankful to our gracious God.

1 Michael P. Green, 1500 Illustrations for Biblical Preaching (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2000), 376.

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As we continue our study “Under The Influence” we are reminded that we are to avoid the negative things that would control us, but rather seek to be controlled by certain things on purpose. When believers become yielded to the Holy Spirit’s influence with a song on their lips for others to hear, and in their hearts for God to hear, a constant anthem of thanksgiving is the next logical thing to add to the sweet spirit of a believer. Each element builds upon the other to direct a believer’s steps, use of time, and depth of understanding. By listening to the promptings of the Holy Spirit, the encouragements of Psalms Hymns and Spiritual Songs, and humbly yielding to the will of God, we can find ourselves under the influence of gratitude.

ALWAYS Give Thanks.

Ephesians 5:20 KJV

Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;

33.349 ??????????a; ??????????, ?? f: to express gratitude for benefits or blessings—‘to thank, thanksgiving, thankfulness.’

??????????a: ?? ???????????? ???? ?? ??? ?????????; ‘why should anyone revile me about that for which I thank God?’ 1 Cor 10:30.

??????????: ???? ??????????? ?? ???????? ???? ?????????? ???? ??? ???? ‘let your requests be made known to God with thanksgiving’ Php 4:6.

Thanks is often expressed in highly idiomatic ways. For example, in some languages one says thank you by saying ‘may God pay you.’ Such a phrase may be so standardized as to even be used in expressing thankfulness to God himself. In other instances, thankfulness may be expressed as ‘you have made my heart warm1

1 Johannes P. Louw and Eugene Albert Nida, Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament: Based on Semantic Domains (New York: United Bible Societies, 1996), 427–428.

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The obligation of thankfulness to God for “mercies countless as the sands” holds the premier place. That we exist depends on the Creator’s fiat, and that our days are passed in comparative tranquillity or within the verge of divine illumination we owe to His lovingkindness. All our positive blessings are of His bestowal. Our very deprivations and trials, frowning providences, as we deem them, if we are His by grace as well as nature, come to us as benedictions in disguise. Were we in full accord with His will we should receive them as such, like Job at the high-water mark of his faith. The Lord’s sovereign dispensations are matter for gratitude, not for murmuring.

Trials must and will befall;

But with humble faith to see

Love inscribed upon them all,

That is happiness to me.

The mixed yarn of life, woven in the loom of heaven by the Father of mercies, traces a perfect design for those “in Christ,” and their thanksgivings should reascend to Him through their mediatorial All-in-all.1

1 E. K. Simpson and F. F. Bruce, The Epistles to the Ephesians and the Colossians, The New International Commentary on the Old and New Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1957), 126.

Jonah 2:9 KJV

But I will sacrifice unto thee with the voice of thanksgiving; I will pay that that I have vowed. Salvation is of the LORD.

Colossians 3:17 KJV

And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.

Hebrews 13:15 KJV

By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name.

**Eph 5:20 a slide**

An evergreen is always green despite the changes in weather around it. It is green in the heat of summer as well as the cold of winter. So also our lives are to be characterized by an enduring thankfulness that is unaffected by the changes around us. When the heat of a pressured week or the deadly cold of pain strikes us, we should stand “ever green,” always thankful, regardless of that which surrounds us1

1 Michael P. Green, 1500 Illustrations for Biblical Preaching (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2000), 375.

Give Thanks for EVERYTHING

Ephesians 5:20 KJV

Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;

 And now, the Spirit-filled believer will be a thankful believer. “Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” “Oh, but,” you say, “there are some things I cannot give thanks for, there are some things so hard, so difficult to bear, there are some things that lacerate my very soul.” Wait a moment. Have you ever undergone a serious physical operation as a result of which you have been delivered from something that was just wearing out your very life? When you had to undergo it, it seemed very hard, but as you look back upon it, can you not give thanks for the surgeon’s knife, can you not give thanks for the very sufferings you had to endure because of the blessed after-result? Very well, Christian, some day.

“When we stand with Christ in glory,

Looking o’er life’s finished story,”

We shall see as we cannot now just why all the hard things were permitted, and how God our Father was seeking to set us free from hindrances and from encumbrances, by pruning the branches from which He wished to get fruit for Himself. In that day we will thank Him for all the sorrow as well as for all the joy. In faith let us do it now.

Nothing can come to me but what His love allows. “All things work together for good,” and so a Spirit-filled believer will be loyal and submissive, not the kind who tosses his head and says, “I am not going to have anybody dominate me; I will do what I think and what I like.” That is the old walk of our unconverted days, that is the old nature, not the new.1

1 H. A. Ironside, In the Heavenlies : Practical Expository Addresses on the Epistle to the Ephesians. (Neptune, NJ: Loizeaux Brothers, 1937), 273–274.

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The early Church was a thankful church. The instinct was to give thanks for all things and in all places and at all times. John Chrysostom, the great preacher of the Church of a later day, had the curious thought that Christians could give thanks even for hell, because hell was a warning to keep them in the right way. The early Church was a thankful church because its members were still dazzled with the wonder that God’s love had stooped to save them; and it was a church that gave thanks because its members had an awareness of being in the hands of God.1

1 William Barclay, The Letters to the Galatians and Ephesians, The New Daily Study Bible (Louisville, KY; London: Westminster John Knox Press, 2002), 192.

For The BLESSINGS

Salvation

2 Corinthians 9:15 KJV

Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift.

Answers to prayer

Philippians 4:6 KJV

Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.

God’s Providence

Romans 8:28 KJV

And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

For TRIALS

Acts 5:41 KJV

And they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for his name.

Job 2:10 KJV

But he said unto her, Thou speakest as one of the foolish women speaketh. What? shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil? In all this did not Job sin with his lips.

** Eph 5 20 b slide**

A little boy was asked by his father to say grace at the table. While the rest of the family waited, the little guy eyed every dish of food his mother had prepared. After the examination, he bowed his head and honestly prayed, “Lord, I don’t like the looks of it, but I thank you for it, and I’ll eat it anyway. Amen.”

1 Michael P. Green, 1500 Illustrations for Biblical Preaching (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 2000), 375–376.

Give Thanks Directly to God The Father

Ephesians 5:20 KJV

Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;

Isaiah 63:7 KJV

I will mention the lovingkindnesses of the LORD, and the praises of the LORD, According to all that the LORD hath bestowed on us, And the great goodness toward the house of Israel, Which he hath bestowed on them according to his mercies, And according to the multitude of his lovingkindnesses.

Jesus Has Given Us Direct Access

1 Timothy 2:5 KJV

For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;

We Can Both Pray and Praise Boldly

Hebrews 4:16 KJV

Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.

 When believers become yielded to the Holy Spirit’s influence with a song on their lips for others to hear, and in their hearts for God to hear, a constant anthem of thanksgiving is the next logical thing to add to the sweet spirit of a believer. Each element builds upon the other to direct a believer’s steps, use of time, and depth of understanding.  

Since Thankfulness/ Gratitude are based on God’s constant unchanging character. We are to always be thankful. Since God is at work and in control, we should give thanks for all things. Since Jesus paid the price for sin through His Blood, removing the veil of separation between us and God we can bring our thanks directly to God the Father.

By listening to the promptings of the Holy Spirit, the encouragements of Psalms Hymns and Spiritual Songs, and humbly yielding to the will of God, we can find ourselves under the influence of gratitude.

Exported from Logos Bible Software, 12:36 PM January 16, 2021.

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