Today’s Epistle: 2 Corinthians 9:11-12 (KJV)
“Being enriched in everything to all bountifulness, which causeth through us thanksgiving to God. For the administration of this service not only supplieth the want of the saints, but is abundant also by many thanksgivings unto God”
Believers may come to worship God with thankful hearts. This is because worship requires a thankful disposition of heart. So the scriptures enjoin us to “enter into His courts with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise; be thankful unto Him, and bless His name (Psalm100:4). In 1 chronicles 16:8, David exhorted us, “Give thanks unto the LORD, call upon his name, make known his deeds among the people.” The phrase “call upon his name” is an alternative expression in the Bible for the worship of God. Hence, the emphasis of this exhortation of David is that it is to give thanks to God that we gather together in worship. This is to say, true worship should be accompanied by thanksgiving. Without a thankful mind frame, you cannot be a true worshipper. Every worshipper’s thought, attitude and action must be moulded by an overwhelming feeling of thanksgiving. We must be deeply engaged in giving thanks to the lord in our worship. Have you been thankful in worship services?
Paul while writing to the believer’s in Corinth, exhorts that thanksgivings to God is a motivation that springs out of the enrichment of all bountifulness which is the employment of service provided in supplying (giving) to other saints. This giving is abundant to God by many thanksgivings unto God.
Thanksgiving is from the Greek word “eucharistia” which means thanksgiving, the giving of thanks from gratitude, a grateful language to God as an act of worship. This is to say, when we come into the congregation of God’s brethren, each of us must take upon himself as a personal duty to give thanks to God. We cannot be spectators in the house of God. We cannot be just sitting on the pews, listening to someone else’s thanksgiving and singing to God. It is not sufficient that we just appreciate the giving of thanks by others, saying, “oh, that was a nice way of praising God; you did well”. Even though it is good to encourage those who express their praise to God, everyone together to worship, let us offer our thanksgiving to our benevolent God who has bestowed upon us His great salvation and all spiritual and earthly blessings through Jesus Christ.
Singing in thanksgiving:
When you sing in worship it is not to impress the person sitting next to you. You sing because you want to thank God, knowing singing His praises is a divinely-appointed means of thanksgiving (Psalms 147:7 Sing unto the LORD with thanksgiving; sing praise upon the harp unto our God:”). Are you a tight-lipped Christian who does not want to give thanks for His blessings, are you giving excuses for not singing to express your gratitude to the Father or do you say, yes, I am thankful but I just do not want to sing out because that will be showing off that I can sing? No, there is no showing off if your heart is thankful to God. You are showing off if you are thinking about impressing others. You should not be ashamed of singing and giving thanks to God. Your worship should not be constrained by someone or some other inhibition.
Giving offerings with thanksgiving:
The scriptures teaches us in Psalms 96: “Give unto the LORD the glory due unto his name: bring an offering, and come into his courts.” The Hebrew word for “offering” is “minha”, which is often used to refer to a “bloodless” offering, such as a thanksgiving from a worshipper who comes to the Lord’s to the Lord’s house.
Why do you give? You give because the Lord has blessed you with you daily supply. When you give to the Lord your tithes and offering, you are acknowledging that the Lord is the Giver of all good things in your life. So, Paul encourages the Corinthian Christians, “upon the first day of the week let everyone of you lay by himself in store, as Gog hath prospered him… (1 Corinthians 16:2). Our sentiments in giving must be thankfulness to God for all His provision… “since the people started to bring the offering into the house of God, we have had enough to eat, and have left plenty: for the Lord hath blessed his people; and that which is left is the great store” (2 chronicles31:10). This tells us that thanksgiving must be intuitively giving from a state of blessedness (Ephesians1:3) not giving because you want to be blessed. Your thanksgiving must be a reflection of your trust in God because we cannot out-give God who is Himself giver of all things.
It is often disturbing when one gets to hear Christians praying after the collection of offerings, “Lord, we give you a little of the much you have blessed us with”. It sounds as an excuse for our meager giving? Did God direct us to give only a little? Such a prayer line is dysfunctional and should be discouraged because it is not founded in scriptures. The poor in Mark 12:41-42, gave all of that she had, two pennies. Some may regard this as a little or meager giving but it is not true beloved. This was a bounteous giving that Jesus attested to saying, she gave all that she had and could depend on but the rich people gave out of the abundance of their plenty. We are instructed to give out of a cheerful heart, not grudgingly nor out of necessity (2corinthians 9:7). Let not your praise by marred by your stinging behavior. “We give little of much” is a statement of guilt. We should be giving as much as the Holy spirit requires of us. Our giving must be directed by God because it is a thanksgiving offering. We should not give and after we are saying to someone, “I am sorry I can only give a little today”? What kind of worship would that be? If you can only give 10 cents because that is all God has given you, be sure that it is not a small gift. It is a big gift because you respond according to what God has given you. It is not the size of your Gift but the size of your thankfulness to God provided it is motivated from a cheerful heart.
Giving as a testimony:
Give thanks by testifying of the wondrous works of God in your life. God is well pleased when
We offer thanks to Him as a testimony of His faithfulness towards us. In “Hebrew 11:4 the bible says “By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh.”. When we offer up gifts to God out of the abundance of our hearts, it is written in the mouth of God for a testimony. Abel offered an excellent sacrifice, why God was well pleased. His brother Cain did not. This tells you that God is interested in the quality of our giving according as he has blessed us. God is not interested in a lame offering to him because He wants to see how we can trust Him in giving that He may testify of our gifts (Act10:1-4).
Thanksgiving should be done in the midst of the congregation of God’s people; Psalms 22:22 “I will declare thy name unto my brethren: in the midst of the congregation will I praise thee.” Your thanksgiving in the congregation of His brethren is a declaration of God’s goodness towards you and how wonderful is His grace in your life. The time of fellowship after the worship service is not for you to talk about how you played tennis, watched that football match or went for holidays. It is not as though it is wrong to discuss such, however, it would be nicer if you were to speak of those things the Lord helped you through during that difficulty (Philippians 4:8): Like, I had a backache while I played tennis yesterday but the Lord was very kind- He sustained me and did not allow it get worse. God’s people must always be a people of thanksgiving at all times, whether in season or out of season.
Beloved, Thanksgiving should not only be as a response of what He has done in the past, but also for the fact that He remains good and merciful even today, and throughout life on earth.
2 Corinthians9:7-12, Philippians 4:15-17, Psalms 106:1; Psalms 103:1-2.
Confession of Faith/ Prayer for the Day
Precious is your name in the midst of the congregation. I’ve got life and because of this, I will forever offer praises of thanksgiving to the Lord. In all seasons I will sing of His love and write the testimony of His grace in my life. Praise the Lord o my soul in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Thought for the Day
When we gather as a congregation, we give thanks in worship. True worship is done in thanksgiving with a mind framed accompanied by a positive attitude and moulded action of an overwhelming feeling of thankfulness.
We pray that you become fruitful by the teaching of God’s word and as you yield to the Holy Spirit. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you meditate on the revelation of Jesus Christ and as you continue in His Grace. Abba father.
If you were blessed by this teaching, please take a minute to share it with your loved ones. Use the social sharing buttons provided. Also connect with us through our facebook and google plus pages. God bless you as you do so.