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Principles of a Thankful Heart
I. THANKSGIVING IS A PRIORITY.
A. The priority of giving thanks to God in the NT:
1Th. 5:18 in everything give thanks; for this is God?s will for you in Christ Jesus.
Heb. 13:15 Through Him then, let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that give thanks to His name.
Eph. 5:20 always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father;
B. Notice how often Paul makes reference to or exhorts them to a thankful heart in this letter alone - Col. 1:12; 3:15-17; 4:2.
II. THANKSGIVING FOR OTHERS BUILDS THEM UP.
A. These are uplifting words. He expresses his confidence and assurance to them that God?s grace is evident in their lives.
B. Note how Paul says it, "I thank God for . . ." --- this diffuses all pride because the credit goes to God.
III. THANKSGIVING FOR WHAT?
Paul is not only God-centered by the way he gave thanks to God so often, but he is also other-centered. What kind of blessings does Paul have in mind? Paul is thanking God for gospel fruit.
"Since we heard " (v. 4) indicates that the following are the reasons for Paul?s thanksgiving to God.
A. FAITH in Christ Jesus -
1) Christ is the theme of the Bible.
2) Faith in Christ saves.
B. LOVE for the all the saints.
1) This is one of the manifestations of saving faith.
2) It is evidence of the new birth. 1John 3:14
3) love is active.
C. HOPE laid up for you in heaven, thus, the hope of glory, cf. Col. 1:23, 27.
1) faith and love are vitally connected to our hope of glory.
2) our hope of glory should be a dominant focus of our life, cf. Col. 3:1-4; Heb. 12:1-2; 1 Jn. 3:2-3; Rom. 8:23; 1 Pet. 1:13.
3) How did they hear about this hope?
An important theological observation -