February 3, 2021
Author: Pastor Gordon Cook
February 03, 2021
Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit, addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with all your heart, giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ.
One of the easiest and simplest things to observe about the prayers and worship in our Bible is that it is suffused with thanksgiving. Dr. J.I. Packer said, “It is safe to say no religion anywhere has ever laid such a stress on the need for thanksgiving.” If you do a quick survey of the psalms and epistles, you will find an incessant, constant call to give thanks to the Lord. It is a constant theme in Old and New Testament. If anything should characterize us as Christians, it should be that we are the most thankful people on planet earth. You could say that is a distinguishing mark of a Christian and it should be. In Ephesians 5 it gives this comprehensive command when it comes to thanksgiving, “In everything give thanks.”
What are you most thankful for? I could argue that the number one thing on the list is that we should be thankful to God for being God. We thank the people in our life, a husband, a wife, a friend, and we thank them for who they are. We should thank God for being God. Francis Schaeffer once prayed, “I thank God for being there; I thank God that you exist.” If God didn’t exist we certainly would not exist. This God has made Himself known to us in a very wonderful way, in a mystery of mysteries. He has made Himself known by way of the Trinity. It is one thing to know God in a generic way, but to know God in this sense, as a triune God. It is like God pulls back the veil and says, “I want you to see who I am as a three-person God.” Thinking about the three persons should give us more opportunity to give thanks and praise to God. We give thanks to God the Father. It is God the Father who gave us God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. It is God the Father who planned our salvation, who authored all of the blessings we have in Jesus Christ. What about the Son? The Father didn’t die upon the cross did He? It is the Son, the second person of the trinity who died upon the cross. So we need to thank God the Father, God the Son, and we should also be thanking God the Holy Spirit. The normal pattern for prayer in the Bible is going to God the Father. But we can also go to God the Son and God the Holy Spirit and thank the Spirit for what He has done. God the Father planned our salvation, God the Son accomplished our salvation, and God the Spirit applies our salvation. We would not be born again if it wasn’t for the Spirit. It is the Spirit who breathed into our dead souls. We couldn’t read our Bibles and profit without the illumination of the Holy Spirit. Remember what Romans and Galatians says, “We can now pray to God and call Him, ‘Abba Father’ because of the Spirit of adoption. The Spirit guides, leads, and convicts. We couldn’t put sin to death and mortify the deeds of the flesh without the Holy Spirit.
It is good to remind ourselves when we come to God in prayer that we go to God with praise and thanksgiving and adoration.