1 Thessalonians 5:18

We all know the story of those first settlers in New England — their struggles and despair. Instead of provoking God with their complaints, they proposed having a day of thanksgiving. For many today, Thanksgiving represents football and turkey, yet Paul reminds us that one of the keys to victorious Christian living is giving thanks.

I. When Should We Give Thanks
Thanksgiving should not be limited to a certain day, but be a part of our lives all times, in all circumstances Paul’s challenge to be thankful of all things only makes sense in the light of the promise of Romans 8:28 — God can take all things and use them for our good.
II. Why Should We Give Thanks?
Though there are many reasons, two are mentioned here:
a. Be thankful for deliverance from sin. (Romans 6:17-18). When we give our lives to Christ, we are freed from our slavery to sin and enter into a new relationship as children of God.
b. Be thankful for the victorious life we have in Christ. (1 Corinthians 15:57)
III. How Should We Give Thanks
a. Through praise. There is something about praise that strengthens us, lifts us closer to God.
b. Through service. As a doctor judges the heart by a pulse, so people can judge our thankfulness by our lives. Real thankfulness results in service to God.

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About The Author

Michael Duduit is the founding publisher and editor of Preaching magazine. He is also the founding Dean of the new College of Christian Studies and Professor of Christian Ministry at Anderson University in Anderson, South Carolina. Michael is author and editor of several books, including the Handbook of Contemporary Preaching (Broadman & Holman Press), Joy in Ministry (Baker Books), Preaching With Power (Baker) and Communicate With Power (Baker). From 1996 until 2000 he served as editor of the Abingdon Preaching Annual series. His email newsletter, PreachingNow, is read each week by more than 40,000 pastors and church leaders in the U.S. and around the world. He is founder and director of the National Conference on Preaching and the International Congress on Preaching, which has been held in 1997 at Westminster Chapel in London, 2002 at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland, and 2007at Cambridge. He has been a pastor and associate pastor, has served a number of churches as interim pastor, and speaks regularly for churches, colleges and conferences.

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