Forgotten Thanksgiving

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BIG IDEA: We forget to thank God for our salvation and the salvation of our friends and family because we forget that we don’t deserve it and that we didn’t save ourselves. We forget that salvation is a gift. We should, like Paul, give unceasing thanks for our faith, for our salvation, and for the salvation of our brothers and sisters in Christ.


SERIES: EPHESIANS
The book of Ephesians relates God’s plan for creating a new society by his grace and for his glory. It is “…doctrine set to music. Just as [Paul] proclaimed God’s order to the post-Augustine Roman era which was marked by a process of social disintegration, so Ephesians is today the most contemporary book in the Bible, since it promises community in a world of disunity, reconciliation in the place of alienation and peace instead of war” (John Mackay, President Princeton Theological Seminary, 1948).

SCRIPTURE to CONSIDER: Ephesians 1:11-14

[15] For this reason, because I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love toward all the saints, [16] I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers, [17] that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, [18] having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, [19] and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might [20] that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, [21] far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. [22] And he put all things under his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church, [23] which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all. (ESV)

KEY CONSIDERATIONS

  • Praise is the truest biblical form of thanksgiving. When you give thanks, does it feel like praise?
  • We forget to give thanks because we often feel like we deserve the things that we have.
  • Do you thank God for your salvation? We forget to give thanks for our salvation in Christ because we think that it’s something that we deserve, something that we have done for ourselves.
  • We should emulate Paul, giving unceasing thanks for his brothers and sisters in the faith.
  • Look to the new believers: New believers have a natural desire to share their new faith with the world because they are so thankful for it. New faith is and should be the most exciting thing. That’s why personal testimony is so powerful.
  • Thankfulness should be our response to the salvation of those we know because it is not our ability nor our persistence that brings people to salvation. It is, and always will be, God. He doesn’t need us to be part of the process, but he chooses to use us in the process. What a blessing!
  • Evangelism needs to be our top priority: We have forgotten about evangelism, The Great Commission. We have forgotten that we were sent into the world just as Jesus was sent into the world, and it is our job to help people consider the truth of Jesus. Evangelism is our work
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OUR RESPONSE:

  • Be honest with yourself when you’re not evangelizing.
  • Participate in ALPHA: a ten week course about the basics of Christianity. Talk to Pastor Dave about coming and about inviting people.
  • Talk to and get to know your neighbors.
  • Give thanks for the faith of those you know and love who already believe. Thank God for every person in your life who knows Jesus as their personal savior.
  • Pray for the people you know who are new to the faith and for those you know who walk in faith every day, that they will continue to grow in their relationship with the Lord.
  • Thank God every day for your salvation. For it is not by works or by faith that we are saved, it is by the grace of God.
  • Be on mission to share the Gospel with those who have not yet heard.
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Want to study this topic more?

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