Producing Thankfulness in Others

During the month of November, we are more aware of our need to express thanksgiving for the blessings we have received. However, we are so blessed that we have an endless supply of blessings to cause us to express thanks each and every day of our lives, especially for all who have been born into the family of God. One of the first reminders of our need to express thanksgiving this month is Veteran’s Day. Today we want to express our thanksgiving to all who have and are serving in each branch of our Armed Services. Their willingness to put their lives in harm’s way through their military service and the sacrifices they and their families have made for our freedom and protection is truly worthy of hearty gratitude and appreciation. Their service ought to motivate us to express our gratitude and respect to them. The Bible refers to this reality of the actions of one person producing thanksgiving, giving of thanks, and thankfulness in the hearts and lives of others. In our call to worship text this morning, the Apostle Paul is expressing thanks for the church family in Philippi and the blessing they were to him and his ministry. As we study the Bible a bit, we discover that part of the blessing they were to him was in their financial support to him as a church planting mission evangelist. They communicated their love for him and support of his ministry through their prayers and through their investment in him with financial support. Their partnership with him and his labor with the Lord produced thanksgiving in the life of Paul that he is expressing in this letter. We see this same dynamic being recorded by Paul in the call to worship for tonight, II Corinthians 9:6-15, in which he records by inspiration of the Holy Spirit, about how the investment of a believer or church in the mission work of a missionary not only produces thanksgiving in the missionary, but also in those he is reaching because of their support. It also declares that the thanksgiving being expressed is not only to those who had given but also unto the Lord Himself who blessed them to give and motivated them to give to His servants and His Great Commission work on earth through His churches. When any of us bless the lives of others, we produce feelings and expressions of thanksgiving in the lives of those we bless. Another way we can produce thanksgiving in the lives of others is by being an influence of gratitude. As we express our own gratitude to others and to God for the blessings we receive, we are being an influence of thankfulness on those who hear our expression of thanksgiving. Let us all follow the biblical admonition to be people who regularly and faithfully express and verbalize our praise and thanksgiving for the blessings we receive from the Lord and from our fellow man.